John Bell’s "Warhol Prophesy Supernova" is included in the Kimball Art Center’s Relevant exhibit that opens this weekend. All the art
John Bell's "Warhol Prophesy Supernova" is included in the Kimball Art Center's Relevant exhibit that opens this weekend. All the art in the exhibit was created by mentors or past residents in the KAC's four-year Relevant program. (Courtesy of John Bell)
Four years ago, the Kimball Art Center started, Relevant, an artist-in-residence program that teams up-and-coming artists with mentors who have established themselves in the art business.

The program was inspired by the Sundance Institute's Labs, said Robin Marrouche, executive director of the Kimball Art Center.

She liked the fact that someone who has gone through the Sundance Labs early on in his or her career and have become an established filmmaker maintains ties to the Sundance family.

"We thought it was significant that someone could learn something through the program, and then return to give something back to it," Marrouche said during an interview with The Park Record. "So, like that, the Kimball Art Center created Relevant."

To mark the program's fourth anniversary, the Kimball Art Center is presenting a Relevant exhibit that will be on display in the Main Gallery from Friday, Aug. 15, to Sunday, Aug. 26.

Friday night will be the KAC's member's reception opening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and the public opening will be Saturday, Aug. 16.

"The exhibit will profile the great works from our past Relevant artists," Marrouche said. (See accompanying list titled ""The 2014 Relevant artists.") "We have about 25 artists participating this year and they all represent the past four years of the program."

To select the Relevant artists, the KAC recruits a jury comprised of gallery owners, art enthusiasts and members of the Kimball Art Center staff and board.


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"We ask them to look for unique voices, raw talent and that indescribable something," Marrouche said with a knowing laugh. "We usually select five up-and-coming artists for this program, but we may change that, but we haven decided, yet, because we haven't announced the date of the residency. We are still tweaking the residency as we go forward, but we are continuing the exhibit."

The mentors, on the other hand, are hand-picked by the Kimball Art Center, according to Marrouche.

"When we started the program, we wanted to give these emerging artists and their mentors a platform to go forward," she said. "The creative process was one of the draws that started this program."

In addition, the program offers workshops for these artists presented by local gallery owners.

"The residents learn the business of art," Marrouche said. "They learn how to place their works and they also learn how to establish relationships with clients and differentiate themselves in a very competitive field.

"Most of the time, the artists are focusing on what's happening inside their studios, and less about what happens when they leave the studio," she said. "So, many of the gallery owners in Park City have served as mentors and have helped these young artists how to become their own publicists, especially when they aren't comfortable in doing that."

Another goal of Relevant was to get the public involved with the art world.

"We wanted to be able to invite the community in to meet these artists when they are still young and undiscovered and to learn about their particular art form and start a relationship with them," Marrouche said. "We've had a lot of local artists, both on the mentor side and the up-and-coming artist side, participate in the program."

In the past, the Relevant exhibit and program has run in conjunction with the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, but that changed this year.

"We wanted to keep the focus on the Relevant art and artists distinctly so it wasn't getting lost in the arts festival," Marrouche explained. "The works are important and these artists are so extraordinary. So we wanted to give the focus they so richly deserve.

"The exhibit promises to be strong, because we've seen some wonderful pieces come in," she said. "All the works for the show were created by the artists just for the exhibit and they are all for sale."

The Kimball Art Center, 638 Park Ave., will present the 2014 Relevant exhibit in the Main Gallery from Friday, Aug. 15, until Sunday, Oct. 26. Friday's opening is for KAC members only from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The public opening will be on Saturday, Aug. 16. For more information, visit www.kimballartcenter.org.