Newpark Exhibit set to open
July 7, 2016
The empty storefronts in the Newpark Town Center are now home to the faces of Summit County entrepreneurs and innovators thanks to a project spearheaded by the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board.
The photographs featured at Newpark are the first project in an initiative called Dark Storefronts, whose goal is to revitalize unused building spaces across the county.
According to the project website, the board received over 130 submissions and Advisory Board Vice Chair Hadley Dynak said they invited all those nominated to participate in the exhibit.
"We didn't want to make decisions about who was or wasn't an entrepreneur," she said. "We just wanted to showcase all the people who make Park City and Summit County a good place to work, live, and play."
Of the nominees, 74 are featured in large black and white photographs taken by Rebekah Stevens of Park City. Stevens said the community-oriented aspect of the project intrigued her and she was inspired by the people she met.
"There was a ton of people I did know because I've lived here 13 years, but there was a ton of people I'd never met that are doing such amazing things in the surrounding area. It was really cool to meet different people and hear what they are doing and why they are doing it," she said, adding that she was impressed "to see other people who are so passionate about their jobs and what they were doing and what they were creating."
The project is a part of a world-wide global public art project called Inside Out, which seeks to tell stories of local people through photographs. Stevens photographed the nominees at the McPolin Barn on State Road 224 in the close-up, black and white style of the campaign.
Dynak said the board chose Inside Out as the pilot project for the Dark Storefronts campaign because of its global ties.
"We liked the idea of doing a community art project that could connect to a larger project," she said. "Inside Out was a perfect fit."
The project will feature entrepreneurs from all over the county including Ryan Pearl, a boat builder from Oakley and Park City resident Ed Fraze who runs an ice sculpting and décor business.
The youngest nominee featured in the exhibit is Ezra Rosenfeld of Park City, who started his own sustainable dog toy company at the age of nine in 2015.
Since only 74 nominees were able to participate in the physical exhibit, Dynak said the board is also offering an online version where people who missed the deadline or weren't aware of the project can share their photos and stories. The online exhibit will continue even after the installation is removed in September so people can still look at the project.
"It's wonderful to see the stories of people from across Summit County come together in a visual way — to experience how the process of producing an art exhibit can celebrate and build our connections with one another," she said.
The exhibit opened last week and will be on display through Sept. 1. There will be an event launch party for the project today, July 6, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Myrtle Rose restaurant in Newpark. Dynak said the launch party will be a good way for community members to meet the people who brought the project together.
Myrtle Rose restaurant is located at 1456 Newpark Blvd and people can find more information and RSVP for the event at darkstorefronts.org.
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