SUMA to celebrate 2nd birthday

By Kelsey Keener

CEDAR CITY–A celebration of the Southern Utah Museum of Art’s two-year anniversary featuring a new exhibition will take place on Saturday, July 7.

Director and Curator of SUMA Jessica Farling said the motivation for throwing a party for the museum’s anniversary is to help show its availability to the community.

“Before I started here last summer I thought ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have a birthday party for the museum and just really show the community we’re here, we’re open,’” she said. “We want to be a community center and more of a resource for everyone.”

Farling said in addition to cake and punch, the celebration will include the opportunity to participate in a group sculpture on the Sam and Diane Stewart Family Foundation Plaza and a make-and-take crafting activity. The SUMA Families’ mascot will also be unveiled. The celebration will also mark the opening of an exhibition by award-winning artist James Surls.

“This is a show of really large sculptures and drawings unlike anything anyone’s probably seen around here,” she said. “(Surls) works with wood and stainless steel and several different materials. It’s very abstract and very contemporary, but he’s still very much inspired by nature and the outdoors and his surroundings.”

Surls has received numerous awards and developed many abstract creations inspired by different aspects of nature and the human body. The exhibition will also feature an area where viewers can interact hands-on with the artwork.

Members and donors will have the opportunity to view the exhibition on the evening of July 6, and it will be open to the public beginning July 7 through Sept 29. The museum will be open during its regular hours, and the Birthday Bash will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. The celebration is free and open to everyone.

SUMA offers many activities throughout the summer for families and individuals, including Family Days, Create Playdates and SUMA After Hours (part of the Final Friday Art Walk). Farling said SUMA is more than just part of Southern Utah University.

“We’re just trying to show that the museum can be really fun and it’s family friendly,” she said. “We really want people to know that this museum is part of SUU but it’s also here for the community.”

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