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House endorses declaring Spiral Jetty as ‘state work of art’

First Published      Last Updated Feb 15 2017 03:16 pm


Second chance » Failed to pass last year, but takes major step toward passage.

The Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake is getting a second chance to become, possibly, Utah's official "state work of art," and also the first artwork to be declared a state symbol anywhere in the nation.

The House voted 48-23 to pass HB211, and sent it to Senate. It had passed the House last year, but failed to win final approval.

"We have something here in our midst, something that is internationally recognized as one of the top 10 land art features in the entire world," said Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, the bill's sponsor. "I think the time is right for us to designate that and recognize and celebrate this beautiful work of art."




The sculpture was made in 1970 by Robert Smithson. It is a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore — somewhat near the Golden Spike National Historic Site.

Meanwhile, a separate bill, SB171 by Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, seeks to declare Native American rock art as the state "works of art." Edwards said they complement each other, and both help to promote unique features in the state.

Among current official Utah symbols are an emblem (beehive), bird (sea gull), animal (elk), flower (sego lily), cooking pot (Dutch oven) and even a gun (Browning model 1911).

Others are: state folk dance (square dance), fossil (allosaurus), fish (Bonneville cutthroat trout), fruit (cherry), vegetable (Spanish sweet onion), historic vegetable (sugar beet), gem (topaz), grass (Indian rice grass), insect (honeybee) and mineral (copper).

Still others include the state motto (industry), rock (coal), tree (quaking aspen), winter sports (skiing and snowboarding), song ("Utah This is the Place) and hymn ("Utah We Love Thee").

 

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