The grant, announced Thursday, will support an exhibition set for spring 2021 called “Air,” which will feature work by artists exploring air as an artistic medium and looking at the effect humans are having on air quality. UMFA senior curator Whitney Tassie is organizing the exhibit, which will feature local, national and international artists, designers, engineers and scientists.
The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a digital installation in UMFA’s Great Hall, “Particle Falls” by artist Andrea Polli. The work employs specialized software, designed by Polli, to generate a real-time visualization of air quality data. Using a network of sensors, the installation will show a visual comparison of regional air quality, highlighting the inequity of air pollution.
This isn’t Polli’s first time creating art at the University of Utah. Her permanent installation, “e-Oculus,” which processes financial data in visual form on a screen in the shape of the Great Salt Lake, looks out over the lobby of the Eccles School of Business.
The grant to UMFA is one of 46 awards the Warhol Foundation gave out this week in 19 states, totaling $3.93 million, for visual arts programs, exhibitions and curatorial research.