For over 16 years, MICA's gallery has featured work from local icons, national talent, and emerging Utah voices. Our curation is guided by a commitment to strengthening cross-cultural dialogue. Our gallery is a platform for artists who engage with community and justice through their work, and who speak from communities who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized in the art world. MICA remains one of the few arts spaces located on the west side showcasing these important creative voices, and many successful local artists had their first show with us. Originally located at the Mestizo Coffee House, the MICA gallery is now operating out of Sugar Space Arts Warehouse.
See below for samples from past gallery shows, and visit our calendar for upcoming shows and events.
With this gallery show, Progress and Development, artist Nathaniel Praska engaged with issues of gentrification and how it threatens the economically vulnerable, thereby upsetting the cultural richness of a community, neighborhood, or city.
Nathaniel Praska started painting at the age of three with his grandmother who taught painting at the local community college. First working en plein air, Nathaniel has participated in many juried shows across the country with his landscape work. In 2012, he received a grant from the Calligram Foundation which allowed him a great deal of time to work and study. During this time, he he took a large step away from conventional representational painting and into iconographical depictions of familiar things: an excavator, dentures, the polaroid of a nude woman. His paintings are objects within objects, represented in spare lines and grooves of thik paint, in a monochromatic palette with textures that absorb, rather than reflect light. Nathaniel lives and works in Portland.
I am I, a group show consisting of female artists with Mormon ties, posed the question, "How is your female gender identity defined?" Using the self portrait to facilitate participation in this conversation, I Am I provided a range of perceptions that are widely relatable beyond the constraints of the participants.
The show was curated by Jessica Rae Ecker, and artists featured in the show included:
Denae Shanidiin, Diné and Korean artist, is born to the Diné (Navajo) Nation. She is Honágháahnii, One-Walks-Around Clan, born to the Korean race on her father’s side. Kinłichíi’nii, the Red House People, is her maternal grandfather’s clan and the Bilagáana, White People, is her paternal grandfather’s Clan.
Shanidiin’s work responds to her own identity as an Indigenous woman and artist. Her photography work reveals her Diné ancestry through intimate family portraits in urban settings and on her homeland. Shanidiin’s various projects reveal the importance of Indigenous spirituality and sovereignty. Her work brings awareness to many contemporary First Nation issues including missing and murdered Indigenous People.
Rainbow Variance, featuring paintings from Andrew Alba, focused on the intersections between race and ethnic identity in the Latinx community. His work explored the stories of white, afro-Latinx, brown, bi-racial, queer and undocumented people.
Artist Andrew Alba was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and has pursued painting and drawing from an early age. His pieces incorporate abstraction and neo-expressionism, while working outside the predominant art world. Recent travel through Mexico and up to Alaska exposed Alba to plein air painting, which he has incorporated into his artistic style.
Header image from the exhibition Abstracción Geométrica by artist Juan Gasca