If you’ve never been to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (and even if you have), now is the perfect time to grab the kids and make the trip. Currently on display is The Art of Robert Sabuda, a whimsical installation of illustrations and paper pop ups that will appeal to anyone who likes a good story.
The paper engineering involved in Mr. Sabuda’s books is astounding. The exhibit includes mock-ups created during the planning stages of each book, helping the viewer understand how such amazing mechanics are achieved. You can also sit down at a table where all of Mr. Sabuda’s books are available for browsing, allowing you to see the transformation from initial idea to completed form.
Even more dazzling than the paper engineering (if that’s possible) are the original illustrations. Mr. Sabuda writes, illustrates, and engineers most of his books. And the illustrations are striking. By choosing mediums that relate to the story, the artist offers a surprising variety of illustration techniques while still maintaining his own graphic style. Thus, an Asian story (The Paper Dragon) is told with carefully painted and cut tissue paper while a story about St. Valentine is envisioned as intricate paper mosaics.
A table in the center of the room offers paper, tools, and instructions so visitors can make their own simple pop ups.
The Art of Robert Sabuda is on display now through September 9. But, if you go before May 5 you can also see Bill Viola’s video installation, The Quintet of Remembrance. I’m guessing it will be a long time before we see another Bill Viola work in Salt Lake City.