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Utah's "premier" arts event - the annual Utah Arts Festival - will have several individual premieres throughout its five-day run June 23-27 at the Triad Center.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see, hear and taste - possibly for the first time - new artworks by up-and-coming Utah artists, a new musical composition, the debut of a theatrical work and such varied concessions as Jamaican-style alligator meat, Cajun chicken and German sugar-roasted almonds. (Deseret News Dining Out columnist Al Church's overview of the food booths can be found on Page W3.)One major work debuting at the 1993 festival will be local composer Ann S. Hankinson's "Earth Songs," which marks the third consecutive year that the UAF and the US WEST Foundation have jointly commissioned a new orchestral piece especially for the festival. This will be performed by the Utah Symphony at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, on the amphitheater stage.

Another work premiering at the festival is Kate Duffy's "America Dispossessed," vignettes of original "street poetry" presented as a theatrical piece by an ensemble of actors and street musicians. It's scheduled to be performed on Wednesday, June 23, and Friday, June 25, at 9 p.m.; and Saturday, June 26, at 4 p.m., on a stage in the north corner of the Delta Center lobby area.

Down the concourse, in the west corner of the Delta Center, models of the four entries in the 1993 "Art in Public Places" project will be on display. Those attending the festival will have an opportunity to cast their ballot for which one of the four they would like to see commissioned as a full-size piece of public art to be placed on permanent exhibit somewhere in the city.

Other festival activities will include a broad range of visual, literary and performing arts - the "Hidden Treasures" exhibit of fine art inside the Union Pacific Depot, food concessions, "mini" performances by many of the city's best known arts troupes, the ever-popular Children's Art Yard and entertainment on four different stages.

For a complete list of times and locations for performing artists, consult the calendar on Page W3.

In its 17 years, from fairly simple "street fair" beginnings on a cordoned-off Main Street in 1977 until its move to the Triad Center, the Utah Arts Festival has grown into a colorful celebration that attracts more than 75,000 visitors during its five-day run.

Here's a brief, overall view of what visitors can expect at the 1993 Utah Arts Festival:

- "AMERICA DISPOSSESSED" is described by author Kate Duffy as "an anthology of poetry which chronicles the voices of the homeless."

Wilton Koernig will direct the work, which transforms Duffy's 27 poems into a theatrical piece, not just a poetry reading.

"Some homeless people are simply drifters with no desire to succeed at life," says Duffy, "but many of the people whom we see on the street are just ordinary people who have fallen on extraordinary circumstances. There may not be much difference between us and a homeless person. All people are fragile. We can be employed today and unemployed tomorrow. Life in our society can turn on a dime."

The cast includes a mix of local professional and student actors: L. Flint Esquerra, Monica Moench, Steve Phillips, Lynn Peterson, Maria Ramirez (recipient of the 1993 Victor Jory Scholarship Award through the University of Utah's actors' training program), and Maribeth Thueson and musicians Christine Turner and Jonathan Sizemore.

"Poetry theater" is not a new concept.

"The Greeks performed ritual prayers and stories as poetry," notes Koernig, "and in the Elizabethan period, Shakespearean theater included sonnets and plays. Poetry in theater has actually been around much longer than the `well-made' play."

Duffy hopes her new piece will create an awareness.

"As a society, we have drifted so far from community. My hope is that, as poetry theater, `America Dispossessed' can help us to remember to be a little more kind to one another; to understand that we're all human beings and sometimes the world can be a cold andfrightening place."

- MUSIC AND DANCE headliners, performing on the Plaza and Amphitheater stages, represent a colorful diversity of international talent.

- Back Porch Blues (June 23, 8:30 p.m., Plaza Stage) presents an appealing blend of traditional and contemporary down-home acoustic blues.

- Tish Hinojosa (June 23, 10 p.m., Plaza), with her Mexican-American background, performs a mix of honky-tonk, folk and Western swing.

- The Mighty Clouds of Joy (June 25, 10 p.m., Plaza), under the direction of Joe Ligon, have brought the uplifting sounds of gospel into the mainstream. The most recent of their 25 albums is "Pray for Me."

- Zvi Gotheiner and Dancers (June 26, 10:30 p.m., Amphitheater Stage) have been described by one critic as "a feast for the eyes, overflowing with emotional tides, striking clarity and passionate movement." A native of Israel, Gotheiner began his performance career in Tel Aviv and later trained with Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey before founding his first dance company 11 years ago.

- VINX (June 26, 10 p.m., Plaza), who has toured with Rickie Lee Jones and Sting and recorded with Quincy Jones, describes his rock style as "prehistoric pop." His latest album is "I Love My Job," and his debut recording was "Rooms In My Fatha's House."

- Ranch Romance (June 27, 8:30 p.m., Plaza) is a quintet that delivers what it terms "regressive country" - a mix of country and jazz. The most recent of its two albums is "Blue Blazes."

- "HIDDEN TREASURES" is the theme for Exhibit '93, showcasing the works of more than 20 of Utah's finest (but not yet "famous") visual artists.

The festival's sixth annual art exhibit will be open from noon to 11 p.m. all five days in the Union Pacific Depot (except for a two-hour, by-invitation-only event formally opening the festival between 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday).

Featuring works in a variety of disciplines - sculpture, paintings, photography, ceramics, drawings and others - exhibitors include Trent Alvey, Stephen Bartholomew, Dale Bryner, Ann Cardon, Susan Cheal, Helene Elbein, Craig Glidden, Zach Hadlock, Susan Hilliard, Tai Loc Hungh, Ray Jonas, John Laughlin, James McBeth, Amie McNeal, Layne Meecham, Sara Northerner, Andi Nufer, Jody Plant, Betsy Quintana, Janet Shapero and Suzanne Simpson.

- THE MARKETPLACE, a blocklong cluster of 66 artisans' booths, will take care of the needs of those festivalgoers who suffer from the "shop-till-you-drop" syndrome.

The 300 West block of South Temple will be closed to vehicular traffic, permitting the army of festival pedestrians to browse and shop through the booths at will.

Pastels from New Mexico, handmade flutes from Arizona, beaded accessories from Colorado, ceramics from Kansas, original serigraphs from Mill Valley, Calif., handcrafted toys from Indiana, jewelry from Washington, abstract paintings from South Dakota, kiln-fired glass from Montana and plexiglass images from Florida, will compete with hand-bound books, soft-sculpture creatures, contemporary jewelry, clay planters, silk paintings and Hmong needlework from Utah.

And this is just scratching the surface.

- THEATER, DANCE AND MUSIC by several groups and individuals, many of them among the most renowned in the region, will also add to the excitement.

Salt Lake Acting Company, Theatre-Works West, the Heliotrope Saxophone Quartet, the Another Language troupe, Jerry Floor's Big Band, the Intermountain Brass Quintet and the Maud May Babcock Reading Arts Society will perform on several stages throughout the area.

Others include Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, the Salt Lake Good Time Jazz Band, the Saliva Sisters, Bluegrass Conspiracy, Judd Grossman, the Tully Cathey Band, the Tempo Timers, the Utah Opera "Dreamkeepers," Salt Lake Vocal Ensemble, Kinetic Cafe, Children's Dance Theatre, Orquestra Pachanga, Yankee Clipper, Soul Latino, the Utah All-State Jazz Band, the Utah Travelers Gospel Singers, the Todd Woodbury/Tully Cathey Guitar Duo, the Underpaid Professors, Wasatch, Keni Yarbro & Kid Logic Band, Bryan Butts and the Convertibles, Kairo by Night, Kismet, an ensemble from the Utah Musical Theatre and the winner from the Junior Gina Bauchauer competition.

- THE "ART IN PUBLIC PLACES" competition will permit festivalgoers to vote on their choice of four proposed art pieces to be commissioned and permanently installed in Salt Lake City.

The four competing artists and their projects, models of which will be on display in the west atrium of the Delta Center, are:

- Kenvin Lyman's "Chromonobulus," a monolithic light needle he proposes to mount on the roof of the Capitol Theatre. A beam of light would indicate which resident arts company was in performance.

- Bonnie Sucec's sculpture of a tall walking figure with the head of a horse and stilt legs. She proposes the bronze figure be installed on the sidewalk in front of the north end of Crossroads Plaza's Main Street entrance.

- Frank Nackos' proposed sculpture, envisioned for the median strip between Salt Lake Art Center and Crossroads Plaza, is a 20-foot painted steel structure consisting of two pillars holding a graceful, fanlike formation.

- Collaborators Jeff Juhlin and Robert Desmond's project, also proposed for the West Temple median strip in front of the Salt Lake Art Center, uses polished black granite, etched copper, concrete and neon to suggest the surrounding Utah landscape and the Wasatch Fault.

The exhibit (and voting) will be open from noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The competing artists will lecture on their works on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Delta Center (west corner of the main level concourse).

- ONE DOZEN STREET PERFORMERS will be strolling throughout the festival grounds. No specific times or locations. You just have to be in the right place at the right time to catch the talent of . . .

. . . juggler Michael Beverly, Ballet Folklorico Peru, The Cut (two Utah natives from Southern California who perform original contemporary sounds on guitar and bongos), the International Folk Ballet, Kismet (Utah's own celebrated Middle Eastern dance ensemble - who will encourage audience participation) and the Mexican Fiesta Dancers.

Also Morning Star and its Native American dances of past and present; the New World Mummers, performing a combination of music on penny whistles and Celtic drums, dance and comic verse; Roberto de Praga, who performs music of Eastern Europe on guitar and harmonica; the Tex-Mex sounds of Rio Bravo, the colorful excitement of the Salt Lake Scots, and Tribal Rhythms, a local ensemble performing music of Africa and Latin America.

- THE CHILDREN'S ART YARD, always one of the most popular activities at the festival, will take children (and even uninhibited adults) into the creative world of Coolsville - a vision of our city 100 years in the future.

Coordinator Kenton Peters invites citizens of all ages to help build, paint, dance, sing and write about their futuristic city.

Other art yard activities will include face painting, storytelling and mural and mosaic projects.

- ONE STAGE, situated on 400 West between the west end of the artists' marketplace and Union Pacific Depot, will be used for Demonstrating Artists' Exhibits, some of which will even provide a hands-on experience for festivalgoers in some artistic media.

These include:

- The ongoing, collaborative Quilt Project, 1-3 p.m. all five days of the festival. Quilt artists Jeff Shurtliff, Martha Klein Haley, Danna Jacques and Jim Wendell Perkins will use a diverse range of textile processes to produce a "festival quilt."

- Elaine S. Harding's "Social Action Art." Assisted by youngsters from Lincoln Elementary School's "Kids Against Violence" art project, Harding will develop a theme and different images to be painted on a 10-foot pillar with a 25-inch diameter.

- Camilla Mower Lytle and the Salt Lake Spinsters, who will use spinning wheels to transform wool and other fibers into beautiful yarn.

- Art therapist Emily Cannon, who will demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of an art encounter.

Also Mark Johnson and his handmade drums, K. Rasmussen's ceramics, the portraiture of John Erickson, silk painter Roberta Glidden, mixed media artist Darin Biniaz and hand/finger puppets created by Sally Merring Reiss.