Beginning Sunday, Jan. 23, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will present a traveling exhibition of 64 prints, books and posters by leading 19th century French artists. Titled "Prints by the Nabis," it has been organized by The Brooklyn Museum and is being circulated by The American Federation of Arts.

Just over 100 years ago, several young art students from Paris' Academie Julian banded together and formed a group named "Nabis," the Hebrew word for prophet. Led by theorist Maurice-Denis, the group included Emile Bernard, Pierre Bonnard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Felix-Edouard Vallotton and Edouard Vuillard.These artists were inspired by Gauguin's symbolist theories; they were also influenced by the contemporary writings of Henri Bergson and Emanuel Swedenborg and the poetry of Stephane Mallarme.

They believed that a universal truth could be conveyed in a line, a color and a shape. Rather than using paint on canvas, however, they chose to explore and capture these truths through printmaking - a medium that encourages simplification and flattening of form and color. This mastery of color lithography is most apparent from the late 1890s, even though by that point, members of the group had grown apart.

The public is invited to an opening reception from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23. At 3 p.m., museum director E. Frank Sanguinetti will present a gallery talk about this exhibition.

- The Salt Lake Gallery Association will host its Gallery Stroll Night from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21. Eleven galleries will participate this month - Art Access, Hippodrome, Gallery 56, Dolores Chase Fine Art, LeftBank at Pierpont, Marble House, Phillips, Repartee (ZCMI Center), Salt Lake Art Center, Southam and Tivoli galleries. For current exhibits, look under GALLERIES on this page. Maps are available at participating galleries.

- Free youth art classes have been planned for Saturday, Jan. 22. Teaching the classes will be local artist Mike Trujillo. A class for youth grades 3-6 is set for 10-11:30 a.m.; and grades 7-12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information about location, etc. call Craig Trujillo, 359-9316. The classes are sponsored by the Centro Civico Mexicano.

- Lectures, workshops, classes and meetings:

Tuesday, Jan. 18 (2 p.m., Eccles Community Art Center, 2580 Jefferson Avenue, Ogden) - Free gallery talk by Dauna Seager on current exhibit "A Sampler of Utah Art 1850-1900."

Thursday, Jan. 20 (7:30 p.m., Art Space, 325 W. Pierpont) - Free talk and slide presentation with Dean Petaja, Kaitie Slater and Cordell Taylor. Sponsored by The Contemporary Arts Group.

Thursday, Jan. 20 (11 a.m. and 7 p.m., Study Gallery, BYU's Museum of Art) - Lecture on Etruscan legacy by Mark Johnson, associate professor of art history at BYU.

Sunday, Jan. 23 (3 p.m., Utah Museum of Fine Arts) - Gallery talk by museum director E. Frank Sanguinetti on opening exhibit "Prints by the Nabis: Vuillard and His Contemporaries."

Tuesday, Jan. 25 (2 p.m., Eccles Community Art Center, 2580 Jefferson Avenue, Ogden) - Gallery talk and demonstration on Navajo rug weaving by Elizabeth Marshall, independent weaver and educator.

Wednesday, Jan. 26 (3:30 p.m., NEH Museum of Art, Logan) - Lecture by Rose M. Milovich, associate curator of exhibit "Fourth Biennial Drawing Exhibition."

Thursday, Jan. 27 (8 p.m., Parry Choral Room, Val Browning Center, Weber State University, Ogden) - Lecture by Willie Ray Parish on his exhibit "No Justice."

Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28 and 29 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kimball Art Center) - Watercolor workshop by Jessie Lownes. Cost: $75. (She will also teach two other watercolor workshops on Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 25-26.) For details or to register, call 649-8882 at KAC.

- Richard P. Christenson