Basil's gift shop is currently sponsoring and displaying an exhibit of bookmarks by 27 professional and amateur artists from Utah.

Some of the artists who are participating in the competition are Karen Christensen, Joan Reynolds-Cowles, Lori Matsukawa and Mark Pearson.Robert Olpin, dean of the College of Fine Arts, was invited to judge the show and select the best of show. His choice? Ann Argyle's colorful "Utah Flowers."

Four other awards are yet to be given. And Basil's owner Brent Evans invites you to stop by and vote for your favorite bookmark. Winners will be announced on Saturday, March 30 - the last day of the exhibit.

Basil's is located on the third level (east concourse) of Crossroads Plaza.

- Although sales at art auction houses continue to be sluggish, there's still a lot of action when it comes to fakes and thefts.

Pieces of "Tudor" jewelry, thought to have once belonged to Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, have been exposed as fakes. The jewels went on display last month at the International Silver and Jewelry Fair in London. The fair organizer decided to place these fakes next to authentic jewelry from the 16th-century queens so viewers can compare them with the real thing.

Meanwhile, Bill and Kathy Brewer continue to manufacture Indian artifacts that would fool many collectors. But they carefully point out to every buyer that the objects are fake. When Kevin Costner strove for authenticity in his film "Dances With Wolves," he ordered $15,000 worth of weapons from the Brewers. After the film's producers saw how authentic the work looked, they requested more and more props. Before the shooting had finished, the couple had provided more than 200 props for the film.

Last November, thieves drove off with paintings worth more that $5 million after the truck driver who was transporting Old Master paintings left the ignition keys on the dashboard while he stopped at a bar in the center of Paris. The truck contained 50 canvases by Watteau, Fragonard and Rubens and others from Flemish, Dutch and French schools.

On March 13, a Renoir painting, valued at more that $1 million was stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Bagnols-sur-Ceze in southern France. Titled "Young Women in the Countryside," it was painted in 1906. A museum employee said that the painting apparently was stolen by a man who visited the museum during the morning and returned later in the day. He cut the painting from its frame and walked away with it hidden in his coat.

In 1972, thieves stole 15 impressionist and post-impressionist works from this museum. They have never been recovered.

On a brighter note, the landscape painting "Lake Lucerne" by American artist Albert Bierstadt recently was discovered in a farmhouse in Rhode Island. The artist painted this large 6 feet by 10 feet oil in 1858. But art experts lost track of it after it was sold in Boston 24 years later. When the painting resurfaced a few months ago, it caught the attention of art collectors Linda Ferber and Nancy Anderson. They immediately notified the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., which purchased the painting for $500,000.

- The Bountiful/Davis Art Center will offer eight art classes this spring. They include oil painting taught by Norma Forsberg, an open studio figure drawing class, and three watercolor classes taught by Jan Richins, Karen Christensen and Rose Ann Peterson. Richins will also teach a drawing/watercolor class for intermediate and high school students. Children ages 8-12 can sign up for a drawing/watercolor class taught by Ruth Hewlett.

Spring term begins the week of April 1 and run through May 23. Anyone interested is encouraged to register before April 1. Call 292-0367 for a complete schedule of classes and fees.

- Lectures, workshops, classes.

Wednesday, March 27, noon, Salt Lake Art Center - Art-lunch tour of exhibition "A Dozen & One Utah Furniture Makers" by Michael Iannone.

Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m., Collett Art Gallery, Weber State University - Lecture by visiting artist Mary Ann Bonjorni.

Wednesday, April 3, noon, Salt Lake Art Center - Art-lunch tour by Jill Tucker. Topic: "Documenting the Permanent Collection."

Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m., Salt Lake Art Center. "The Mechanical Paradise," the first of the eight-part film series "Shock of the New." Other segments will follow on every Thursday evening through May 23.

Wednesday, April 10, Art-lunch tour by David W. Pursley. Topic: "Creation of an Installation."

Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m. Salt Lake Art Center, "The Shapes of Dissent, Dadaism" second of the eight-part series "Shock of the New."

- By Richard P. Christenson