SALT LAKE CITY — "Tolerance” is not your typical art exhibition. None of its work is for sale, all of it contains the same word (albeit in different languages) and when it comes to Salt Lake City, people can see it in 14 different venues around the city.
Produced by Mirko Ilić, an internationally acclaimed designer based out of New York City, "Tolerance" features designers from around the world who were willing to create their posters for free. Dallas Graham, the local producer, said despite being a talented designer himself, Ilić did not make any of the posters in the exhibition. "He's letting other people do it. It's kind of great," Graham said.
Ilić and Graham know each other through Graham's nonprofit publishing company Red Fred, for which Ilić consults. When Graham found out about "Tolerance," he suggested to the designer that he bring it to Salt Lake and Ilić agreed, with Graham organizing on this end.
"I sent a small call to action out and a number of people replied," Graham said. "It's so great to see so many organizations in Salt Lake that to me are showing that they're interested in continually helping shape this kind of soulful identity of the city, which is really rooted in compassion and understanding. It's great to see so many people interested in promoting that message."
All 112 posters will be displayed at the 14 different venues throughout the city, which include the Utah Museum of Fine Art, the Salt Lake City Public Library, Capitol Theatre and the Eccles Theatre. The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center will feature all of the posters through Feb. 28.
"Sort of a fun part of this was to allow each organization some flexibility as to which (posters) they wanted to feature," Graham said. "I presented it to them without knowing their spaces. … It was a really fun engagement to just let them wonder and think 'oh, how would we do this?'"
Letting each organization be flexible has lead to a variety of display types and 26 programs around tolerance. The UMFA selected more than 20 posters to display in a gallery. They will also host a series of hands-on art making and a public talk by Ilić on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
The library is projecting all 112 on the side of its building on Wednesday, Jan. 23, while Ririe Woodbury has asked a group of talented high school dancers to create a dance around the idea of tolerance. The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center is hosting a series of events including an art installation, a screen-printing experience and two cabaret nights. All these programs and more are free and open to the public.
"We want the public seeing them, to interact with them … they don't have to go to a gallery per se, Graham said. "It's just more of an accessible public art."
Graham said that for Ilić, posters were the right medium for this project. "It's about community and about civic awareness," he said. "This art form is about informing, as well as educating. It has a really direct link to graphic design and why civic-minded design matters. Our message being an image with words and how that can communicate or help better understanding."5 comments on this story
Although Graham could not pick a favorite among the posters, one that struck him was by Milton Glaser. The poster illustrates two hands reaching toward each other. Graham said it reminded him of Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam," which depicts Adam reaching to touch the finger of God.
"It's all about where we come to touch and what the connection is there. That's what tolerance is … two people meeting and coming to an understanding and then learning to touch."
If you go …
When: Jan. 17 - June 23
Where: Various locations throughout the city
How much: free