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Honors students host event to celebrate importance of Red Butte Creek.

Honors students host event to celebrate importance of Red Butte Creek.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Apr. 14, 2017 – The University of Utah’s Art, Action, and the Environment Honors course will raise awareness about the Red Butte Creek, an important and largely unknown watershed that runs through campus. Their project consists of an exhibition on the first floor of the ART Building displaying personal, open letters written to U students by the class about the impact of the University on the creek, followed by a community-engaged art project at Marriott Library Plaza on April 25, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. The exhibition will be open to the public April 18 through April 25.

“Awareness about the importance of watersheds in Utah is increasing, but this local watershed is relatively unknown,” said Taylor Colton, a communications student in the class. “We want students to understand that their actions have an impact on this creek.”

The goal of the letter exhibit is to show the students’ personal connection to the creek in order to foster a similar connection within other U students. Each student in the class is writing 10 personal letters; all 130 letters will be hung in the ART Building in a major thoroughfare. In the days preceding the event, copies of these letters will be distributed to other students.

The letters will also invite students to participate in the public art event held on April 25, where more letters will be distributed, and an interactive art piece that will inform students about the Red Butte Creek and encourage them to explore their connection to it and to clean water more broadly.

The piece will be a 100-foot chalkboard in the shape of a river with questions to prompt students to think about how they impact the creek and how the creek has impacted them. Students are invited to participate and enjoy free food.

The students in Art, Action and the Environment, taught by assistant professor of sculpture intermedia, Wendy Wischer, collaborated to design and implement this capstone project, funded by the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF). Art, Action and the Environment is offered through the Honors College at the U. As part of the class, students explore the way art can be used to engage the public in environmental concerns. The students come from different disciplines across campus, including David Eccles School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities, and the College of Social and Behavioral Science.

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