Art in the time of COVID has both challenges and opportunities.

Our newest exhibition, Lawn Gnomes 2020, calls on artists, neighbors, makers, and thinkers of all kinds to transform their neighborhoods by installing their own public sculpture! While we’ve launched this project with 7 artists to start, the hope is that others will join in and add to the growing exhibition.

Make work! Join the movement! And mark the space by:

  • Using a custom UMOCA Lawn Gnomes yard sign (delivered safely to your door);
  • Share in the movement by using #lawngnomes2020 #umoca #utahmoca on social media;
  • and share your address as part of a collective map of this ever-growing urban gallery.

The main idea is to think outside of the gallery walls, expand the role of the artist, and to call upon everyone in the community to innovate and reimagine lawns as both private and public spaces. While we stay home, stay safe, and social distance, we can still continue to create and to think about new ways to engage our city and our neighbors.

This project draws on a 2011 UMOCA exhibition called Lawn Gnomes: Eat Your Hearts Own, organized by visiting curator Micol Hebron.

In the description of the show, Hebron wrote,

There are many unsung heroes of public art right here in Salt Lake City—and we’d like to give you a chance to shine.

The front lawn is a private plot of land that is publicly visible, and functions in urban and suburban society as an important signifier of taste, individualism and community. Lawns are a teeny slice of utopia: they can proclaim your political position, your ecological philosophy, your domestic ideal!

Let your lawn be your canvas and be creative in your use of materials! Your contribution can be anything… You can build a sculpture, a garden, a flower-painting, a landscape, a fantasyland—we don’t want the fun to stay inside our galleries!

While this time is full of change, loss, deep worry, and uncertainty, it doesn’t have to be art free! JOIN THE MOVEMENT! MAKE WORK TODAY!


For a list of exact locations where Lawn Gnomes 2020 works can be viewed, please e-mail


Participating Artists: