MAIN GALLERY: JAN 25 – MAY 25, 2019
OPENING RECEPTION: JAN 25
The suburban proliferation in the United States occurred during the years following World War II. Returning soldiers sought affordable housing for their sprouting families and the new neighborhoods just on the outskirts of major cities provided what they needed along with the promise of a better life. These properties were sizable compared to the small apartments available in the nearby urban center. Improved automobiles, better roads, and updated public transportation systems provided reliable commuting options for Suburbanites. Schools, hospitals, malls, and restaurants popped up, creating little need for residents to go downtown.
Being miles outside of the city limits also gave the communities a feeling of innocence, safety, and security. While this was appealing to those moving to the suburbs, it also created a divide. The suburbs lacked the social, racial, and economic diversity found in urban centers.
With the current trend of suburban residents moving to larger cities, what will become of the aging suburbs? Are rising housing prices forcing urban residents out of the cities? Will they move to the suburbs, buying into the ideas that initially drew the families of the 1950’s?
The artists in Shady Acres use the suburbs not only as a place to examine and critique but also as the subject matter for the production of work related to growing up/ living in the suburbs. This allows the artists to explore their complicated relationship to a place or idea that has helped to shape who they are and their understanding of the world around them.
Val Antczak & Barbara Polich
Utah Department of Heritage & Arts