This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Art in the public square is not a modern concept. It's been around for centuries, of course, long before it was called "public art." But art as an instrument of communicating story and heritage is something of a bygone era. If it weren't, the word "cantastoria," to sing history or story, might be more common a word.

"Cantastoria," the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art's new exhibit of works transmitting unique aspects and themes of nations and cultures, attempts to recapture the old ways art kept societies vital in visual language.

"This theme envelops the basic desire for kinship between peoples and the methods by which we hold on to our histories," said Aaron Moulton, senior curator of exhibitions at UMOCA. "The exhibition analyzes the museum's primary function as a storyteller of culture while the artworks poetically decode our diaristic instincts and weaknesses."

The late Bob Moss gets a nod, and a local angle on the offerings, with the exhibit of his one-of-a-kind works in homage to Brigham Young's Deseret alphabet. Other artists include Ignasi Aballi of Spain, Aram Bartholl of Germany, Aleksandra Domanovic of Slovenia and Omer Fast of Israel, among many others.

A far cry from the usual "stand and stare" art exhibit you might expect, this exhibit represents a unique angle on art's purpose and vision as an integral part of culture and society. UMOCA will host an opening reception for "Cantastoria" artists June 15, 7-9 p.m., with a curatorial lead gallery talk beginning at 7 p.m.

Twitter:@Artsalt —


When • June 5-Sept. 15, with opening reception for the artists June 15, 7-9 p.m. Curatorial lead gallery talk begins 7 p.m. Museum hours are Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Where • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City.

Info • Free. Call 801-328-4201 or visit