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Earth Maps

Art Reception

2019-11-20 19:00:00 2019-11-20 20:30:00 America/Denver Earth Maps Main Library 210 East 400 South Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Wednesday, November 20
7:00pm - 8:30pm

Add to Calendar 2019-11-20 19:00:00 2019-11-20 20:30:00 America/Denver Earth Maps Artwork by Jim Frazer · Exhibit runs from Nov 17 - Dec 27 Main Library 210 East 400 South Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Main Library

Lower Urban Room

Artwork by Jim Frazer · Exhibit runs from Nov 17 - Dec 27


I’m interested in the linear patterns that can be extracted from natural objects and in the meanings that they can be imagined to have. These works begin with ordinary photographs. To obtain just the linear essence of the thing I trace the forms digitally. I propose that this process of simplifying what is being considered literally draws out information, which though present in the photograph, is not obvious. It encourages contemplation of the form rather than the object it was obtained from.

When we see an outline, we may not know its source or meaning. In trying to understand the outline’s significance, we may refer to the object it came from, or we may assign an arbitrary and personal connotation based on what the shapes remind us of, or call to our mind.

The idea of reducing an object, or its representation, to its lineaments or linear components is one that is used scientifically to extract information from images. For instance, in geology, aerial photographs are analyzed mathematically to reveal the locations of fault lines in the landscape. So, objects (such as mountains) exist in an ordinary way, but they also carry information which is not at first obvious but which can be abstracted by tracing their linear forms. This information is carried as if in another layer above, or beside, the object itself. In the case of conventional science, the information (such as the location of fault lines) occurs in fact. We use such rational processes to seek explanations for why things are the way they are.

There is, however, another desire in us that is in tension with the desire for explanation – the desire for mystery. We want to explore that which we know little about, and though we say we’re looking for answers, we love the feeling of being on the edge of the unknown. Imagination is the tool we use to see into what we haven’t yet discovered.

With this work, then, I’m presenting an open-ended synthesis of information and imagination. A technique based in science is used to derive linear forms. These forms are presented in a format that encourages the viewer to engage both thought and imagination. The hope is that the viewer will carry these impressions and imaginings with them to their experience of the details they encounter in their world of ordinary objects and occurrences.


Jim Frazer originally trained as a photographer, receiving his graduate degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta. With colleagues from Georgia State, he helped to start Nexus, a non-profit photography gallery that later became The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. He was the first photographer to have a solo exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, and his hand-colored photographs of Southern landscapes were widely collected and exhibited both regionally and nationally. After moving to Salt Lake City in 1999, he branched out from photography to a diverse practice that focuses on mixed media works and collaborative installations. His newest work, though not appearing photographic at first glance, is nevertheless photo based, deriving from images of details taken from the natural world. The smaller versions of the Maps seen here were exhibited previously at the the Dalton Gallery in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This is the first exhibition of the larger wall pieces.

AGE GROUP:   All Ages  

EVENT TYPE:   Arts & Creativity  

TAGS:   Art Reception  

Main Library

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About the library

NOTE: The Main Library's Rooftop Terrace is closed through 2020 for repairs and renovations.

Salt Lake City's Main Library, designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie in conjunction with VCBO Architecture, opened in February 2003 and remains one of the most architecturally unique structures in Utah. This striking 240,000 square-foot structure houses more than 500,000 books and other materials, yet serves as more than just a repository of books and computers. It reflects and engages the city's imagination and aspirations. The structure embraces a public plaza, with shops and services at ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat auditorium.

A multi-level reading area along the Glass Lens at the southern facade of the building looks out onto the plaza with stunning views of the city and Wasatch Mountains beyond. Spiraling fireplaces on four floors resemble a column of flame from the vantage of 200 East and 400 South. The Urban Room between the Library and the Crescent Wall is a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight and open to magnificent views.

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