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UMOCA Gala | All in the Past

  • June 16, 2016



    Oh, 1931. T’was a time of camaraderie, hard work realized, live auction, and plenty of hooch. We’re talking, naturally, about the annual UMOCA Gala–themed 1931 this year–where the masses showed up togged to the bricks (good…they looked good, y’all) and ready to get into a real ring-a-ding-ding (ahem…a party). We had ourselves a little pre-gala gathering (in an era-appropriate setting, of course), and hailed a tin can to The Fallout, which felt like a time capsule of a venue for the perfect event and theme. Brick walls, exposed rafters, and a toasty summer eve that required that everyone fan themselves with the nearest pamphlet. It was all as perfectly 1931 as it sounds.

    Fedoras, double-breasted overcoats, finger waves, and furs were the order of the evening, and we’ll just say again…folks delivered. The Joe McQueen Quartet ragged on stage, wine and booze were poured with generous hearts, and the meatloaf. Ooohh, the meatloaf. In true 1931 fashion, a canary was swinging in the catbird seat alongside the band while the silent auction racked up bids on one-of-a-kind works of art (by this guy, for one). In truth, the 30s made for an absolutely apropro theme: yes, it was a decade fraught with uncertainty brought on by the Depression, drought, and Prohibition. But it was also the year that the Art Barn opened in Salt Lake City. Eventually, said Art Barn became the Salt Lake Arts Center…and ultimately, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. All told, a perfect evening to toast beginnings and legal booze, artistic creativity and clam-bakes worth throwing some money at. Last year, we gladly sang, “God Save the UMOCA,” and the sentiment hasn’t changed. We’ll always be keen on this team, and the gala is well worth a checker or two to keep the arts alive. Abyssinia soon.

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