By Lydia Velazquez
The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art will be hosting the latest installment of its Museum and Music series, “Avant Folk: Reimagining the West in Art and Music,” Thursday at 7 p.m..
The event will start with a brief presentation by Professor Christopher Scheer, a musicology professor at Utah State and the curator of the Museum and Music series, about the connection between specific pieces of art on display and Avant Folk, a genre that draws inspiration from country and jazz music. There will be a brief intermission during the Lone Prairie Band’s set to allow for attendees to look at the artwork with a new frame of mind.
“We can get people into the museum that may not otherwise come into the museum,” said Kati Lee-Koven, NEHMA’s director, about the importance of events like Museum and Music that bridge understandings. “This gives them the opportunity to learn about both or one or the other, the possible connections we can make between them.”
The Museum and Music series, where live music that connects with the current exhibit is performed, began in 2014 at the same time that Lee-Koven became NEHMA’s director. It all started with “Enchanted Modernities: Mysticism, Landscape & the American West,” the first event at the museum that had a musical component to it. The musical aspect was organized by, then curator, Professor Scheer. Lee-Koven shortly after approached Scheer and asked him to be the curator for a series of concerts that could connect music to art exhibitions.
“Our Avant Folk event is a great example of the way the Museum and Music series invites people to connect with the same idea through different mediums,” said Kat Taylor, the public relations and marketing coordinator for the museum. “Combining old cowboy tunes with jazz music isn’t too different from what we do here at NEHMA. Both are ways to reframe our ideas about the West in a new context, inviting our audience to reach their own conclusions about the art and culture that has shaped the history of the American West.”