Gift of the Arts

The Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) is an integral part of the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts which also includes the theaters for Utah Shakespeare Festival. This recent addition to SUU’s campus is dedicated to engaging SUU students and local community members in the arts that so heavily surround Cedar City.

In addition to its revolving exhibits, the museum keeps several permanent exhibits, including the works of the late Jimmie Jones, who spent years painting the breathtaking natural landscape of southern Utah. In fact, it is thanks to his very generous contribution to SUU that the dream of building the museum became a reality. It was his vision, generosity and dedication to Southern Utah that allowed the museum to be built here on campus two years ago.

Jones gifted the university his final 14 paintings along with the copyrights to his work. He also donated his $1.5 million Rockville home and studio on four acres with a view of Zion Canyon. It was this gift that assisted the school in funding the construction of the museum.

Following in the tradition of Jones’ work, the museum is known for its commitment to celebrating the natural wonders of the world by displaying the works of regional artists and natural landscapes from emerging artists across the country. Additionally, as a part of the public university, the museum often showcases art from the talented students and professors of SUU’s Art and Design program, such as the annual BFA exhibit in the spring.

The current featured exhibit, which will open Oct. 13 and run through Dec. 29, is Encounter Korea. This exhibit features up-and-coming Korean and Korean-American artists and showcases their unique voice in the international art world. The contemporary Korean art scene reflects the country’s traditional history and merges it with the modern world’s interest in technology. These collaborating artists are based in Los Angeles and South Korea and are a part of the LA Arts Council.

The museum also hosts a series of community-minded events such as bi-weekly yoga classes, family days and playdates complete with activities to keep children young and old entertained.

All exhibits, activities and events hosted by the museum are always free and open to the public.

The museum will be closed from Oct. 1 – 12 to rotate the featured gallery. On Oct. 13, the day of the museum reopening, they will be holding a family day from 2-4pm. This event, along with the Create Playdate held on Halloween, is geared toward families with young children. Other events held in October include free yoga classes on Oct. 15 and 29.

In November there will be more events such as a musical show on Nov. 2 at noon and the Day of the Dead Celebration that same night from 5:30 – 8:30pm. This event is held in celebration of the Hispanic holiday on the last day of the traditional celebration.


For a full schedule of events, visit SUMA Events Schedule.

Story by: Alexis J. Taylor
Photo by: Alexis J. Taylor