Print & Exhibition Design  |  Freelance

Utah Pride Story Garden

Due to uncertainty about the COVID-19 forecast in early 2021, the Utah Pride Center (UPC) chose to forego its annual parade and festival and instead planned a uniquely-Utah exhibition known as the Utah Pride Story Garden. I was asked to lead the exhibition production team in creating 20 outdoor exhibits that would allow attendees to maintain distance while learning about the history and stories of Utah’s LGBTQ+ community.

My team researched, wrote, and designed over 250 original pieces for the exhibition. We curated an additional 600 elements, including informational panels, photo backdrops, artwork from local Queer creators, interactive pieces, and community resource displays.

Man standing in front of a large magazine cover background while a man wearing rainbow takes his photo.
Panel with an illustration of Charles Lynn Frost with their name in front of a rainbow flag. COllage of hundreds of illustrations each reduced to three colors.
Large panel hanging in the exhibit with the text 'LGBTQ+ around the WOrld' with a color-coded world map

Creative Process

The entire plan for this event was centered around being COVID-safe. To make this possible through design, I limited the text on each panel and included large and legible typography to ensure viewers could read them from a distance. This, along with limiting entry to the event for each fifteen-minute block, ensured that guests did not gather too close together and continued moving through the space.

While I incorporated UPC branding to unify the experience, each exhibit included a unique feel to match the theme. Some of the exhibits provided a creative challenge, such as the Kristen Ries Award Winners. Most of the source images were low-quality scans, some from several decades ago, so I created Warhol-inspired portraits to unify and scale the photos.

Group of four people posing for a photo in the exhibit while one of them holds a rainbow flag.
Panel with a newsprint background, images, and the text 'Unjust Pollicing' with an explanation beneath Panel with a grey background, images, and the text 'Global Acceptance Continues to Grow' with an explanation beneath Panel with a newsprint background, images, and the text 'Obergefell v. Hodges: Gay Marriage Legalized' with an explanation beneath
Two men holding each other standing on the exhibit grounds with rainbow flags behind them.

Additional Information

The individual themes of the exhibits were as follows:

  1. Utah Queer History
  2. Salt Lake is Burning
  3. Kristen Ries Award Winners
  4. Community Art & Entertainment (North)
  5. Community Stakeholders
  6. Remembering Stonewall
  7. Drag Queendom and Kingdom
  8. Utah Pride Center Zone (North)
  9. LGBTQ+ Around the World
  10. Transcending Gender
  11. Civil Rights Timeline
  12. Secret Sanctuary Garden
  13. Utah Pride Center Zone (South)
  14. Studio 54 Dance Party
  15. Retro Pop
  16. Community Partners
  17. Community Art & Entertainment (South)
  18. Tributes and Memorials
  19. Flying Our Flags
  20. Pride Rainbow

In addition, I created a playlist of Queer composers that played in the Community Art & Entertainment exhibits. That playlist, as well as a recap video, can be viewed below.

Creative Team

Special Thanks

Two women standing next to each other underneath hundreds of notecards. Man taking a selfie in front of a photo backdrop with a blue background and multicolor musical instruments.