Craft Lake City Announces New Celebration of the Hand Exhibition: Safe Not Safe

Craft Lake City

Craft Lake City’s powerful new exhibition Celebration of the Hand: Safe Not Safe was conceived by Denae Shanidiin with photographs by Jonathan Canlas

On view from Nov. 1, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022, Safe Not Safe is an ongoing project exploring Utah’s BIPOC community and their experiences living here. Individuals were asked to present themselves in a space where they felt the safest as well as a space where they did not feel “safe”. They were then photographed in each place and asked to reveal their thoughts and feelings on each location. 

Craft Lake City’s Celebration Of The Hand: Safe Not Safe exhibition features eight works from the ongoing series from Shanidiin and Canlas.

“As BIPOC & 2SLGBTQIA Relatives we acknowledge and celebrate our resilience within a world that actively harms us,” says Shanidiin. “These are true accounts of hatred, sexual assault and abuse experienced. Honoring survivors and the actuality of what it is like for BIPOC & 2SLGBTQIA existing within spaces of white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, homophobia, classism, misogyny, xenophobia and domestic violence is important in creating safety and healing.”

Craft Lake City’s Celebration of the Hand project is a seasonal outdoor exhibition with an initiative to enhance and reflect Salt Lake City’s cultural district through the work of Utah-based artists. Celebration of the Hand is displayed in large 4 ‘ X 8 ‘ frames adjacent to the sidewalks along Broadway (300 South) between 200 West and West Temple, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week free of charge.

“Through Celebration of the Hand, Craft Lake City seeks to democratize art by providing public access to bodies of artistic work by making them accessible at any time of the day or week for no cost,” says Angela H. Brown, executive director of Craft Lake City. “It’s important for artistic bodies of work like Safe Not Safe to have accessible representation on the streets of downtown Salt Lake City.”

The public will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual discussion about Safe Not Safe on noon  Wed., Nov. 10. Craft Lake City will host a free virtual Lunch & Learn lead by, Kaneischa Johnson, an inclusive leadership and culture advocate This online event is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and ask questions about the new public art exhibition in downtown Salt Lake City.

Celebration of the Hand: Safe Not Safe is supported in part by the National Endowment for the ArtsThe Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) ProgramThe Utah Division of Arts & MuseumsThe Temporary Museum of Permanent Change, the Salt Lake City Arts Council, the Center for the Living City, and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.