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Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970.

Smithson’s Spiral Jetty May Soon Be Utah’s Official State Work of Art

Robert Smithson’s famous earthwork the Spiral Jetty—a 1,500-feet-long, fifteen-feet-wide coil that juts out on the shore of the Great Salt Lake—may soon be officially made a Utah state symbol, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The proposed bill is sponsored by Republican North Salt Lake representative Becky Edwards, who said it is “an opportunity for us as a state to do a little bragging.”

The bill advances after the results of a vote by the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee held on Tuesday, February 2, were 7-1 in favor of honoring the 1970 basalt work.

The only person in opposition was Timothy Hawkes, Republican representative of Centerville. He declared that there are other, more appropriate, ways to honor the sculpture.

The Dia Art Foundation, which owns the work—it was donated by the artist’s estate in 1999—is thrilled that Utah want to honor it. Director Jessica Morgan said Spiral Jetty represents Dia’s commitment to supporting projects of extraordinary ambition. “We are honored that Utah is considering designating Spiral Jetty as the state’s work of art and delighted that the artwork will be known and understood by a wider public,” Morgan told artforum.com.

Students at American Fork High School and Utah Valley University were among the first to propose elevating the work to state emblem: a status it may soon share with the elk, sea gull, and sego lily.

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