New public art piece in the Marmalade District is sparking conversation

Jan 5, 2024, 8:05 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A new 18-foot art piece in Salt Lake City has people talking.

In the city’s Marmalade District, next to the library on the corner of 500 North and 300 West, is a bronze sculpture of an apricot that has been a long time in the making.

The artist, Day Christensen, was commissioned by the Salt Lake City Arts Council Public Art Program to make a piece that paid tribute to the area where it would be installed.

“It’s interesting to look at each neighborhood and see what’s appropriate,” he said.

He started the creation about seven years ago.

“I sculpted a small size model of the apricot with the leaf on it, and then from that, we built a large form that I put clay on to do the final sculpting,” Christensen said. “The foundry created a mold of the entire piece, which they then made waxes from, which they then made shell castings to pour the bronze. And that’s all done in smaller pieces… then it all had to be welded back together. The final step was to do the patina, the coloring of it.”

The apricot statue on the corner of 500 North and 300 West.

The apricot statue being placed on the corner of 500 North and 300 West. (KSL TV, Shelby Lofton)

The city’s public art program manager, Renato Olmedo-Gonzalez, said the piece will serve as a welcome into a new plaza, currently under construction, at the center of the Marmalade District.

“Adding art is a way to not only beautify our spaces, but also give them an additional layer of meaning,” Olmedo-Gonzalez said.

Christensen did research on the neighborhood to figure out his design.

“The first residents had a lot of fruit trees because their homes were on the hillside and they ended up making marmalade from that and would bring it down to the highway and sell the fruit there,” he said.

It’s a slice of history many people don’t know about. Olmedo-Gonzalez said the attention-getting sculpture is encouraging people to look into its context and understand more about the area.

“We consider a piece of public art successful when it starts igniting these conversations,” he said.

The apricot statue on the corner of 500 North and 300 West. (KSL TV, Shelby Lofton) The apricot statue on the corner of 500 North and 300 West. (KSL TV, Shelby Lofton)

The bronze fruit represents recent growth in the historic neighborhood.

“It’s an area that’s rapidly changing, there’s more places to eat, restaurants, businesses,” Olmedo-Gonzalez said.

The artist said he hopes the public enjoys the fruits of his labor, even if they think it resembles another fruit.

“Often, they think it’s a peach,” he said. “It’s not a big issue for me one way or the other.”

The plaza where it sits is expected to be completed in the spring. Olmedo-Gonzalez said the area will be a new greenspace with outdoor seating. He said the piece would be officially inaugurated then.

The installation was funded by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Art Design Board.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Singer and Actress Kristin Chenoweth, right, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell perform during RootsTech at...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

RootsTech: A ‘wicked’ Broadway finale, plus message from late church Apostle M. Russell Ballard

On the final day of the RootsTech 2024 conference, attendees braved a windstorm to listen to Broadway actor Kristin Chenoweth speak about faith, family and her experience as an adopted child.

2 hours ago

Show in Smithfield...

Mary Culbertson

Winter storm alert still active for central and northern Utah, caution advised

Utah saw the forces of dangerous winds on Saturday, but meteorologists say the caution should continue into Sunday.

2 hours ago

lights on top of a police vehicle in the dark...

Mary Culbertson

1 teen critical after gun fired in McDonald’s parking lot

One teenager is in critical condition after a gun went off inside a car, hitting the teen.

5 hours ago

Nikki Haley joins Sunday Edition to share her vision and values, principles and policies with the v...


Sunday Edition: Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley joins Sunday Edition to share her vision and values, principles and policies with the voters of Utah ahead of Super Tuesday.

7 hours ago

A photo of a tree blown over in a park in a Nephi from high winds on March 2, 2024, (Craig Oswald)...

Brianna Chavez

Strong winds leave behind damage across Utah

From uprooted trees to flying trampolines, most of the state experienced strong wind gusts that left behind damage for many.

19 hours ago

yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Mark Jones

18-year-old arrested for alleged involvement in a shooting death of another person

A 18-year-old man has been taken into custody by police in connection to a shooting late Friday night in South Salt Lake that left one person dead.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

New public art piece in the Marmalade District is sparking conversation