Temporary Museum for Permanent Change: Refiner’s Fire
This bizarre year has been defined by the pandemic, to be certain, but also by a spirit of rebellion against injustice. While protests have understandably and justifiably focused on systemic racism, it’s always worth paying homage to those who have fought for all causes insisting on basic humanity and equality.

Craft Lake City and the Temporary Museum for Permanent Change have collaborated with Equality Utah for Refiner’s Fire, an exhibition on the Temporary Museum’s 14 “billboards” on 300 South downtown between 200 East and 200 West. These images draw attention to LGBTQ Utahns who have worked for—and accomplished—social change in this state and beyond. Among the subjects are Dr. Kristen Ries and Maggie Snyder, who fought the AIDS crisis in the 1980s; Nikki Boyer, pioneer of Utah’s Sun Tavern gay bar in the 1970s; and those who fought the recent battle to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth. In a press release, Equality Utah’s Troy Williams says, “This is a time of many great challenges. We are facing multiple fires. We have an opportunity to choose love over fear every time. We hope this project inspires and uplifts your heart during this difficult time.”

While the outdoor exhibition provides a generally safe environment for socially-distanced viewing, those who require an extra layer of safety can view all of the images from the exhibition online at That online presentation also includes audio segments for each image, produced in conjunction with KRCL. With so much more work still to do for social justice, explore a celebration of the reality that individuals can create change. (Scott Renshaw)


Published in City Weekly on September 23, 2020