FRIENDS celebrates the relationship between local artists and one of Utah’s most precious natural resources, Great Salt Lake. Through artistic expressions, we enhance our capacity to build awareness about the Lake and our need to preserve and protect it for the future.

Join FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake on Friday, September 9 from 6:30-8:30 PM for the Alfred Lambourne Arts Program gallery opening and reception at the Sorenson Community Campus gallery and blackbox theater (1383 South 900 West, SLC, UT). You'll experience artistic expressions of Great Salt Lake in the categories of visual arts, literary arts, movement, and sound. We will award $500 prizes to winners in each category. Free and open to the public.  

Our 2022 Jurors were:

Jaclyn Wright (visual arts) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work combines traditional analog photographic techniques with contemporary digital methods, performance, and installation. Wright is a recent recipient of the Collections Engagement Grant awarded by the J. Willard Marriott Library and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts as part of their funded initiative Land Art, Landscape, and the American West. She is an Assistant Professor of Photography & Digital Imaging at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and published widely. Check out her current exhibition, High Visibility (Blaze Orange) at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

Willy Palomo (literary arts) is the son of two immigrants from El Salvador. In 2018, he graduated with an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and an MFA in Poetry from Indiana University. In 2017, he received the City of Bloomington Latino Leadership Award and the MLK Building Bridges Graduate Student Award for his work serving undocumented communities in Indiana. He has taught literature, creative writing, and the Poetics of Rap in universities, juvenile detention centers, community centers, and high schools. He has performed his poetry nationally and internationally at the National Poetry Slam, CUPSI, and V Festival Internacional de Poesía Amada Libertad in El Salvador. His book reviews and creative writing have been featured in Best New Poets 2018, Latino Rebels, Antologia de Posguerra, The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, and more.

Lorin Hansen (movement) is a passionate instructor, performer, and lifelong student of dance and percussion. She is a two-time international samba champion, and has taught thousands of students in the U.S., Brazil, and Canada. In 2009, Hansen founded Samba Fogo, a dance and music ensemble that regularly headlines at large events and brings arts outreach programs to thousands of students. She believes dance is deep medicine that can heal, uplift, and empower our community. Check out her recent project, Return Dance Project, which utilizes the power of dance to celebrate, protect, and restore wild spaces, and heal our relationship with land. At Return Dance Project, we are returning to the Earth, using our dancing bodies to plant seeds, transplant saplings, and restore degraded land. We are dancing forests into existence. 

Talia Keys (sound) is an activist-musician who has laid a loyal local foundation in Salt Lake City clubs for over a decade, and later made her name on national tours and jam festivals from coast to coast. Keys’ vintage ethos, as well as her trademark fire and brimstone stage presence, are an amalgam of her journey, identity, influences; a new twist on the rock n’ roll troubadour singing songs of struggle and ultimately, triumph. Check out her latest album, Lessons

Program History: 

In 2014, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake established The Alfred Lambourne Prize, an annual recognition and celebration of regional creativity inspired by our inland sea. FRIENDS invites creative work inspired by the Lake in the forms of visual arts, literary arts, sound and movement.

The prize takes its name from the renowned painter and writer Alfred Lambourne (1850-1926). Born in England, he moved with his family to the United States and settled in Salt Lake City in 1866. Lambourne’s artistic talents were put to use painting scenery for the Salt Lake Theater. He developed an early and passionate interest in Great Salt Lake, inspired in part by reading Captain Howard Stansbury’s account of the 1850 survey of the lake (Exploration and survey of the valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, 1852). Lambourne traveled the lake by sailboat and lived for a time on Gunnison Island in the hopes of obtaining land there through homesteading.

Lambourne is remembered for the dozens of sketches and paintings he created of Great Salt Lake as he captured facets of water, light, and land in the romantic style reminiscent of the Hudson River School painters. His writing, based upon his time on Gunnison Island, stands out as the earliest, most evocative prose penned on the Lake’s physical attributes and psychological impressions. Lambourne melded fact and fiction as he wrote first in serial fashion about the lake for The Deseret News then published these writings as Pictures of an Inland Sea (1894; 1902) and Our Inland Sea: The Story of a Homestead (1909).

Visually inspired and poetic in nature, Lambourne bestowed upon us the Lake through lyrical prose:

"There is another phenomenon to be seen at infrequent periods on the Inland Sea, one that is unpaintable, and also, I believe, entirely local. It is to be witnessed during the calm summer twilights, when the pale, fairy-like tints on the water are breathed upon by opposite currents of languid wind. As they interplay in bands, in points, in shifting isles of amber, azure and rose, the whole surface shimmers and glistens like a silken robe studded with countless pearls."

The significance of Great Salt Lake to Lambourne as he engaged in his subject across several modes of artistic expression was key in FRIENDS’ decision to name the annual arts and humanities prize after him.

Program Director

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Artist and writer, Holly Simonsen, directs the Alfred Lambourne Prize Program for FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake. She is responsible for administering the prize, establishing the judges, and cataloging the submissions.

Feel free to contact her at

Holly works in ecopoetic collaboration with Great Salt Lake, where her creations explore the relationship between language and ecologically disrupted environments. Although primarily a poet, her work often migrates off the page into 3D spaces. She earned her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was a recent fellow at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and at the Djerassi Resident Artists’ Program in Woodside, CA. She currently works as an adjunct professor of English and literature at Westminster College and as the Membership & Programs Director for FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake. Links to her published work can be found at

View the Program Download PDF

Congratulations to our 2021 Alfred Lambourne Program Winners:

Vincent Mattina, Edgewater

Maurine Haltiner, Around & About an Inland Sea

Aubry Dalley, Residual History

Matthew Durrant, Gunnison Island