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Red Butte Garden commemorates Pride Month with inaugural event

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jun 14, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — For this year’s Pride Month, Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City hosted a new, family-friendly event on Friday called “Blooming with Pride.”

The one-day event featured free health and wellness classes, an opportunity to speak with local groups about services to the LGBTQ+ community and the chance to view floral art installations.

“It feels really cool to be here, and actually be in the moment,” explained Mal Strunk of Utah.

Mal was one of seven people selected to be a floral exhibit artist at “Blooming with Pride.” Mal believes her art installation called “Deserted Despair to Blooming Pride,” symbolizes her personal experience with coming out.

Tumbleweeds and dried trees comprise the outside of the structure which she says “represents kind of how I felt like I was keeping people at a distance, and wasn’t able to be my true self.”

Meanwhile, the inside features fresh flowers that are the colors of the rainbow. She says that represents her ability to embrace her true sexuality and self.

Corey Kimzey was another Utah native given the opportunity to be a floral exhibit artist, which he says is much different from his full-time career as a data scientist for a health insurance company.

“It’s fun to do something a little more creative or artistic,” Corey remarks. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I always appreciate when different groups allow us to show our art.”

Corey views his art installation called “Queerness Gives Life” as a “love letter” to his community. He goes on to say that he wants his community to know just how much he appreciates what they’ve done for him.

While Corey and Mal have spent months planning and executing their art installations, they were only available for the public to view from 12-8 p.m. on Friday before they had to be taken down for good.

“One of the most beautiful lessons that flowers have taught me is you have to be present,” Mal says. “This is only up for eight hours, so if people aren’t able to slow down and try to make time and come and show up, they’ll miss it.”

Anyone who wants to learn more about this year’s event can follow the link here.