Three not-to-miss events this May.
Photographer Mike Disfarmer would never have dreamed the impact he would have on American culture from his tiny studio in Heber Springs, Ark. His “penny portrait” images have inspired American masters including filmmakers the Coen brothers, designer Ralph Lauren and guitarist Bill Frisell. Utah Museum of Fine Arts, through July 14. utah.umfa.edu
In the film Garden State, Natalie Portman’s character claims The Shins’ New Slang is a life-changing song. The Shins’ performance, with founder John Mercer, at Red Butte Garden Amphitheater is your chance to find out. Seattle’s The Head and the Heart and Portland’s Blind Pilot will round out an evening of altroots music. May 28, 7 p.m., redbuttegarden.org
Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
For some reason, Utahns tend to ignore their vast inland sea that fascinates visitors. The Great Salt Lake is anything but a dead sea; it’s a life link for hundreds of species of birds. That’s why, of course, birders revel in the infamous “lake stink” (it smells like life). Catch their passion at the lake’s annual bird festival, along with guided birding tours for amateurs and experts, kid activities and art. May 16-20, 801-451-3286, greatsaltlakebirdfest.com