Annual Provo Gala put on by BYU students

Attendees at the Provo Gala take photos with a backdrop. This is during the first hour of the Provo Gala. (Jonas Wright)

Tickets were sold out to the BYU student-held Provo Gala on Wednesday, Feb. 7 — an annual friendly art competition and dance, according to John McConkie, co-creator and junior in information systems at BYU.

In fall 2022, McConkie and his roommate were trying to think of ways to meet new people and make new friends, McConkie said.

He said they had a lot of “random funny art pictures” in their apartment on the wall, and they had the idea to invite friends over to look at the art and hang out. After that, they had the idea to have people bring their own art to it, according to McConkie.

A few weeks later they held another art viewing at a different apartment in Provo, and after a huge turnout the Provo Gala was born, McConkie said.

“These days, we put a lot of effort into making it not just an art show, but like a whole experience where there’s an award ceremony. It’s really fun. We have a lot of prizes from our sponsors, cash prizes, and then it’s just a big dance party at the end too,” he said.

They later moved the event to the Provo Library where prizes go out for best artwork, best dressed boy and best dressed girl, McConkie said.

Liz Beckwith, a first-time attendee this year, said she loved the “trashy” art and all the good art. “At first I came for the art, but now I’m here for the friendships that have been made,” she said.

Alexis Boseman, a junior public health major at BYU, went for a second time this year.

“You’re in for the time of your life. Everybody looks good. Everybody looks sexy. And it’s a fun time,” she said.

Jared Rosenvall, a recently graduated student from BYU, encouraged people to attend the gala next year.

“Friends, faith, family and art, of course. It has everything — good people, good vibes,” Rosenvall said.

McConkie said he enjoys running the Provo Gala because of how much people enjoy it.

“I think there’s a lot of fulfillment and joy in like providing something that people can have a good time at,” he said. The Provo Gala sold out last year and again this year, McConkie said.


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