University of Utah's Cry Closet beckons stressed students to let it all out

ByDanny Clemens WPVI logo
Friday, April 27, 2018
University's cry closet beckons stressed students to let it all out
The Cry Closet, created by art student Nemo Miller, is an art installation in the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Just in time for final exams, a unique art installation is giving students the private space they need to cry out their problems.

The Cry Closet, created by senior art student Nemo Miller, sits in the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library. A sign hanging on the door of the closet offers students a 10-minute break as they study for finals.

Students wishing to make use of the exhibit must knock on the door before entering, and only one student is allowed in at a time. Photos shared on social media show the closet's dark interior, which contains several stuffed animals and is lit on a timer.

Miller created the piece as a way to explore the "inherent complexities of the human condition."

"One aspect of humanity that I am currently exploring is connections and missed connections through communication," Miller said. "It's been interesting to watch the response to this piece about human emotions, and I'm proud to see the power of art in action."

Student Jackie Larsen said she went into the closet but hasn't cried -- yet.

"I thought it was great!" Larsen told ABC. "I think students enjoy having it there whether they use it or not."

John W. Scheib, dean of the university's College of Fine Arts, lauded Miller's work.

"This is a fine example of how art has the power to reflect our humanity, to provoke thought and change the way we move forward together. We commend Nemo's bravery, creativity and thoughtfulness," Scheib said in a statement.