Mary Toscano's cigar box from the 2009 Box, Paper, Scissors Show
Who needs the Kayo Gallery? It might seem like a peculiar question given the popularity of Kayo, but an appropriate one for the patrons of this month’s Gallery Stroll. The Kayo Gallery is in need of an immediate cash infusion to stay alive for the next twelve months. Sales from the July show will be the deciding factor on whether Kayo will remain in business for another year. A very meager budget of five thousand dollars is needed to cover the month-to-month operations. I can’t remember the last time I could survive on five thousand dollars for a whole year. That’s the budget of someone eating ramen, living in their parent’s basement and only drinking PBR on special occasions (no offense PBR––you’re still the best). The Kayo Gallery has been a tent pole for the Gallery Stroll activities on 300 South, since its early beginnings at 315 E. Broadway. What would Broadway be without their infusion of high- and low-brow art patrons?
Owner, operator, front desk girl, cleaning crew, book keeper and dream maker Shilo Jackson has chosen the popular and thrilling Box, Paper, Scissors Show to serve as the “SAVE KAYO” fundraiser on Friday July 16th in conjunction with the month’s Gallery Stroll.
For this show, artists refurbish old cigar boxes, repurposing and recreating the interiors and exteriors, and once the artists are finished, the boxes are sealed. Bidders have to imagine what the boxes might look like inside or contain and bid accordingly. At the end of the evening when the bids have closed, the winning bidders get to open their box, “It’s like Christmas morning,” says Jackson. Personally I love any kind of fundraiser where you leave with artwork, especially if you can collect work from artists such as Cassandra Barney, Sri Whipple, Stephanie Dykes, Claire Taylor and Mary Toscano, to name a few, all while saving this jewel in the art community.
Kayo is an integral part of the arts community in Salt Lake City. No other gallery has given us this level of access to contemporary artists in Utah. Kayo curates exceptional shows like the recent “Into The White,” with Cara Despain and Mary Toscano and often gives emerging artists their first solo show. They encourage collaborations among artists and even host fundraisers for other nonprofits.
So if Kayo is important to you, realize that they need your help. Put your money where your mouth is and come prepared on July 16th to spend a little. See one less concert this summer, unless it’s already free, have one less bar night and save one of Salt Lake City’s little treasures. “The sad part is, if people donated $1 or $2 during the stroll every month, Kayo could stay open indefinitely. It really takes that little to keep us going,” says Jackson. So please go out and support our local artists and galleries, because if you don’t, they won’t be there when you decide to pull your head out.
Let’s not let Kayo meet the same fate as other Salt Lake galleries that have bitten the dust. This article would like to remember those who we have lost: The Unknown Gallery, The Women’s Art Center, Artisan Frameworks and Gallery, Palmers Gallery (West side location), Left Bank Gallery, Eclectic, Dolores Chase Fine Art and the Meyer Gallery (Salt Lake City)––just to name a few.