“Utah is in a depressed state,” I overhear the man say, trying to work a travel deal. “Not true.” Says the woman, “Have you been to Utah lately? Buildings and businesses are popping up all over the place.” The people of Utah are survivors, and we find a way to thrive in the most difficult economic times. Case in point: two art galleries have recently opened their doors or relocated to larger digs. Sure, businesses open up all the time, but art galleries take a special risk during times of financial hardship. Art is usually purchased with disposable income, and let’s be honest, who has disposable income anymore? To fight the good fight, you have to be creative, and these galleries are taking risks and setting new rules.
The Gray Wall Gallery located at 351 W. Pierpont wants to make you famous. Low overhead and grassroots marketing allow the Gray Wall Gallery to focus on artists just coming into their own. Their mission is “to promote and sell works for artists who are willing to take a chance on themselves when they feel their work deserves that chance.” The gallery team of Matthew Hall, Tamara Fox and Sara Cuvelier, all artists themselves, understand the hardships of being a struggling artist. “We want to provide a space where new and/or unusual work could develop and prove itself to a public audience,” they say in their mission statement. These thoughtful innovators realize galleries often miss the mark when it comes to providing an environment conducive to viewing the art. Besides the monthly Gallery Stroll, many galleries often close their doors at the end of a 10 AM to 6 PM business day. The Gray Wall Gallery is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, Fridays from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Saturdays during the Farmers Market from 7:30 AM to 3 PM and Sundays from noon to 3 PM, capitalizing on the great foot traffic from the Gateway and Pioneer Park establishments. The Gray Wall Gallery is a program of the Utah Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization that provides services and support to artists in Utah. The Gray Wall is currently accepting applications at: graywallgallery.com/submit
The House Gallery has a new home. Originally opening its doors in January 2010 in the the basement of the Peery Hotel, the House Gallery has relocated to a fresh new space at 29 East 400 South, formerly the home of the L. Lorenz Knife Shop. The gallery will be located near the Heavy Metal Shop, the Green Pig Pub and Blonde Grizzly, making this an excellent block to put on your Gallery Stroll hit list. The House Gallery focuses on contemporary works by emerging and mid-career artists from around the nation. October’s show, Inner Space, features New York-based artist Matt Jones as he turns his artmaking into a healing ritual. The inspiration for this show began after Jones heard a lecture by Buddhist psychotherapist Miles Neale on the effects of habitual behavior. Neale explained that we form negative patterns in our brain, and to reverse these destructive impulses, we need to introduce positive habits through repetition. As a result, Jones’ paintings have repetitive, methodical movements that serve as a calming agent that transcends the viewer. Inner Space opens on October 6 with an artist talk and reception on Friday October 15. Artist talk begins at 5 p.m. with a reception to follow until 9 p.m. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The House will be rocking with these upcoming shows, so save the date! November: abstract paintings and miniature clothing by New York artist Jon Coffelt. December: Allan Ludwig, a BYU professor and emerging artist working in comic book abstractions. January: Kay Tuttle of Colorado, with her book arts and collage pieces. February: contemporary collages and photographer Chris Dunker of Logan, Utah, and in March: minimalist painter Charles Fresquez of Albuquerque, N. M. For more information about all things House Gallery, visit http://www.housegalleryslc.com.
In order to keep a vibrant creative community such as ours, we need to go out and support the scene. Gallery Stroll takes place on the third Friday of every month. Save the date and support local art!