Gallery Stroll – April 2012

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“Zola” by Magen Mitchell will be one of the many works on display at Kayo Gallery’s Bad Art Show. Image courtesy Shilo Jackson

I’ve always believed art can be found anywhere, but after recently traveling America’s scenic by-ways, I was in awe of how much art, good and bad, was available at every truck stop, gas station, roadhouse and teepee stand. Ah, the land of opportunity and the opportunistic—if there’s a market for it, more power to you. I do suggest you move the art away from the restrooms, and I have to ask: Is taxidermy really art? This experience made me keenly aware of the depth and breadth of art that Utah has to offer. To help you wade through the volume of art showings, I’ve comprised a list of the best and the intentionally bad gallery offerings this month.

When I want to get my art, shopping and hipster-watching all in one evening, I head over to Fice (160 E.  200 S.). The art and fashion there are guaranteed to be cutting edge. The show opens Friday, April 20 and features work from Prescott McCarthy (yes, 4:20 kids, get your snickering out now if you need to—it’s not very hip to laugh at 420 jokes). Your hipster fate will be sealed after being the first person to hash tag and start the trending of work and clothes you experience at this Gallery Stroll stop.

The Kayo Gallery (177 S. Broadway) has always been a place where experimental art can get a public eye, so what better place for a bad-art experiment? Owner Shilo Jackson wants to celebrate the bad art, for without it, there is no criteria to judge the good.  The Bad Art Show gives artists an opportunity to laugh at themselves and the mishaps and should-have-beens. The work will all be originals (no found art) and artists can laugh at themselves without mocking someone’s sincere attempt.  The show opens April 20 with an artist’s reception from 6-9 p.m.

Who doesn’t love a party bus? There’s just something so magical about being transported with all your friends, eating and drinking all along the way and arriving at a party, or in this case, an art gallery opening. The Central Utah Art Center (CUAC) knows it’s hard for Salt Lake County and Utah County residents to make the drive down to Ephraim for a gallery opening, so they’ll make the drive for you. A touring bus loaded with free drinks from Squatters Brewery, video art by local, national and international artists, and 56 fellow art patrons will make its way from Salt Lake to Ephraim, Utah on April 27 for the opening of an exhibit featuring Robert Mellor, Huginn Arason and Jared Steffenson—tickets are just $15. For more information or to pay in advance, visit cuartcenter.org and click on the partybus tab or show up at the bus with cash. To secure your spot, make a reservation by calling 435-283-5110.

My adventures into the underbelly of America have reinforced the notion that art is in the eye of the beholder, and Utah is fortunate to have a lot of art to behold. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to see the good with the bad, and I hope you will take advantage to get out and stroll.

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