Gallery Stroll: A Happy Death

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Brittany Johnson’s plush monsters show the softer side of horror.

October, my dear old friend, I see you have come to welcome death and darkness in. Goodbye leaves, goodbye flowers, goodbye countless warm hours. Summer, you will be truly missed, but with October’s gentle kiss, I’ll welcome the change and say hello to sweaters and piles of snow. I will not cry, I will not be sad—in fact, I quite enjoy wearing plaid. To celebrate our last of days, I’ll attend galleries and parties and hopefully run into a few goblins or zombies.

October has inspired many traditions and celebrations: All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, Shadow Fest, Ancestors’ Night, the Last Harvest, the Feast of the Apples and the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. Salt Lake’s official night to celebrate our city’s rich art community will take place Oct. 19 from 6-9 p.m. Like the spirits of the night, if you’re tuned in and looking, things just might manifest themselves before you—or you can follow this
gallery guide.

The Hive Gallery is abuzz with activities this month. The 24 Hour Show invites all brave souls who think they work better on a deadline to create a masterpiece in 24 hours, with the price points set at $15 for the first canvas and $10 for any additional canvases. Canvas pick-up begins Oct. 4 at Stoneground and must be dropped back off on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. While dropping off your impromptu creations, say adieu to Anthony Granto’s fabulous show with a closing night celebration. Visit the DoubleTree Hotel (110 W. 600 S.) Oct. 6 for the silent auction and the unveiling of the 24-hour masterpieces. Your speedy new skills will come in handy on Oct. 12 when the zombie apocalypse arrives in Salt Lake City, taking over the Metro Bar in the form of Bath-Salt Lake: Zombies in Zion, featuring local art, including photography by Kate Moir and live music by Zombiance. After celebrating the undead, it’s time to recognize the really and truly dead. The Hive Gallery presents the Dead Artist Ball on Oct. 20 at Fat’s Grill. Come dressed as your favorite dead artist—you’ll be eligible for door prizes, raffles and lots of spooky fun at The Green Pig, with music by The Blue Zen Band. For questions, and to RSVP, contact

You take Halloween seriously when you’re Creepy Art creator Kat Martin. Embracing the dark, unexpected and unsettling, Kat can take a sweet pastoral scene and turn it into your worst nightmare. “I like to give old art new death!” says Martin, jokingly. Her talent and sure wit has Salt Lakers begging for more. Lucky for us, you can catch Kat’s Creepy Art at the Salt Lake Farmers Market in Pioneer Park (a creepy place in its own right) on Oct. 6, 13 and 20, Craft Sabbath at the Main Library on Oct. 7 and Brewvies’ Halloween party and costume contest Oct. 28. Inspired by the hallowed season, look for new zombie-fied figurines, unicorns and cake toppers as well as Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenstein-inspired pieces.

The Utah Arts Alliance Main Street Gallery, located at 127 Main Street, will host artist Brittany Johnson and her plush monster creations, showing us a softer side to the creatures hiding under our beds. Art reception takes place Oct. 19 in correlation with the monthly stroll.

Of course, there are many “happenings” during October. I just encourage you to get out there and enjoy—you never know how many more days you have left.