Gallery Stroll: Five Lessons For Loving Art

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loveDANCEmore’s Ashley Anderson will be presenting dance videos and a live performance at the Rio Gallery. Photo: Christy Pessagno

You’ve heard the cliché: “If you love it, set it free.” Well, that really doesn’t apply to loving art. If you don’t buy that one, amazing piece, someone else will, and chances are you will pay twice as much to fill the hole left on your wall. However, there are a few things that (after years in a committed relationship with art and my wonderful husband) mirror how one should treat a great love.

Lesson 1: Put yourself out there. In order for love to happen, you have to be open to meeting new people. The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll is a great way to meet new people, try out different galleries and their collections and see what’s fresh on the scene.

Don’t have a committed relationship with a gallery yet? Or do you have the time and room in your heart for more than one? Check out the new CUAC (Central Utah Art Center)—a staple in Ephraim, Utah for many years. Their new Salt Lake City address (175 E. 200 S.) has set them right in the heart of the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. New-girl status automatically raises them to the top of my list, but they will keep you coming back with their dynamic exhibits and internationally known artists, such as 80-year-old boxing painter Ushio Shinohara of the 2013 Sundance film Cutie and the Boxer, showing throughout the month of February. For more information, visit cuartcenter.org and to see Shinohara paint, check out YouTube.

Lesson 2: Once you find that artist or gallery that really seems to “get” you, let them know you like them. Get on their mailing list, like them on Facebook and invite your friends to meet you there for openings and events. This bond will give you an inside look at the community at large and provide a sense of belonging in your art community.

Lesson 3: Just like a first kiss, your first art purchase will give you a rush of adrenaline, and leave you wanting more. This is a good thing, as long as you can afford it. Buying art sustains the artists and the galleries that house and promote those artists. Showing your appreciation by buying art is mutually gratifying and essential to a healthy art economy. If you’re ready to take this next step in your art relationship, the Kayo Gallery at 177 E. 300 S. will be hosting its ninth anniversary event, Round 9. Works are priced between $50 and $400, making your introduction––or the extension of your collection––very affordable.

Lesson 4: Mix it up. Don’t get stuck in a medium rut. As much as I love art, I can’t look at only paintings or sculptures all day. If I but throw in an installation, mixed media collage or dance performance, it rejuvenates my soul. Salt Lake is at the forefront of the dance video medium. Since this medium is fairly new, we have the opportunity to see several interpretations of what constitutes a dance video and how the dance and films are presented, from use of live performers to dolls, classical music to Kanye West. There is even use of QR codes to transmit videos from around the world. The “Arrivals/Departures” exhibit of dance videos presented by loveDANCEmore will be at the Rio Gallery until March 8, with live performances on Feb. 15.

Lesson 5: Be present. People get busy and comfortable with relationships, thinking something will always be there because they can’t remember a time when it wasn’t. Unfortunately, when we aren’t paying attention is when they need us the most. In this last year, we lost the Salt Lake locations of the Hive Gallery, Frosty Darling and the House Gallery. A world without art would be a lonely and sad world, so this Valentine’s Day, take someone you love to see the art you love. It’s cheaper than Jared.

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