November 2014 Gallery Stroll: Work Up That Appetite

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Poor November. Despite the presence of a historically wonderful and gluttonous dinner, this month typically doesn’t have much going on, which makes it a great month to get out and Gallery Stroll. Easy on the wallet, this free event allows you to explore the local art scene and connect with the community while perusing local wares. This month’s stroll takes place on Friday, Nov. 21 from 6–9 p.m. For an official list of participating galleries, visit gallerystroll.org, or, in my expert opinion, here is where you should go.

Mod a-go-go, located at 242 E. South Temple, has been a go-to of mine for Gallery Stroll since its opening in June of 2013. Owners Eric Morely and Marcus Gibby’s discerning business skills and exquisite eye make their home décor store and gallery a harmonious and welcoming space for all. Using a group-show formula, the duo hosts a myriad of talented local artists each month. Typically, the artists select a theme that they are interested in, and everyone creates their interpretation of that theme. “We show everything from comic fan art to contemporary abstracts,” says Morely. “This gives us a broad customer base, which appeals to artists.” Morely speculated that about 90 percent of his artists return throughout the year to join in the group shows. This retention could be credited to the stimulating themes or creative flexibility, but it doesn’t hurt that the openings are more like swanky house parties than formal gallery events.

November is Mod a-go-go’s small works show—smaller in scale and more affordable, as all items are $250 or less. “We don’t want the artwork on our walls,” says Morely. “We want it in people’s homes, being talked about, forcing the artists to make more art.” For this show, expect new works from Leesa Vellinga, Heather Ackley, Vita Kobylkina, Dave Styer and hot newcomer Bacee Bedard, to name a few. The show opens Nov. 21 and continues through the month of December. Since the Holiday Stroll takes place just two weeks later on Dec. 5 and 6, the small works show will be joined by a toy-themed show—just in time for the holidays. For more information on these and any other upcoming events at Mod a-go-go, visit modagogo.com.

Gallery Stroll ends at 9 p.m.—bedtime for Grandma, but for the rest of us, the party’s just getting started. My recommendation is to take your crew to Utah’s largest, most elaborate Gallery Stroll after party, Beast, put on by Sketch Cabaret and hosted at Metro Bar on 540 W. 200 S. A locally grown organization with over 160 contributing artist members, Sketch Cabaret is the brainchild of artist, visionary and community organizer extraordinaire Veronica Lynn Harper. Harper believes in creating a space for everyone at the artistic table, from visual artists and professional figurative models to performance artists, musicians and DJs. The evening is focused on a main cause or theme each month—November’s theme is “Beast,” which “explores the qualities and passions that drive you and awaken your inner spirit,” explains Harper. The event is 21+ and open to the public with a minimal cover charge (discounts for students available). Visit Sketch Cabaret on Facebook for more information on supporting, attending and getting involved in this dynamic event.

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