Welcome back, students! Your minds—gooey from the summer sun, sticky and ready to grab ahold of new information and experiences—give me great joy! As an introduction to this fine city and your arts community, may I recommend the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, on Sept. 20 from 6–9 p.m. Salt Lake galleries plan exhibit rotations and artist receptions around the third Friday of the month—possibly for continuity, or maybe just to see you run from gallery to gallery like an addict trying to get your art fix. Either way, it’s a good reminder to pick a night and fit some art into your life.
For the underclassmen ready to spread your wings—if only you could find your classes and this thing Mom called a laundromat—your activities should keep you close to campus, offer refreshments and charge no admittance fee. My recommendation, the Art Barn/Finch Lane Gallery in Reservoir Park, offers exciting and edgy exhibits while maintaining their 80-year history of providing quality shows. Opening Aug. 9 through Sept. 27, the gallery features mixed media by Justin Wheatley and sculpture by Aaron Ashcraft. Ashcraft uses a variety of tools, pigments and techniques to craft sleek structures with fine details and distinct characteristics, begging for closer examination. Wheatley’s work poses the question “What separates and unifies Salt Lake County’s East Side versus West Side?” and examines the value we equate to both the structures and conceivably the tenants of that structure. Wheatley will also have works on display at the Alice Gallery inside the Glendinning Home at 617 E. South Temple from Aug. 2 through Oct. 4 for a show titled That Thing You Hate, inspired by curator Namon Bills’ experience—learning from doing the thing you hate the most.
For the seniors—you think you’re ready to take on the world? I offer you a taste of what it’s like to be a working artist. The Poor Yorrick Studios house over 50 artists in 40 studios. Busting with energy and creativity, Poor Yorrick provides artists with not only their own nook to create in, but the community to inspire, challenge and promote their work. With all this creating going on, the studio is all business and productivity most of the year, but on or around the spring and fall equinox, the studio opens its door to the public. This open studio format allows art fans to ogle the work in progress and buy direct from the artists, which offers more flexibility to their typical pricing structure. It’s one night only—Saturday, Sept. 28 from 4–10 p.m.—with the early hours offering a mellow afternoon stroll for anybody who wants to see the art and perhaps get the jump on buying pieces. As the evening continues, the partying and purchasing negotiations will ramp up, so bring your friends and your wallet to 126 W. Crystal Avenue (2590 S.).
Post-graduates—with the critical thinking skills to face big picture problems—think smarter, not harder. Case in point: Granary Row, a pop-up street fair designed by the fine folks at Kentlands Initiative, with the support of Salt Lake City and RDA. Knowing what your consumer wants is a very important part to crafting an engaging experience. The tenants of the Granary District wanted a place that paid homage to their “maker” roots. Featuring public art, retail space, local food, musicians, craft beers and community garden space, Granary Row is a stellar example of ingenuity, creativity and keeping things local. The street fair is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6–11 p.m. at 336 W. 700 S. until Nov. 2. Stop in for a little taste of the future while celebrating our past.