Gallery Stroll: Art is Springing Up Everywhere

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Painting: Ed Mell

The dainty flowers push through the hardened ground, past the decayed winter foliage to find sunlight and warmth, announcing it’s spring! Often you do not see the single bud emerge, or even the little patch, but eventually, when your garden is filled with bright flowers, you realize the metamorphosis is complete and you are surrounded by life and beauty. I liken the journey of the bud to that of artists, toiling away in basements and old garages, sheds and drab spare bedrooms, creating things of beauty and, when finished, they emerge with works that encourage, amuse and beautify the world around us. One sculpture or mural will often go unnoticed, rushed by on the way to work or school, but when several artists amass in one area, say a gallery stroll, it gives reason for pause. The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll takes place the third Friday of every month, allowing you to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the Salt Lake art scene.

New life springs up in historic neighborhoods. Once upon a time, before you and I were running this scene, the corner of 200 East and 200 South was known as the Edison District. The spirit of industry and innovation is still alive and well in this nook of the city. Home to the CUAC Gallery, Copper Palate Press and Guthrie Studios, this month the neighborhood got even hipper with the opening of Modern West Fine Art. The gallery, opened on March 28, is the realization of Diane Stewart, a Salt Lake City collector and patron of the arts, and Donna Poulton, a curator and art historian. The two have teamed up to create a gallery that supports a modern vision of the new American West, a West rich in inspiration and tradition influencing today’s contemporary artists. The gallery has already amassed a powerhouse of artists waiting to grace its walls; including Tony Abeyta, David Jonason, Ed Mell, Annette Lemieux, Billy Schenck, Logan Hagege, Mark Eberhard, Jann Haworth, Bale Creek Allen, Ben Steele and Frank Buffalo Hyd. Stop by to welcome them to the neighborhood and update your impression of American West art.

Refinishing is a way of refining, and when you take an old building and give it a new purpose—if you do it right—you can have the best of the old and the new, creating a space that lives in-between. Mod a-go-go is that space—a place to appreciate and shop for midcentury furnishing while enjoying new art and new friends. Located at 242 E. South Temple, store owners Marcus Gibby and Eric Morley have quickly gathered a loyal group of new, up-and-coming artists including Heather Ackley, Dave Styer, Matt Page, Buddy Eyre, Tim Odland, Marcus Gibby, Steve Stone, Bill Galvan and Brittani Nay. These artists not only participate in the shows, they help brainstorm themes for each month, such as April’s Video Game show. Themes are selected roughly two to three months prior, at which time, submissions for that show are accepted. Mod a-go-go loves new and emerging artists and doesn’t require an artist to have a large body of work to submit. Quality work that fits in with the month’s themes is the only requirement. For more information on upcoming shows and themes, or to submit work, visit info@modagogo.com.

New life for old things: Imagine a life without plastic—it’s impossible. One of Mother Nature’s worst enemies is critical to modern living. “That’s the beauty and the destructive nature of plastic,” says Amy Macdonald, Founder and Director of Brolly Arts, an organization dedicated to creating community dialogue through art exhibits, installations, performances and community-engagement activities. Macdonald and her Brolly Arts collaborators have come up with the multidisciplinary project Plastique, which uses art to engage the community and increase awareness around plastic’s use, misuse and lasting impact.  Plastique will take place at the Utah Arts Alliance Urban Arts Gallery, located at 137 S. Rio Grande St. The performance will be held April 18 to coincide with Gallery Stroll.  The two-dimensional exhibits will remain on display until May 3. For more info on Brolly Arts and their collaborations, visit brollyarts.org.