Gallery Stroll: Building a Community – March 2007

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It’s common knowledge that if you want to revitalize an area you get the arts involved. Artists need cheap wide-open spaces with low rents and once they move in, paint and beautify, more artists move in and eventually you have a vibrant, bustling community. I wouldn’t have thought that 300 South was in need of revitalization but what was once a nice quiet street with antique and vintage shops has blossomed into a destination for local art and indie music.

The latest additions to the Broadway row include eclectic indie music store, Slowtrain Music, where you can find or order new, used and limited edition releases. The James Anthony Gallery with its white-hot NYC stylings, limited-run clothing and handcrafted, eclectic jewelry.

The whole movement started a few years ago with the opening of the Kayo Gallery, the first hip hangout on the street since people starting thinking dueling pianos and sing-a-longs were cool (as long as you blamed it on excess drinking). Kayo brought new life to the area but it was ahead of its time and needed a different space, a little more room to grow. After a short hiatus owner and curator, Kenny Riches, just couldn’t deny the art community anymore and Kayo reopened its doors at a new location, 177 East 300 South. The New Kayo Gallery promises to be a destination every gallery stroll, while its new business partner, Frosty Darling, is a great place to stop by anytime of the month. Frosty Darling is a boutique full of handcrafted wares from local artist Gentry Blackburn. This lovely shop is a must for bubble gum, lollipops, birthday presents and all things “darling.”

Moving up the street and around the corner, we find the 240 Gallery; more mature than the new kids on the block but still full of exciting upgrades to the area. The 240 Gallery has taken over the old Pictureline building at 240 South 200 East and offers a platform to showcase photography. The main gallery space showcases established photographers, while the upstairs hosts a discussion and slideshow area with a smaller gallery for up-and-coming photographers. Lots of wide-open space, clean lines, great lighting and innovative shows make this a hot gallery to watch. Photography has long been nudged out of shows and with the digital revolution has received less respect than painting and mixed media. The 240 Gallery promises to give photography a main stage and to provide its patrons with a rare look at some of photography’s great accomplishments. “A Slice of Americana Baseball” is a collection of black and white professional and amateur photos of baseball from the 1900s to 1940s. Featuring never before shown photographs of legends such as Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tony Lazzeri, Paul Waner, and Joe Dimaggio to name a few. Come experience a piece of American history while enjoying traditional refreshments such as hotdogs, pretzels, peanuts and sodas.

Spring is a great time to get out and celebrate “the new” and we have lots of new things to explore and enjoy in the Utah art community. The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll is always held on the third Friday of every month and always free to the public. See you March 16th on “The Stroll.”