Recently American Style Magazine released the winners of their 2007 Top 25 Art’s Destination reader’s poll. In the category of mid-sized cities, ranging in population of 100,000 to 499,999, Salt Lake City came in number 13, just behind powerhouses such as Las Vegas, ranked third, Honolulu seventh and Miami eighth. There were a few surprises, like Pittsburgh, PA being awarded the number one position, which until now I had no Idea they aspired to be the glass arts capital of the world. Being that this was a reader’s poll, ballots could be sent in or clicked and re-clicked online. It was noted in the announcement that a record number of Pittsburgh residents got out and voted. The show of residents support to make a name for themselves as an arts destination got me thinking … Do the residents of Salt Lake realize what it means to be named an arts destination? Do we appreciate the quality of life increase that the arts make upon a community and the economy? Do we even take advantage of the shows being brought in?
It was my longtime friend Penelope Moore who enlisted me to vote for Salt Lake as an art destination. She and her boyfriend Aaron Memmott currently live in Savannah, GA (ranked number 10 for mid-sized cities). They met in San Francisco at the Academy of Art University, but both have ties to Utah. Penelope has grown up in Salt Lake, attending Cottonwood High School and Aaron earned his Bachelors of Fine Art in Drawing and Painting at the U of U before heading to San Francisco to pursue his Masters in Illustration. It could be said that art and Utah brought them together, and it’s also what keeps them coming back. Artisan Frameworks and Gallery became acquainted with the couple in 2004 while they were in town for a show titled From the Bay to the Lake held at the Walk of Shame Studio. Owner/operator of Artisan, Lyndsie Orgill, immediately recognized their profound talents and began talks about another show. In 2005, they returned to Pierpont for the Amalgamation show held at Artisan and neighboring Aphelion Studio. Ever since the Amalgamation show, Artisan has maintained a few of Moore’s paintings in its collection. Both Memmott and Moore are award-winning artists who, while in San Francisco, were selected to represent the city’s thriving arts community in the “rolling galleries” ad campaign. Moore was recently awarded the 2006 Mosaic Globe Creative Networking Community’s “Top in Traditional Mediums webpage.”
Their work is dynamic, but shown together they are explosive. Their latest show, “Illumination,” which will open August 17th at Artisan, explores light reflections. Memmott’s cityscapes feature the reflection of car lights, street lights and fresh fallen rain around the Bay Area’s notoriously busy streets and around picturesque Savannah, GA. Penelope’s still life work observes reflections made off of stemware and flatware while dining around the country. Their work is a mix of contemporary realism with the full infusion of the their hip young personalities.
Salt Lake maintains a beautiful balance between a metropolitan city and a small town community, due largely in part to the monthly Gallery Stroll. Held on the third Friday of every month, the stroll becomes a “save the date” for art. Put aside one day to visit the art galleries, studios, sidewalk shows and coffee shops. These are the places that put Utah on the map as an art destination!