Pabst Screen Print by Cameron Bentley of Copper Palate Press.
When planning my Friday nights, two criteria rise above the rest: alcohol and art. It’s the simple things in life, like having a drink with friends after work, catching up on Salt Lake’s current events or celebrating our creative minds and thriving art community that keep me going. These activities need not be mutually exclusive, hence my long love affair with the Gallery Stroll. Held on the third Friday of every month, Gallery Stroll is open to the public and free of charge, which is wonderful because you’ll be buying your own drinks thanks to our liquor laws—no free wine tastings on the stroll. This month, as SLUG celebrates all things beer, we’ll look at beer art, the art of beer, drinking beer while we look at art and beer as the motivator rather than the inhibitor.
Cameron Bentley really, really, really loves Pabst—so much so that the iconic can started popping up in his screen prints. “I have been using this print since I carved it all out in November of 2008. If I had to guess, I’d say there are 300 or more of these prints out there ... both on paper and on t-shirts, every one of which is a one-of-a-kind, unique print. Several glow in the dark, several respond to black light,” he says. Mostly, I just had a lot of fun with them and kept trying new things. Pabst Brewing Co. actually bought one from me, and it now resides in the permanent Pabst collection.” Bentley is part of the Copper Palate Press gang, which is, in my opinion, keeping Utah hip one screen print at a time. If you’re like me and you love PBR and supporting local art, stop by Copper Palate at 160 E. 200 S. (back of the alleyway) during the Gallery Stroll on June 17, 7-10 p.m. Bring your own t-shirt and, for five dollars, you, too, can have your own Bentley original.
Artisan brewers at Uinta Brewing Company value the talents and creativity of our local art scene so much they employed local artists Trent Call, Leia Bell, and Travis Bone to create the labels for their Crooked Line beers: Cockeyed Cooper, Detour, Labyrinth and Tilted Smile. VP of sales Steve Kuftinec expounds: “We believe in the importance of preserving and showcasing local art and local artists and, with this in mind, intermingled our art (beer) with the creative ideas of Leia, Trent and Travis.”
“The response on these labels has been amazingly positive, not only from folks locally in Utah, but throughout our national distribution network.” Combining art and artisan beer is not a new formula for the local brewery. For years, Uinta has been partnering with the Utah Arts Festival to provide their tasty beverages to festival go-ers. New this year, look for the Crooked Line beer tent exclusively serving these delicious “high octane” brews.
The Highlife Salon at 245 E. Broadway didn’t take its name from the concept that the salon life is an elevated one. Though you will be pampered, the namesake is, you guessed it, the “champagne of beers,” Miller Highlife. Owners Bryce Orvin and Melinda Ashley were always fans of the beer and Ashley recalls that they drank plenty of it when they were first starting out. The “high life” is a diverse life, so while getting your style on, customers can enjoy work by local artists. June’s exhibit will feature metal artist Scott Whitaker’s urban artifacts, and DJ Jesse Walker’s nightlife posters. Highlife specializes in the “black sheep artist”—the unconventional, underground, unknown artists. Join Highlife in celebrating the black sheep artists in this black sheep gallery June 17, 6-9 p.m.
After a night of gallery strolling, I’m ready to hit the bar. Luckily for me, the W Lounge, located at 358 S. West Temple, can quench my thirst and curb my art-loving appetite. W owner Casey Staker believes in the talented artists of Salt Lake City. “I like to give local artists a venue other than a gallery to show their work and help them sell pieces. Anyone interested in showing is welcome to email me on Facebook,” he says. Brett Allen’s work is currently on display and you can check more of his stuff out at brettallenart.com.
A night out in the capital city reminds me how small and charming Salt Lake can be, and also how exciting and cutting edge our creative community is, despite our repressive alcohol laws. Support local art, support local beers and whenever possible, support them at the same time—it’s near nirvana!