It’s not hard to find good art in Utah. It might be the desert air, our pioneering roots or the cheap housing, but we seem to be a perfect place to incubate creativity. Navigating one’s way through all the art can be quite a quandary—finding time to attend all the openings and knowing which artists are showing where. My goal, along with many of those in the art community, is to make your local art experiences as pleasurable as possible. March’s Gallery Stroll takes place on the 15th from 6–9 p.m., but, really, art shows are happening all the time. Here are two of my picks of Utah’s art offerings.
Shawn Rossiter, founder of Artists of Utah, the people behind the all-Utah-art online magazine, 15 Bytes, knows how prolific Utah’s art community is and how important a big gallery show can be to an artist’s career. He and his team will wade through hundreds of applications to find the 35 artists under the age of 35 who will represent Utah’s emerging art community. The 35 x 35 show displays all art mediums, from paintings, sculpture, installation and performance art, all under one roof at the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Finch Lane Gallery from March 8-April 26.
Collecting all these emerging artists in one place seems like a daunting task, especially while running a magazine, so I appreciated Rossiter taking the time to give me the DL. The last show of its kind took place in 2009, and included many of the names that are now synonymous with the Utah Art Scene: Blue Critchfield, Cameron Bentley, Erin Berrett, Erica Houston, Andrew Rice, Mary Toscano, Matt Shurtleff and Justin Wheatley, to name just a few. Rossiter plans to host the show every three-and-a-half years. He says, “We want to space it such that every show some of the artists would have graduated out of our age bracket, so that we’re not showing the same artists every time.”
This year’s format will be similar to 2009’s: “There will be three jurors asked to give awards, the Artists of Utah Board of Directors will give an award (and that artist will be invited to be on the board) and there will be a people’s choice award,” says Rossiter. “We’ll be shooting video interviews with all the artists, and running them in 15 Bytes, as well as screening a compilation at the Awards Ceremony on April 19. We’ll also hold workshops for emerging artists, to which the public at large is invited.”
Art patrons looking to stay ahead of the curve and get to know the next class of Utah emerging artists will want to attend this event. For a look back on the 2009 class, visit artistsofutah.org/15bytes for the January 2013 edition to see where they are now.
An artist by any other name is still an artist. Add tattoo in front of their name, and you might catch them at the 10th Annual Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention, March 22-24. While many of the artists will be inking people up, some come purely to display wall art. I asked the man who books it all, Convention Manager CJ Starkey to give me his “do not miss” list.
By no means a sideshow, check out sideshow sign painter Scott LaRock. If you’re into the Day of the Dead, drop by Gustavo Rimada’s paintings and Heart of Mejico’s deathly gorgeous Catrinas. For comic and illustration fans, geek out with Chris Hamer of Urbnpop, and to add a little pop into your art and your bedroom, visit P is for Penis artist Keith P. Rein. Most of the artists, tattoo and otherwise, bring print and originals to sell. Make sure to stick around for the flash contests featuring the original oil paintings of
It doesn’t matter where you get your art, in a gallery or in an alley, just take the time to notice it. Support local art!