Gallery Stroll: A Personal Experience – Blake Palmer

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“What kind of art do you like?” This question comes up frequently in my social, home and career circles. The answers run the gamut. Some even say they don’t like art at all. Not your thing? To that, I say impossible—you just haven’t found your niche.

So, where do you go when you want to curate your individual art experience? Salt Lake Gallery Stroll gives the public an entrance point to the local art scene, allowing the customization of your art-viewing experience. Some months, I choose soothing and calm shows; other times, I seek shows that will enlighten and challenge my school of thought. The best part about Gallery Stroll is that you get to choose what you want to see. A variety of galleries, shops and businesses participate in the stroll, and shows range from the traditional to the avant-garde. Salt Lake City’s November Gallery Stroll takes place on Friday, Nov. 18 from 6–9 p.m. This month, you’ll find me at a less traditional gallery space, Fice, on 160 E. 200 S., featuring the latest work from artist Blake Palmer.

Fice has participated in the monthly Gallery Stroll since opening in 2008. It’s a place where urban music, art and fashion seamlessly combine to create a high-energy, progressive atmosphere. As an active person who enjoys exploring the city and Utah’s rugged terrain, Palmer has been a longtime fan and patron of the store, and like the man, Palmer’s art supports and harmonizes with Fice’s atmosphere flawlessly.

Using a combination of photography, Xerox transfers, graphic design and line drawing, Palmer pays homage to the Bauhaus art movement, layering styles and shapes upon familiar scenes like industrial spaces and wilderness landscapes. Also a fan of Dada, Palmer rejects the conformity and branding of art, opting to leave his work untitled, promoting ambiguity and thus requiring personal refection from the viewer.

As I view Palmer’s work, I’m transported to sunny California, weaving around the industrialized city on a skateboard or a BMX bike, looking for natural half pipes, rails to grind and blank canvases. In another art piece, I feel the crisp mountain air as it fills my lungs with the smell of pine and the sunlight flickers through the trees. “Just like a song will mean something different to each person based off their experiences, I hope my art means something new to each of you,” says Palmer. “My favorite thing at a show is to sit back and listen to everyone make up their own stories and conclusion about the work.”

Come and make up your own conclusions and enjoy your very own Gallery Stroll experience. A list of many of the local galleries are available at gallerystroll.org, but not all participating galleries or Gallery Stroll stops are officially affiliated with the Gallery Stroll association. Keep your eyes peeled, get on your favorite gallery email lists and always pick up a copy of SLUG for my favorite places to stroll.