Gallery Stroll – June 2010

"Blues Cloud"" (Acrylic on Canvas 48x36) by Nate Pack

In honor of SLUG’s Annual Beer issue, and especially because drinking beer with friends is my favorite pastime year-round, this SLUG reporter hit the streets / bars in search of your monthly art experience.

Dick N’ Dixie’s, located in the old space of Andy’s, is now a fun, bright neighborhood bar with views of the street life at 300 S. and 500 E. Adding to the air of revitalization and renovation is the presence of artwork by artist Greg White. White’s soft contemporary landscapes include a mountain range, winding road and a grove of trees in autumn colors, which lend to the airiness that was largely lacking in the old establishment. Bravo to Dick N’ Dixie’s. I’m happy to add this place to my list of possible hangout spots.

Up the street at 241 S. and 500 E. the Urban Lounge not only hosts national touring acts, but also provides wall space for local artists.  Come by for SLUG’s June Localized on June 18 to check work by Utah artist Trent Call.

The VFW Post 3586 on 2920 S. Highland Drive was designed as a meeting hall for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1938. As you walk down the plank to what resembles a hull of a ship, you’re transported through time. Walt Disney had just released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Benny Goodman and his orchestra became the first jazz musicians to headline Carnegie Hall and Adolph Hitler had just abolished the German War Ministry, giving himself direct control over the German military and ridding the ranks of any opposition.  The VFW provided a space for veterans to get the most recent intelligence, discuss, speculate and encourage those heading off to uncertainty of war. To a naval officer the hull of a ship with it’s portal views of the ocean blue was calming. The dioramas depicting coral reefs and ocean life are not only entrancing to look at, but once functioned as actual fish tanks.  This best-kept secret is out with a full ship on Tuesday nights for Beer Pong and 75-cent draft beers. It is a must-see stop on our local art bar tour, especially for those who appreciate three-dimensional art.

The State Room provides Salt Lake City with a much-needed swanky live show experience, made complete with velvet ropes and fine art hanging in the lobby. Currently on display are works by Nate Pack, a Utah resident and graduate of Utah State University. Pack creates abstract images of musicians––the bony knuckles of the piano player, the neck muscles of the female lead belting it out, and the inflated cheeks of the harmonica player.  

The 2010 Utah Arts Festival takes place June 24th through 27th in the cross section of Library Square and Washington Square at 200 W. and 400 S. This is the main event for summer drinking and taking in art. Enjoy Uinta and Bud products, or a glass of wine for the refined, and check out artists from around the world. Gig poster queen Leia Bell created the look for this year’s festival, depicting Utah’s varied terrain––the cityscapes, the snow-capped mountain ranges and Southern Utah’s red rocks.

Uinta Brewing Company is jumping on the local art bandwagon as well. The brewery reached out to local artists Leia Bell, Travis Bone and Trent Call to design the labels for their new high point Crooked Beer.  What can I say? Beer and art go hand in hand.
It doesn’t have to be the official Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, and you don’t have to wait for the third Friday of every month to enjoy local art. Slow down and appreciate the art around you, even if it’s in a bar!