Dark Arts Gallery III: SLC’s Finest and Grimmest


For three years, the Dark Arts Collective has continuously shown off the more macabre and gloomy side of the arts community. Starting off as a few friends displaying their creations in underground galleries, it quickly grew into a conglomeration of painters, sculptors and much more. Founding member of the Dark Arts Collective and featured painter Brett Barrett expressed us his passion for putting on this gallery every year. He discusses the importance of the fest and why it’s caught on with so many like-minded people year after year.

The Dark Arts Gallery shows up the creepy and cryptic side of SLC's art community.
Art by Jerry Macaluso

SLUG: How long have you been involved with Dark Arts?

Brett Barrett: I am a founding member of The Dark Arts Gallery along with Daniel Duckett and Scott Robinson. Originally founded in 2017, our goal was to do, on a single and special night, a gallery that featured artists whose work wouldn’t be normally displayed in more mainstream formats. It was largely inspired by the famous Last Rites Gallery in Manhattan, NY— a tattoo parlor and gallery that primarily features dark and surrealist art that Daniel and I were inspired by. This is our third year doing the gallery, as it’s become an annual event.

SLUG: What has been your main mode of involvement? Were you just a featured artist for a while or were you helping with production?

Barrett: My involvement this year and in years past has been featuring my own artwork, assisting with production and the booking of venues for the gallery. This year is different than the previous two, as we’ve expanded the amount of artists involved. We have also networked with Logan Long and Suzanna Hendrick of Pleasant Grove’s Evermore theme park as organizers and contributors to the one-night only gallery.

SLUG: How is this year’s fest shaping out compared to the previous two? What is going to be featured this year that is new? Who are some of the main artists that will be showcased at this event that you’re most excited about? Where can we find the artists online?

Barrett: What’s different this year is the sheer amount of artists involved. We’ve gone from three artists one year, to five the next, to even more contributing artists this year. We have acrylic and oil painters hailing from the tattoo community, sculptors and visual effects artists. We have expanded past our usual 2D artists. So far I know we have myself, Duckett, Robinson, Sarah Kessler, Long, Will XX, Kelton Vincent, Zack Dunn, Wayne Anderson, Devon Dorrity, Joey Edwards, Andrew Freeman, Lee Joyner, Stanislav Krawczyk, Vanessa Lemen, and Jerry Macaluso all submitting pieces. There is some seriously incredible work on display this year.

SLUG: Were there any artists that you tried to lock down for this year that couldn’t make it? Or did the stars align and everyone managed to show up?

Barrett: We’ve been lucky this year that all of the artists we asked were gracious enough to submit their work and it’s all panned out very smoothly.

The third edition of the Dark Arts Gallery comes just in time for Halloween.
Art by Vanessa Lemen

SLUG: Tell me about the new venue you’ve locked down for this year. Why did you go with Ember?

Barrett: We have chosen Ember this year as our venue for the Dark Arts Gallery because we thought it was classy. Our goal is to expand the Dark Arts into a more accessible format for everyone and we believed venue choice was of key importance to this.

SLUG: What is it about the Dark Arts Gallery that you feel draws people in? What is it that you feel sets you apart from other art festivals of a similar theme?

Barrett: What makes it different is its exclusivity. It’s a one-night event In October where people can come and feel the spirit of fall here in Salt Lake, as well as enjoy and celebrate local art and artists.

SLUG: What are some ideas that have come up for the future of the gallery?

Barrett: The Dark Arts Collective, as we call it, isn’t just a one-night event. It’s more importantly a group of people with like minds and attitudes that can come together and support each other even though we practice with different mediums. We are supportive of one another, inspired by one another and feel like we are all coming together to make something special this year and each year we’ll continue to do it.

For Dark Arts Gallery III, tickets are available for $5 online. Come take a walk on the dark side at Ember in SLC, Oct. 18th at 7pm!

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