Gallery Stroll: Connecting to Art


Painting: Jimmi Toro

Call it narcissism or hometown pride, but I’m beginning to believe Utah could be the center of the universe. It has a remarkable gravitational pull for artists and creative types, and no matter how far you might travel, someone along your way will have a tie back to this bizarre and wonderful state. This month, I delighted in finding the connections within the gallery exhibits, artists, themes and methodology. As I tied them together, I felt looped in—I hope you will, too.

Time is the most universal of all connectors: There’s never enough of it, sometimes too much of it, and it’s always keeping us on our toes. “Art of the Timepiece,” an exhibit at the Kimball Art Center, is a timeless show that opens up the discussion of functionality versus art. From ancient sundials to atomic technology, watchmakers have prided themselves on making one of the most functional of tools—also one of the most exquisite. Collector Karol Renau, an electronic design engineer, began restoring old watches as a hobby. Renau quickly found that the inner workings of these watches were a beautiful puzzle of gears and mechanisms, each more elaborate than the last. Renau’s collection now includes nearly 200 pieces. The exhibit utilizes all three gallery spaces and include the watches, images of the delicate inner workings, timepiece-inspired jewelry by artists Krysia Renau and Stacy Sherr and a few very rare and remarkable pieces on loan from O.C. Tanner. The show runs through April 6. For more information, visit

Jimmi Toro is connected to many people, organizations and countless artistic ventures. The aforementioned Kimball Arts Center honored him last summer with a Best in Show award for his participation in the Kimball Arts Festival. This month, the Urban Arts Gallery will host over 60 of Toro’s paintings in one of their rare solo shows. To call Toro a composer, musician, artist and graphic designer would just scratch the surface. Toro doesn’t separate or compartmentalize his media—he allows them to inform and influence each other, resulting in multimedia pieces that are strong alone, but also add to the collective. “We feel that Jimmi Toro’s work embodies everything we are trying to accomplish at the Urban Arts Gallery,” says Cat Palmer, Urban Arts Gallery manager and curator. “It is diverse, rich, accessible, but also incredibly sophisticated.” March’s show will feature his music and lithographs, which Toro has been working on simultaneously. The project, called “Faces,” will incorporate the lyrics of the song into an image of a human face. “When you capture the face in a painting, you have an emotion frozen forever, a symbol that everyone can relate to,” says Toro. “Somewhere beneath this symbol lies the spirit of the individual.” In this case, the face reflects the lyrics and works as a symbol for the song. The exhibit begins March 21 at the Urban Arts Gallery on 137 S. Rio Grande St. at The Gateway.

Toro’s mantra to young artists is “If you want to be good, you have to be prolific.” The Submerged in Art show on March 7 (6 p.m.–midnight) and 8 (5 p.m.–midnight) embodies prolific artists. Josh Taeoalii started the show in 2010 as a way to give back and support The Road Home. Now, over 22 artists and many musicians participate in the two-day event. The suggested donation at the door goes directly to The Road Home. Peruse collections and talk directly with the artists. This year, you’ll find them in a new location at the SLC Photo Collective on 561 W. 200 S. For a list of artists, check out

The thread twists and turns and wraps around, but if we choose to acknowledge and appreciate these connections, we become a part of the threading, a part of the story and a part of the Gallery Stroll.