Community is very important to artists. It feeds their creativity, influences their subject matter and validates their work. The creative process can be daunting and lonely. Combine that with the cost of good ventilated space and you end up with a warehouse full of artists’ studios: separate spaces, but community living.

One such place, known as Captain Captain, houses artists Sri Whipple, Trent Call, Chase Leslie, Trent Alvey, Steve Larsen, Justin Carruth, Carolyn Pryor, Carrie Wakefield, Tyler James Densley, Tessa Lindsey, Geoff Shupe, Andy Cvar, Meg Charlier and Trevor J. Dopp.

It’s not the biggest of Salt Lake’s warehouse artist communities—I believe that title still remains with Bad Slaugh’s Poor Yorrick gang—but the Captain Captain group would win the most prolific.  After my last meeting with some of the Captain Captain gang, I have to say they also have my vote for most charming and down-to-earth artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

They looked like a few vagabonds sitting on the sidewalk with nothing to do, but Pyor, Whipple and Dropp were taking a creative break to watch life happen outside of the Captain Captain studios and they were so sweet as to offer up a piece of the sidewalk to me to talk about life and art.  “Nothing ever changes around here.

We see the same construction workers, same transients and same restaurant workers commuting back and forth,” says Whipple referring to the pedestrian traffic on 900 S.  “It’s kind of nice, the only thing that changes around here is the weather.” It may seem that way from the outside, but inside this nondescript building is a flurry of creativity at work.

The Captain crew is a close-knit group. “We’re like a family,” Whipple explains. “We even start thinking alike, people will have completely unrelated projects and you’ll start to see this creative thread pop up in everyone’s work.”

This group doesn’t just dabble in art— they live, breathe and sleep their art. All 14 artists from the Captain group work in such vastly different mediums that you’re not likely to see their work hanging side by side in a gallery space, making the opportunity for a group show at Kayo pretty sweet. With an imaginative, charismatic group like this, there is no telling what you’re going to see.

I think Dopp, one of the newest studio-mates, put it best, “The only constant with the Captain Captain group is that we’ll blow your mind!” The Captain Captain Showdown at the Kayo Gallery opens January 21 for the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll and remains on display until the second week of Feb. The Kayo Gallery is located at 177 E. Broadway (300 S.).

Now, something for those aspiring artists out there—if you are an emerging artist, designer or doodler, I have a competition for you.  1GR (One Good Reason) is looking for artists each month to design a new t-shirt. Winners receive fortune and fame—fortune being a brand new iPod and fame being getting your artwork featured on the 1GR site and a chance to have it made into a limited-edition t-shirt.