Small Problems Sculpture by Brittany Johnson, displayed at the Urban Arts Gallery.
I’ve been to galleries in warehouses, old houses, a truck, tents, bars, furniture stores and salons––not every place is a good fit, but art must find a way to be seen, so in some cases, you overlook the atmosphere in order to appreciate the art. Luckily, no overlooking is needed when it comes to the new Urban Arts Gallery at the Gateway. The space vacated by American Eagle had the bare bones of a great would-be gallery: track lighting, white walls, great sunlight and heavy foot traffic. Add artist Blake Palmer’s ingenuity and eye for aesthetic, and you have a sleek, comfortable, inviting place to show and sell art, host lectures and hold impromptu dance parties.
Founder and Executive Director Derek Dyer has become a go-to guy for the city when a vacant space needs a shot of life. He has transformed several vacant buildings, including what is now the Utah Arts Alliance Gallery at 127 S. Main and the multi-studio exhibition and performance space at 663 W. 100 S., now known as the Arts Hub. Dyer is a longtime proponent of art on the West Side and was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring more art to the Gateway district.
Curator, Gallery Director and fab photo artist herself, Cat Palmer remembers putting together a wish list of artists for the Gateway space. “Every person we asked from our dream list came on board,” she says. Over 35 artists display various works at the Gateway gallery, from reclaimed metal sculptures to retro-designed pillows, jewelry, clothing, children’s toys and more. The main walls currently feature nine artists with large-scale works, including the pièce de résistance, “Crab” by Tim Little. Utilizing an engine hood from a 1953 Chevy truck and various motorcycle parts, “Crab” serves as a sample of the edgy, imaginative work shown throughout.
The gallery is open 12-8 p.m., Tues.–Sat., featuring special events every Friday night, including BBOY Federation breakdancing the first Friday, Connect on the second Friday, Gallery Stroll on the third Friday and belly dancing or modern dance performances on the third and fourth Fridays. Impromptu dance parties and house sound are provided by mix master KIRA. In the spirit of not being City Creek, the Gateway wants to remind people all of their businesses are open on Sundays including the gallery, which is open from 12-6 p.m. For more information on open mic nights, exhibitions, or volunteering for the gallery, visit utaharts.org.
Not all art has a home, or a place where it can be appreciated, which is why artists and community organizer Josh Scheuerman started the semi-annual Art Adoption show. Creating and collecting, Scheuerman found himself with orphaned art, banished to the basement: great pieces of work that deserved a valued place on someone’s wall—someone who didn’t already have too much art. The Art Adoption show collects all the uncollected, and merges the prominent and prolific with budding young artists. All proceeds remain with the artists, fueling their ability to create more work and thus more need for art adoption. Prices range from $5 to $200. Drinks, food and local charities make this a feel-good evening for one and all. The Art Adoption will take place May 25, but, ironically, at press time, the adoption proceeding had yet to confirm its home! For the latest information and to find out more about adopting or submitting art, please visit facebook.com/slcartadoption.
Salt Lake Gallery Stroll takes place on the third Friday of every month, but art happens all the time, so no matter the time or place, just get out and stroll.