On Sunday, April 20, The Garage on Beck Street hosted Jesse Walker’s 4th Annual Bunny Hop, featuring vinyl-spinning DJs, a charity raffle and a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny! Great prizes, an all-day egg hunt, games and a special drinks-and-brunch menu were some of the festivities.

The day-long ‘hop’, which attracted a hip, alternative crowd ranging in age and identity, benefits the Volunteers of America, and Utah’s Homeless Youth Resource Center. This now yearly tradition of community interaction and goodwill helps attendees release a healthy dose of spring fever.

Photography by John Barkiple

(L–R) Shea Ledesma, Adrian Evans and Matthew Windsor host an opening party for their Gold Blood Collective BMX bikes and style shop on 1526 S. State Street in Salt Lake. Photo: John Barkiple

Take equal portions of LA’s On Some Shit (OSS) and Thee Block, then add a dash of Layton’s 5050 Bike & Skate, and you’ll approximate the BMX sport/style blend percolating at Gold Blood Collective on 1526 South State in Salt Lake City.

SLUG photographer Matthew Windsor, Adrian Evans and Shea Ledesma intend to foster an arts community centered on BMX street style clothing brands and local artists through sales, events and collaborations. Windsor anticipates a variety of ways that artists and vendors can move merchandise through the Gold Blood Collective storefront: wholesale, consignment and pop-up store.

The space is currently stocked with BMX bikes, mugs, T-shirts, hoodies and hats. And for tonight’s opener, it’s all pushed aside to create a dance space with room for bands in the corner. Corvette Boys, Radius and Swell Merchants kept it loud inside, and a Meth & Macaroni pop-up kept it cool on the sidewalk. It was a welcoming scene filled with friendly artists and enthusiasts.

Windsor is excited to host DRUX Clothing, Division Brand and Meth & Macaroni. The two main bike brands Gold Blood works with are Cult and Animal Bikes. Other makes and models are available by special order from Gold Blood, too.

Salt Lake is thriving, and the commercial revival along this stretch of State Street includes an expanded SLCC campus, the Watchtower Café, Tosh’s Ramen, Uprok and Ironclad Electric Tattooing.

Keep an eye on the @goldbloodcollective Instagram account. With future shows already booked, the Gold Blood Collective looks like it’s already creating a fresh BMX art/sport/style scene at 1526 South State Street.

Click images for caption

Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts | MICA is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of two Utah-based, Latina artists Sonia Pentz and Nadia Rea Morales at Mestizo Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

From February 17th to March 14th, Mestizo Gallery will present two mixed media installations, Pentz’s Ithaka 12 and Rea Morales’s Zacuanpapalotls, which explore issues pertaining to migration, memory, reconciliation and transformation in both a personal and cultural sense. A key subject approached by both artists’ installations is the Monarch butterfly—a symbol of transnationalism, cultural identity and remembrance—tying the installations visually and conceptually.

Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts is a non-profit organization that strives to enrich community through art and civic engagement and seeks to give underrepresented artists and communities in Salt Lake City a voice: mestizoarts.org.

In its second year, Grid Zine Fest almost doubled in size and filled the event space attached to Publik Coffee at 975 S. West Temple on April 14. The fest included 68 exhibitors from across Utah and from six different states. Organizers included Bonnie Cooper, Juli Huddleston, Molly Barnewitz, and Sarah Morton Taggart.

This free event offered kid-friendly tables, a make-a-zine table and a ‘Shy Guy’ table for zinesters who preferred to publish anonymously. Silver Moon Taqueria served tacos from a truck parked just north of Publik Coffee, and baristas hand poured one cup after another to fuel the festival. The event space at Publik featured a bare-brick décor that reinforced the zine gallery’s DIY aesthetic. Saddle staplers and buttons machines peppered the tables as exhibitors continued to manufacture messages throughout the afternoon.

“We formed Grid Zine Fest to create a zine and comix-centric space in Salt Lake, and for folks to come together and showcase their work. Making zines can sometimes be isolating, or it can be hard to find an audience, but we hope that GZF is able to create a space for that to happen,” Juli Huddleston said. After tabling at fests in other states, Huddleston wanted to start something similar in her hometown. “I’ve been making zines since I was in high school, mostly about water parks and train trips, and I love to table at zine fests across the country. It is a great way to meet new folks, and learn from them, and to see the world in a different way,” she said.

Bonnie Cooper’s love for zines led her to team up with Huddleston when they founded Grid Zine Fest in 2017. “I’m working at the downtown Salt Lake City Public Library on Level 2 where their zine collection is located. I was instantly drawn to zines because I had been unwittingly making my own zine like mini comics, essays and collages since high school without realizing they fit into an actual genre. It was so exciting to see that kind of creativity appreciated and celebrated  by a community, and I’m still constantly inspired by all of the creators who are making their own unique zines. While I still love to create my own zines I’ve spent most of my time in the last few years teaching zine making to kids and teens in after-school classes and summer camp workshop,” Cooper said.

Sarah Morton Taggart’s comics feature ghost towns and her personal history. “I’ve been drawing comics for almost 10 years, and it’s such a rare delight to be able to share them with people. This year I was able to spend more time going around to the other tables and getting to know other zinesters a little better. I’m still buzzing with inspiration. I think it’s so important for people to be have a forum to present their unique point of view in a way that is much more nuanced than sharing opinions through social media,” she said.

Molly Barnewitz earned an MA from the University of Utah in part through her work examining how LGBTQ+ stories can be told between the pages of comics with a freedom that isn’t available in literature or art. “I studied LGBTQ+ representation in comics during my MA program at the U of U. I also have some friends who make their own zines and comics, which I have always admired.  After I graduated, I wanted to be involved with something more creative rather than analytical,” Barnewitz said.

Grid Zine Fest established a set of safe space criteria to allow participants to enjoy the event regardless of “race, ethnicity, gender, sex, socio-economic status, education, religion, immigration status, language and cultural backgrounds, physical and mental health.” This led to an inclusive atmosphere in which diversity flourished and creativity blossomed.

Sponsors included the Utah Arts Alliance and SLUG Magazine. There’s contact information for the exhibitors and organizers at the Grid Zine Fest website.

Photos by John Barkiple

Parade lines and celebrations reach all the way down the streets. Photo: Logan Sorenson | Lmsorenson.net

The Utah Pride Festival is about love, inclusion and progression—a way to open the summer months with togetherness as opposed to divisiveness. Whether you walk in the parade or observe from the side, at Pride, you will witness a spectrum of individuals who are gathered to celebrate unity among all individuals and allies within the LGBTQ+ community.

This year’s Pride displayed the best of these individuals as they came out for the weekend’s festivities armed with signs, smiles and bright-colored everything in the name of expression, pride and a move toward a more progressive future. People of all backgrounds showed up to give as much support to the community as they could. There are few events on Salt Lake’s calendar that offer such a wave of inclusion and positivity. Pride has grown to become a staple of Utah’s summers, and the festival’s trajectory only seems to be trending upward.

The streets of downtown Salt Lake were flooded with massive crowds looking on as the annual parade made it’s march on 200 South from West Temple to 400 East. People then moved their way from the streets to Washington Square Park, where groups were greeted to activities, food and entertainment during the final day of the Pride Festival.

In photos taken at Washington Square, John Barkiple captures the individuals and stories that make Utah’s Pride Festival thrive and grow year after year. Images of the parade from Logan Sorenson display the outward joy expressed by crowd and marchers alike on a gorgeous Sunday celebration of love and the Utah LGBTQ+ community.

Take a look at some wonderful photos from the 2018 Pride Festival in the galleries below.

View of what was going on outside at Slug Mag's Brewstillery. Photo: Jayson Ross

The spring installment of SLUG Mag’s Brewstillery took over Historic Trolley Square on May 18, filling the north-west section of the Square with local breweries, distilleries, artisans, food vendors and eager patrons! From spirits and brews to games, music and food, SLUG Mag’s Brewstillery was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Whether you’re a seasoned beer-and-spirit connoisseur or you’re learning the ropes, SLUG Mag’s Brewstillery was a great opportunity to familiarize and find out the local businesses that make up the diverse craft libations landscape Utah has to offer.

No event is complete without good music. Local acts Cherry ThomasUgly Boys, Hot House West, Fur Foxen and Breakfast In Silence provided the tunes that carried the event through the afternoon, filling Trolley Square with life and excitement.

Many distilleries and breweries that participated had the opportunity to participate in various competitions. Holystone Distilling took home the People’s Choice: Best Brewstillery Cocktail Award and the Singular Contribution to Utah Spirits Award, while Bohemian Brewery won the People’s Choice: Best New Brew and Best New Brew Awards, presented by Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Ana Valdemoros for Salt Lake City Council District 4. Congratulations to Holystone Distilling and Bohemian Brewery!

While Bohemian brought a few different brews, the double winner was their Sir-Veza, the brewery’s new take on a Mexican-style Lager that was one of the more popular samples at the festival.

Thank you to all of the participating breweries and distilleries for making this SLUG Mag’s Brewstillery sensational! Feeling the FOMO? Luckily, Brewstillery is a bi-annual event and there will be another opportunity to sample, mingle and familiarize yourself with these Utah originals in the fall.

Jayson Ross


John Barkiple