Still Strollin' . . . from page 1
In fact, it was the Salt Lake Art Center Guild’s involvement in 1983
that initiated what is now known as Gallery Stroll. The Guild chose surrounding
galleries to participate in the “Gallery Crawl.” The “Old Salty” tourist
train transported gallery goers around the city from exhibit to exhibit
until the evening culminated at a “champagne breakfast” reception hosted
by the Salt Lake Art Center. After Old Salty broke down in front of Phillips
Gallery it became clear that buses would be necessary for future crawls.
The Salt Lake Art Center hosted Gallery Crawls for two years, but not long
after that the Salt Lake Gallery Association picked up Gallery Strolls as
a monthly event.
It took ten years before non-profit
galleries became a part of the association. In retrospect, it is apparent
that banding together was key to bringing an agreeable balance to the
visual arts community. In 1993 the Salt Lake Art Center joined the SLGA
along with Art Access, Finch Lane Gallery and the Utah Arts Council’s Glendinning
Gallery. Once the non-profits became involved, the SLGA really took off
as a community-outreach organization, hosting a free Gallery Stroll once
a month and developing a more educational mission statement:
“To provide an avenue for galleries
and museums to strengthen the local visual arts market and to promote
and foster increased public awareness of the wide variety of traditional
and contemporary art available in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Gallery
Association further seeks to develop a knowledgeable buying public through
visual arts education and enhanced public awareness of arts and culture.”
Gallery Stroll is undoubtedly the
most successful program created by the SLGA. This cultural event has increased
in popularity to the point that it brings hundreds of art lovers downtown
on the third Friday night of every month.
The SLGA has had several presidents
in the past such as Dave Ericson, Bonnie Phillips, Ruth Lubbers and Judith
Christensen. But it is Kent Rigby who has kept the association running
for the past ten years. For many of those years he handled all the paperwork,
advertising and correspondence. In the year 2000, Kent Rigby received
the Mayor’s Award for his dedication to the visual arts.
In the past year or so, Rigby has
received some significant help from a new executive committee actively
involved in cultivating the visual arts. These committee members provided
some welcome energy and fresh air to the association, attracting many
new sponsors and members. Although many of the galleries and arts organizations
have different goals and missions, the SLGA as a whole shares one mission:
to develop a knowledgeable buying public through visual arts education and
enhanced public awareness of arts and culture.
Selling fine art in Salt Lake City
is a challenge and any gallery owner will tell you they don’t do it for
the money. In fact, Dave Ericson who has been in the business for over 25
years says, “I can easily count on one hand the years my gallery has made
more than $20,000. I can much more easily count the years I’ve made less
than $5,000. And I’ve never taken home a salary.”
It is clear that art galleries as well
as non-profit arts organizations love what they do and respect the artists
they represent to continue in their chosen professions. To endure a struggling
economy takes courage and a deep devotion. No matter how slow art sales
may be in Utah, the SLGA will continue to hold quarterly meetings to discuss
local arts issues; they’ll continue to educate the public through the remarkable
work of talented Utah artists and they’ll continue to open their doors
after hours for Gallery Stroll every month.
At the time of its 20th
anniversary, the Salt Lake Gallery Association would like to pay tribute
to our dearly departed. The following galleries successfully contributed
to the diverse visual arts culture in Salt Lake City, but unfortunately
are no longer in existence:
Air Terminal Gifts
Ancient Future Gallery and Gifts
Artists in Action
Dolores Chase Fine Art
J. Christensen Gallery
Marble House Gallery & Appraisal
Rim Rock Art Gallery
Rocky Mountain Gallery
the SLGA website is: www.ourcommunityconnection.com/slga.html
Inside the Vault:
Truths & Myths from the Utah State Fine Art Collection
The State Fine Art Collection, begun in 1899 as the Alice Merrill
Horne Collection, now consists of over 1,100 works by Utah artists
in all media. The pieces are on display in various state and
office buildings throughout Utah and many travel with the Utah Arts
Council Traveling Exhibition Program.
The continued acquisition of artwork comes
from purchases made through the visual arts program and donations
from patrons and artists of the state of Utah.
This series is an effort to preserve and
share the stories and experiences surrounding the artwork and
artists of Utah as seen through the eyes of the Utah Arts Council
Compiled by Laura Durham
Assistant Visual Arts Coordinator, Utah Arts Council
Governor Norman H. Bangerter, oil
Bruce Smith (1936-)
Whenever a new governor takes office, an artist is commissioned
to paint their portrait. If you venture up to our state capitol,
you can see a parade of Utah’s esteemed governors beginning on the
south wall and ending on the north wall.
This portrait of Governor Bangerter was a reject, so the Utah
Arts Council adopted it into their collection. Bangerter thought
himself happier, younger and more energetic than his portrait conveyed.
The “acceptable” portrait (painted by Keith Eddington) resides up at
the capitol building in the company of his predecessors who, evidently,
don’t seem quite as happy to be there as he is.
Springville artist Robert Marshall on the spot:
WHAT ARE YOU READING
"Guns, Germs and Steel." Discussion on why we are the
way we are in terms of
cultures and civilizations. I read a lot of diversion
as well: If there's a
spy out there I'll read about it
WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE
TO PAINT OR SCULPT YOUR PORTRAIT?
My first reaction is Bruce Smith who
has a studio next to mine, just because
we're good friends.
And then Odd Nerdrum. I think he's Danish. He's
a really good portrait
painter. He also paints really dark, painful images of
people and depictions of
life that's not very pleasant – a sadistic Rembrandt.
WHAT IS HANGING ABOVE YOUR MANTEL?
One of my prized possessions: an intaglio
print by David Smith Harrison who used to print for Trevor Southey and
then ended up printing for himself and has
a gallery in Park City. He does exquisite textural and
pictorial things. It's just a simple apricot