"Giving everyone their fifteen bytes of fame"
December 2003
Page 2
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
Aperture Gallery
Artists in Action
C Gallery
Canyon Gallery
Dolores Chase Fine Art
D.B. Gallery
Hippodrome Gallery
J. Christensen Gallery
Lumiere Gallery
Moonflower, Inc.
Marble House Gallery & Appraisal
Rim Rock Art Gallery
Rocky Mountain Gallery
Soho Gallery
Voris Gallery

the SLGA website is: www.ourcommunityconnection.com/slga.html

--15 Bytes, Laura Durham
text only & comments on this article

Special Feature
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 staff.

Compiled by Laura Durham
Assistant Visual Arts Coordinator, Utah Arts Council


"The Unhappy Governor"
Governor Norman H. Bangerter, oil on canvas
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. 


art access


On the Spot

Springville  artist Robert Marshall on the spot:

robert marshall


"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


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.


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 tree.