Public Issues: Salt Lake City
Police or Painters? The Future of Garfield Elementary and the Visual Arts Institute
Salt Lake City residents, especially those in the Sugarhouse area, have a decision to make: what to do with the Garfield Elementary school located at 1838 South and 1500 East.
Garfield hasn't been an elementary school for over twenty years now, but it has remained an educational facility, housing a Montessori daycare, a Horizonte outreach program, and the Visual Arts Institute. The Visual Arts Institute develops children's talents by providing in-depth training in the visual arts. Students range from elementary age to high school, come from all economic situations and travel from as far away as Utah County to attend. Garfield Elementary has been the Institute's home for twenty years and the Institute hoped to keep it that way for years to come.
Realizing the Salt Lake School district would eventually need to sell the building, the Institute has been developing plans to purchase the property, update and transform the building while maintaining its architectural heritage and turn part of its parking lot (which overlooks a covered portion of Parleys Creek) into a neighborhood green space. But as Institute director Bruce Robertson explains, they thought they had a few years to develop the idea and raise the money to purchase the property.
They were surprised, then, when the Salt Lake School Board announced this summer that it was selling the property and that Salt Lake City, which had right of first refusal, bought it.
Salt Lake City property manager John Spencer says the City purchased Garfield because they had a "unique opportunity to acquire a parcel of land on the East Side." Due to funding issues, he doesn't anticipate any major changes to the use of the property for at least a year and any eventual decision will be made after a public process. He notes that the City has been eager to establish a police precinct on the East Side.
Robertson says the Institute would still like to purchase the property. Their plans for Garfield would mean much more than keeping the status quo, he says. A large reception area, available to the public would dominate the central portion of the building. The Institute would use a portion of the classrooms for its classes in the afternoon, but would make them available to professionals and other educational institutes during the day. Facilities for a print shop, artist studios, a gallery and a library are all in the plans. The new building would become both a neighborhood attraction as well as a hub for the visual arts.
Spencer says the city has no plans of disposing of the property, however. "We didn't purchas it as an intermediary for any other party . . . We don't anticipate we're going to dispose of it." Whatever the City decides, it will be "for the betterment of the community" Spencer says.
Concerned citizens are invited to attend a meeting about the property with council person Dave Buhler on Wednesday September 27th at 7:00 pm in the Garfield gymnasium (1838 South and 1500 East).
15 Bytes: About Us
Emily Chaney, after graduating in 2002 from the U0niversity of Utah with a Fine Arts degree, began writing for 15 Bytes as a way to stay connected to the Utah arts community. She is now the Gallery Manager for the Terzian Galleries on Park City's Main Street.
Stefanie Dykes, is a graduate of the University of Utah's BFA program and co-founder of Salt Lake's Saltgrass Printmakers. Her work is on view this month at Patrick Moore Gallery in Salt Lake and the Central Utah Art Center in Ephraim.
Tami Baum is a native of Utah. She graduated from BYU in Education but has always been more fond of the arts. She found photography after the birth of her last child and has not put the camera down since. She is always looking for new ways to capture the image she sees through the lens.
Jim Frazer originally from Atlanta, has been living and working as an artist in Salt Lake for the past seven years. He enjoys writing for 15 Bytes because it gives him the opportunity to meet other artists and talk with them about their work He will be showing at the Finch Lane Gallery in Spring of 2007.
Shawn Rossiter, a native of Boston and graduate of BYU, lives in the SugarHouse area of Salt Lake City. His new monumental drawing, Tiamat, will be on display at the Finch Lane Gallery September 22 through November 3rd.
Greg Thilmont is an Idaho native who lived and worked in Utah for a number of years before moving to Las Vegas earlier this year. He is exploring the art scene in Vegas and reporting on it in his podcast site www.artsofvegas.com
Tony Watson is originally from Washington State but has lived most of his adult life in Utah. No one occupation has occupied his working hours but his leisure hours are spent either climbing southern Utah's redrock country or engaging his mind with aesthetic issues.
Geoff Wichert is a professor of Art History at Snow College, as well as a glass and multi-media artist. He has been writing about art for over 25 years in regional, national and international publications.
15 Bytes is published monthly by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization located in Salt Lake City Utah. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 15 Bytes or Artists of Utah. Our editions are published monthly on the first Wednesday of the month. Our deadline for submissions is the last Wednesday of the preceeding month.
Editor: Shawn Rossiter
Assitant Editor: Laura Durham
You can contact 15 Bytes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature: On The Spot
Ogden's Brandon Cook
is featured in a one-person show this month at Salt Lake City's A Gallery
. Pictured here on a recent trip to Seattle.
1) What are you reading lately?
Well, huh, lets see I am reading a couple of books right now. "The American Religion (TheEmergence of the post-christian nation)" by Harold Bloom and "The Mystical Christ" by Manly P. Hall. Also I am listening to an audio CD right now, "Washington's Crossing" by David Hackett Fischer which is great if anybody is into U.S. history.
2) What hangs above your mantel?
Not much above the mantel, just a mirror, but opposite the mirror (reflected in) is a painting by Emily Plewe titled "Pict", an abstract that is 48x48 in size.
3) What artist, living or dead, would you choose to paint, sculpt or photograph your portrait?
I really do not like the idea of somebody doing my portrait, but I would liked to have sat for Alberto Giacometti. He was not concerned with transferring reality directly on to canvas and would not cover the tracks that plainly showed his process. He sought to convey his perception of reality so in turn, the living presence of the individual.