by Kent Rigby
There is a new kid on the block, boys and girls — Palmers Gallery Fine Art, at the Salt Lake Design Center building, 378 West Broadway, Suite 3. Darren Palmer owns Palmers Gallery Fine Photography at Trolley Square, as well as this great new fine art gallery.
This is a very well conceived and designed gallery space, a collaborative effort between the owner, gallery director, architect, and interior designer. It was, in essence, a design/build project, with professional assistance from architect Brian Junge and interior designer Adrianne Valenga of Heart Healthy Design, and General Contractor, T REX.
“The design evolved throughout the construction process and changed constantly, right up to project completion,” observes gallery director Shawn Stradley. “The major challenge to be overcome was the ceiling heights and being able to achieve the upper level gallery area.”
The first time visitor to Palmers Gallery Fine Art is impressed initially with the contemporary feel the gallery space offers. Additional gallery areas reveal themselves as the visitor continues to progress throughout the 3,400 square foot space, providing a multi-layered feeling and effect. Little glimpses of the next gallery area serve to propel the eye forward and compel the viewer to venture further.|1|
The main level floor is stained concrete, which introduces an effective use of color carried pleasantly throughout the gallery. A monumental stairway takes you to the upper level gallery space, which is open to the main level, affording a bird’s eye view of the art below. This not only allows more display area for art, it provides an additional informal gathering space, and increased viewing distance for the art on the main level. Conversely, looking up from the main level provides increased viewing distance for the art works displayed above. |2|
The small and more intimate galleries towards the rear provide a great opportunity to showcase individual artists’ pieces as well as allow for similar and contrasting art pieces to be grouped together, engaging in silent dialogues.|3|
There is a distinctive feeling of welcome, ease and harmony within the gallery, and an attention to detail. Having worked with Brian Junge on several architectural projects in the past, I was not surprised to discover he served as the architect. He is a good designer and this project has obliviously benefited from his considerable skills.
“This gallery is by design meant to provide accessibility as well as approachability to both the public and the artist,” states director Stradley. The desired result has been well achieved.|4|
The gallery currently represents 24 local artists. Twelve exhibits will be presented annually as well as two or three specialty shows. Application for membership to the Salt Lake Gallery Association has been made and monthly Gallery Stroll participation will be the norm. Additional artists will be accepted to the stable, and artists are required to sign an Artist/Gallery Agreement, which is non-exclusive. The gallery has published Accepting-Framing-Hanging Artwork standards that are available to interested artists upon request.
Palmers Gallery Fine Art represents a wide variety of styles including traditional, classical, plein-air landscapes, and abstract art. All media is considered. The gallery offers specialty services such as custom framing, silk floral design and specialty furnishings.
For a rewarding gallery experience, be sure to visit Palmers Gallery Fine Art. The current exhibit is, DOLLS, paintings by Jared Gillett.|5| An up coming special event will be an exhibit of statewide grade K – 12, HIV Awareness poster contest winners. The posters from the 9 winners will be on display from November 25 through the first week of January. Opening reception for the poster show will be on December 1, World AIDS Day and Day Without Art.
This article originally appeared in the November 2005 edition of 15 Bytes