Gallery Spotlights | Visual Arts

Left Bank’s New Vision

Interior view of New Visions Gallery

On Oct 1, 2003, Left Bank gallery, Utah’s longest running artists’ cooperative, underwent major internal reconstruction and emerged as New Visions Gallery .

Heather Wunderlich, past gallery director for Left Bank, says “Left Bank was a great organization that offered an opportunity for emerging artists to get their feet wet in the art world. Many well-known local and national artists got their start there. During its thirteen years of operation, Left Bank exhibited over 150 shows and hosted many memorable performance art pieces. But we felt the space was just not being utilized to its full potential”.

Visions for Learning, a non-profit corporation founded in 1977 and operating in California, Oregon and Utah, stepped in to help the space realize its potential. The organization, which is dedicated to the advancement of innovative and exemplary educational projects, particularly arts-based initiatives, joined with individuals involved in Left Bank to create a new gallery with a new vision.


Visions for Learning may not be a household name yet in Utah’s visual arts community, but many will remember one of its more recent projects — the outstanding exhibit, Utah Arts 2002, held during the Olympic Winter Games. Utah Arts 2002 exhibit catalog sales and donors provided the funding to start the Utah Arts Scholarship Fund which has also been supported by two years of Salt Lake Arts Council grants. This fund provides scholarships for under served high school art students, which provide one-on-one mentoring with local professional artists. It is clear, based on accomplishments such as these, that Visions for Learning has the experience and expertise needed to make a success of this new gallery venture.

Like the Left Bank Gallery, New Visions Gallery is still an artists’ cooperative, but with a very different mission. It will act as a laboratory where semi-professional, serious and committed artists can experiment with new ideas and diverse media to advance their work in a non-commercial setting. Performing artists, installation artists, and anyone creating challenging or exemplary work will be encouraged to join.

New Visions Gallery will continue in the Left Bank space in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City – a midpoint on the monthly gallery stroll. Because expenses are paid by sponsors instead of relying on commercial sales, New Visions Gallery can present unusual exhibits that visitors might not see in a privately owned gallery.

Gallery Director Jim Frazer says “We are trying to create a context in Salt Lake for artists who do alternative, experimental work, thereby enriching the art community and the cultural life of the city as a whole.”

As a Visions for Learning Program, New Visions Gallery plans to connect with the community’s artists by offering regularly scheduled artist-run critiques, discussions and collaborations. Opportunities for outside exhibits featuring local and national artists will be a regular focus in the yearly show schedule. The first will be the second annual Show us your Stuff II in January featuring all university and graduate student work followed by A Season for NonViolence, a juried exhibition focusing on the theme of Non-Violence sponsored by the local chapter of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence (call for entries for both exhibits can be found in the AoU Forum.)

This is an opportunity for local artists to become part of a sustainable artistic community independent of the traditional commercial gallery system. New Visions is looking for serious and committed artists who want to be a part of this new project and adventure.

Currently showing at the New Visions Gallery is an  exhibit by Kent Rigby entitled, “It’s Only Paint After All. Admission to the gallery is free and the public is always welcome. Off street parking is available in front of the gallery.

New Visions Gallery is a member of the Salt Lake Gallery Association and participates in the monthly gallery strolls, the 3rd Friday of each month (1st Friday in December). New Visions Gallery is located at 242 South 200 84101 (801) 539-0343 Wed-Sat 5-9

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