Should you not know what “Fringe” means, a new Salt Lake City gallery by that name wastes no time in defining it for you: “not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme.” They also say it’s “Utah’s hottest new contemporary art gallery.” We shall see March 17 at the Grand Opening, though on their website it looks a pretty impressive place for viewing artsy creations.
The owners, Eric Waddington, currently of Utah; Nicholas Yust and Adam Schwoeppe both of Ohio, say they have had an online and art show presence for a decade but only now are opening a physical gallery and doing so right here – Salt Lake City and Park City, they say, “stack up with Cali, Portland and Seattle as some of the premier destinations for fine art” in the United States.
Located at 345 W. Pierpont Ave. along the boardwalk at the old Artspace, the gallery deals in high-end art, sculptures, and custom furniture by artists across the globe – and many from right here in Zion: painters Paul Redd-Butterfield (abstracts); Jimmi Toro (colorful urban portraits); Steven K. Sheffield (contemporary landscapes and urban abstracts); Darryl Erdmann (abstracts); Nathan Brimhall (sculptures); and Douglas Aagard (Western landscapes) are included.
Selecting Utah artists involved combing the Internet for articles on exhibits, reviews, rankings and awards, Waddington explains. “I was particularly interested in artists who had some sort of defining, “fringe” element to their work; whether it be a unique medium, unorthodox style, or other creative flair that seemed to be a break from the norm. As I sorted through hundreds and hundreds of articles and web pages I took note of any that seemed promising and sent that list to Nicholas and Adam and had them rank their top 10-20 favorites. I then merged our lists and created a master list, along with a handful of referrals from other local artists we had contacted,” he says. Their area choices resulted.
Other artists are co-owner Yust from Cincinnati who creates metal art and sculptures; Monroe, Ohio’s Schwoeppe, another co-owner, who makes contemporary art, sculptures and furniture in wood; Janice Sugg, a wildlife, landscape and abstract painter from Illinois and Colorado; Mark Lewis from California who creates Pop Art adaptations of celebrity types; Laurie Pace, from Dallas, who paints horses, wolves and floral works; contemporary painter Megan Duncanson from Florida and Alaska; and abstract painter Mendo Vasilevski from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
It’s a reasonably sized stable of interesting creative folk, and Utah, of course, can always use another place to view good art.
Waddington hopes the gallery “will help invigorate the contemporary art community in Salt Lake City and become the premier location for artwork and custom furniture that truly has the ‘wow factor’ in both residential and commercial settings.”
Everyone is invited to check it out on St. Patrick’s Day night when you can meet artists from around the country, listen to music, munch hors d’oeuvres and sip Italian sodas. Hard to resist an invite like that.
A graduate of the University of Utah, Ann Poore is a freelance writer and editor who spent most of her career at The Salt Lake Tribune. She also worked for Salt Lake City Weekly and has written for such publications as Utah Business Magazine and Salt Lake Magazine.