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Utah Artist Hands Turns 5

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Utah Artist Hands, located in downtown Salt Lake, is celebrating its five-year anniversary this month with an exhibit appropriately entitled, Five. The gallery’s February showing features artist views of Salt Lake City by Bevan Chipman, Kindra Fehr, Paul Heath, Cara Koolmes and David Marti.

We asked gallery owner Pam O’Mara a few questions on celebrating five years:

When you started this five years ago, where did you think you would be now?
I really hoped that I would be right here and still hanging out with all this great, juicy art. For the most part I’m still living my vision.

What has been the most difficult challenge in the business?
Trying to develop my local clientele. The out-of-statevisitors that come here think that they have found a real treasure – but there are still a lot of local people who have not discovered the wonderful collection of fine art and artisans that I have here.

The greatest reward?
The greatest is all the friends that I have made in the arts community – I feel like my family has become HUGE! Personally, it has been a real joy being there to watch the creative process as I see some of my artists really grow and succeed. I love to be able to make a difference. When I can give a talented emerging artist a “boost up” to get more exposure I am really happy. To see work that I have placed in lovely homes and in public places and to know that I helped to bring that about is also really rewarding.

Has your philosophy about the gallery changed? What have you learned about running a gallery?
I wanted to “bring together the artists community of Utah” and I still want that. I get a thrill out of seeing people from other states and other countries come in here and leave with a great impression of the talent in Utah. I have learned that running a gallery is a terrific amount of fun – and a heck of a lot of work. I love the social aspect – but really get bogged down with the bookkeeping. And, I’ve learned that it is a hard road trying to “do it all” on my own.

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