Gallery Spotlights | Visual Arts

Gray Wall Gallery

From the Grand Opening of the Gray Wall Gallery


The Gray Wall Gallery just opened in August and it is already adding some much needed color to Pierpont Avenue. The old hot spot for Gallery Stroll has been looking a little lackluster lately but walking in to Gray Wall gallery will take you back to a time when Pierpont felt urban, hip, and entirely one-of-a-kind.

The first thing you will see as you approach the gallery is the gray sign out front with a graphic of what looks like a section of stone wall with a chunk missing. It’s minimalist and simple. The gallery space itself is small but inviting. Tamara Fox, co-owner of Gray Wall, really brightens up the place when she comes in to work, and not just because she turns on the lights every day. She greets people at the door with a genuine smile and may even offer a cup of coffee. After Tamara makes people feel at home she gives them plenty of room to browse the gallery but never moves too far away to be available for questions. If you ask she offers an answer with infectious enthusiasm and lends interesting bits of trivia, like the fact that some of the zippers on Jason Wells’s messenger bags are salvaged tent zippers.

Sarah Cuvelier’s ceramics, from the Grand Opening of the Gray Wall Gallery

One of the most prominent pieces in the gallery right now is a collection of 8″ x 10″ canvases by Erica Harney who made her Utah debut at the gallery this month.|0| The arrangement is reminiscent of one side of an unsolved Rubix cube, bright inviting squares that offer up a puzzle. With Erica’s paintings the challenge is figuring out what portmanteau is represented on each canvas. A portmanteau is two separate words combined to create a new word with its own meaning, for example the words Tiger and Lion are combined to describe the offspring of the two animals, a Liger. For Erica’s particular project she asked friends to give her two nouns off the top their head and then painted her interpretation on canvas. One could spend the better part of an afternoon gazing at this collection, trying to guess which nouns are represented.

Near Erica’s work are creations by Jason Wells, an environmental artist who often works with found objects and creates everything from illuminated paintings to the earlier mentioned messenger bags. His paintings are reminiscent of kaleidoscopes. He works with geometric shapes in vivid colors that create intricate patterns and tease the eye in a way that makes them impossible to glance over. The messenger bags sewn and designed by Jason hang near his paintings. It’s a tactile experience to browse through them, your hand is likely to brush over recycled sacks that once held coffee, or run over what feels like slick vinyl.

Other work on display includes Sarah Cuvelier’s ceramics,|1| charcoal drawings and ceramics by Tamara Fox, photographs by Guadalupe Rodriguez, large scale portraits by Jacob Shirley, and Daren Young’s paintings of the Grand Canal in Venice.|2| The Gray Wall is an eclectic gallery that showcases a range of artists and different mediums. Tamara along with the other founders, Sarah Cuvelier and Matthew Hall, cooked up a gallery with a lot of different flavors. It could have been a recipe for disaster but instead they created something that will have people going back for seconds.

Daren Young’s paintings from Venice

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