Visual Arts

South Side Rising: More Artistic Development on Salt Lake’s South Side

In November’s PasteUps we suggested that Salt Lake’s south end might be accruing enough mass to become a critical component of Utah’s visual art scene. News this month from new arrivals and long-time residents bolsters our projection.

Later this month Signed and Numbered will be closing their downtown location and reopening in in Sugarhouse. Owner Leia Bell says they decided to close their Broadway location after Slowtrain, their landlord, doubled the rent on their basement space. The shop, which has featured monthly exhibitions of work by local, national and international printmakers, will close on December 24th and reopen on January 2nd, 2010 at their new location — 2100 South 2100 East (next to Blue Plate Diner). In their Sugarhouse location they will concentrate on their framing business, which features their handmade line of FOXY FRAMES. Bell will keep a presence downtown, however, curating a show quarterly at Ken Sanders Rare Books, which, she says, “is better for me because I will be able to spend more time planning them and making them perfect.” Bell also plans on opening a satellite Signed & Numbered location at Kilby Court (750 South 330 West), opening in the evenings during the concerts.

Print by Paul Vincent Bernard at Saltgrass Printmakers

Sugarhouse is already home to a vibrant group of printmakers. Nestled beneath the Avon sign on 10th East, Saltgrass Printmakers is celebrating six years in the community this month with their annual fundraiser. A unique series of prints, from local and international artists associated with the collective, are on sale with all proceeds to benefit the non-profit organization. If you stop by you might check out the house directly to the west of Saltgrass, which is up for rent ($500) and is owned by the same family that owns the Saltgrass building and Rockwood Studios — turn it into a studio and you’ll be joining the bourgeoning scene in Sugarhouse.

The southside is already home to a number of artist studio spaces. Rockwood Studios (1064 East 2100 South), which houses over twenty professional artists, is having their Holiday Open House this weekend, Saturday December 5, 10 am – 5 pm. The south side is also home to Poor Yorick Studiosand Spectrum Studios, both in South Salt Lake. They always draw crowds for their semi-annual open houses. In between the two is a lesser known building, Wasatch Plaza ( 2200 South and 500 East), also home to a number of artists. During the past Gallery Stroll Joshua Luther and Ike Bushmanturned a nearby warehouse into another exciting venue. Hard to find and not much to speak of from the outside, the inside turned out to be a spacious — if rough — contemporary art venue, complete with video projection rooms, a spiraling word drawing and live music: the cummulative effect made all that attended feel like they were “in the know.” Luther says he plans to hold more events in the space (keep an eye on our blog and we’ll let you be “in the know” as well).

Warehouse show by Joshua Luther and Ike Bushman

A block away from these you’ll find Sugar Space (616 Wilmington Ave), a multi-disciplinary art space that opened in 2007. They recently announced that they have added added two gallery rooms to their now 2,500 square feet space. Sugar Space offers classes in theater, dance, aerial silks and trapeze, yoga, feldenkrais, hula hoop, contact improvisation, breakdancing, hip hop, thearapeutic dance, dancemeditation, kids creative movement, various art mediums and more. The gallery space now allows them to feature work by local artists. This month they are exhibiting work by Lisa Scopes Oliver and Terry Scopes, of OpenDoor Transformative Arts.|1-2| On December 4, they will be open for art viewing from 6-9 pm, during gallery stroll. Another open house and artist reception will be held December 17, 5-10pm. Sugar Space is currently seeking artists interested in showing at the space.

Gallery space at Sugar Space

Gallery space at Sugar Space

This move outside of downtown is a phenomenon you see in many cities. Artists and galleries generally move out of a downtown area because the rents become too expensive. They look to find areas where spaces are cheaper and the location is still accessible to the art-loving public (the irony is that they move in and transform the neighborhoods, which pushes the rents up and once again forces the artists to look for new locations).

Artists Julie Dunker and qi peng may be anticipating rising rents in Sugarhouse because they have located their new art venture even further south — Holladay. On Friday, December 4, the two artists will launch The Livingroom, a contemporary art salon in — yes you guessed it — a living room (there aren’t too many warehouses, vacant or otherwise, in Holladay). The space is located at 2105 Fardown Avenue and the inaugural exhibit features work by Jon Coffelt and Matthew Choberka. Coffelt is a New York conceptual artist who will show his duct-tape on Tyvek paintings from his “Circuitry” series as well as selected pieces of scaled-down clothing from his “Memory Clothing” series. Matthew Choberka is an experimental abstract painter who teaches at Weber State. In his paintings, the artist expresses a masterful confidence in depicting the dichotomy between organic and geometric painting that hearkens to the “conflict” between abstract expressionism and geometric minimalism during the 1960’s. The opening reception for the show is Friday, December 4th from 3 to 11 pm. The exhibit continues through December 19.

The future home of The Living Room Gallery


Categories: Visual Arts

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