Local artists shine at the stroll

By By Adam Fifield

By Adam Fifield

Salt Lake City’s monthly gallery stroll, happening Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at participating art galleries, is something that everyone should go to at least once. Like many others, you might even find the event addicting enough to attend every month.

First of all, the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll is proof that Salt Lake City does, in fact, have a thriving, local art scene — in case you thought otherwise.

Second, most of the artists themselves show up to comment on their work and mingle with both art aficionados and average citizens alike. Meeting face-to-face with an artist has the refreshing effect of taking away the mystic veil of anonymous authorship. Plus, the original creative mind might be able to help out in case you were wondering, “What does this painting represent?” or “How was this steel-wood-clothes-pin mesh constructed?” or even “Wtf?”

A third reason to attend the gallery stroll is the tempting and affordable little artifacts for purchase. An alternative to the 8-by-20-foot landscape painting, there are multiple opportunities to take home the postcard-sized artwork that’s priced to fit into the average college student’s budget (that’s pretty damn cheap).

A complete list of galleries participating in the event can be found at www.gallerystroll.org.

Redux now presents a smattering of exhibits featuring local and national artists to further pique your interest:

“Enigmas,” a collaboration of Suzanne Kanatsiz and Jake Gilson at A Gallery — 1321 S. 2100 East

This exhibit fits into the “Wtf” category of abstract art, but what doesn’t these days? Gilson is a Californian/Texan artist whose work has been shown nationwide and in Europe. He teams up with Kanatsiz, an art professor at Weber State University with whom he’s collaborated on projects before, including a 2006 exhibit in Turkey.

In “Enigmas,” Gilson paints with acid and draws with gunpowder while Kanatsiz utilizes earthen works and steel sculpture. Despite the diversity of materials and methods, the resulting artwork is surprisingly minimalist and invites interpretation.

“JinMan Jo: Recent Works in Steel and Bronze” at Art Access — 230 S. 500 West.

JinMan Jo is a local art professor whose work makes an appearance downtown this weekend. His sculptures are meant to be highly spiritual and carry a deep resonance that goes beyond the surface materials to combine with a deeper individuality and universality.

Drawing from his Korean heritage, JinMan Jo creates sculptures with materials that, he says, “take on new form and become the vehicles for the transmission of my philosophy of life, understanding of time and space, my observations of limitations, connections, communications, energies, polarities and the sense of the individual’s contribution within the whole of society,” according to his Utah State University faculty Web page.

Erin Berrett solo show at Kayo Gallery — 177 E. Broadway (300 South)

City Weekly recently named Erin Berrett as one of 25 notable local artists, and she further solidifies her rock-solid status with this exhibit at Kayo Gallery. She’s also a graduate of the U’s art program, so that’s hope for you struggling artists looking to “make it” in the Salt Lake art scene. (You can ask her advice in person, Friday night at Kayo.)

Strangely, City Weekly called Berrett “conservative,” presumably because she does still-lifes instead of mixed-media sculptures of plaster and chicken wire. Well, in this writer’s opinion, her paintings of muffins and martinis are sensual enough to be scandalous, proving that a traditional painting can be revolutionary enough.

New landscape paintings by Tom Howard at Phillips Gallery — 444 E. 200 South

Tom Howard’s landscapes bring to mind lazy Saturday afternoons watching “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross, only Howard’s trees aren’t so happy or little. They capture the vast mystique of the West’s outdoors, eliciting emotions of majesty and foreboding at the same time.

Howard is also a graduate of the U, residing in Kearns. He’s the quintessential “western artist,” but he avoids the clichés of cowboys, broncos and hand-cart pioneers. His paintings convey a strange sense of movement, almost to the point that you can feel the cold, mountain air blowing on your face.

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Anna Kartashova

Kim Riley, a fine art consultant at Phillips Gallery, prepares to hang the paintings for this month’s gallery stroll that starts Friday. The other two galleries involved are The Art Access Gallery and the Kayo Gallery.