A walk on the artistic side

By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

It’s the third weekend of the month, and that means that Gallery Stroll is upon us again. On Friday, numerous businesses, art galleries and random places downtown will be showcasing the artistic talents of locals across the city.

While it’s mostly confined to the downtown area8212;easily arranged for a brisk walk from one spot to the next8212;the Gallery Stroll actually spreads as far as Sugar House and almost all the way up to Foothill Boulevard in some cases. As always, there’s a little bit of something for everyone, as the minds behind the event are constantly trying to create a diverse range of talent that appeals to all kinds of aficionados and to people with nothing better to do on a Friday night than wander the city looking at the art of those far more talented than they will ever be.

While there are always big-name local artists, the stroll is a great place to discover works by newer artists looking to make a name for themselves.

The Kayo Gallery (177 E. Broadway) will be showcasing new works by Sri Whipple, a local artist known best for his wide-ranging style, from cartoon-like craziness to calm still-life portraits. His work sometimes has a James Jean-esque quality to it8212;almost like comic book art with lots of bright colors8212;that at first seems innocent and appealing. A closer look, however, reveals detailed sex organs come to life, a visual that takes a few moments to accurately process.

Whipple, a Gallery Stroll veteran, has also designed magazine covers, flyers, T-shirts and album covers for local bands all over the valley. His unique style makes him the perfect candidate8212;especially in the diverse indie scene8212;and he’s always in high demand. His paintings, sketches and other pieces will be one of the highlights of the evening’s showings, so make sure to stop by.

On a smaller scale, the Women’s Art Center on Pierpont will feature the budding talent of local artist Candace Andersen. Andersen isn’t quite as well-known as Whipple or some of the others featured this month, but if you were ever a customer at Coffee

Under The Bridge on 200 South and 500 West, you might recognize her unique little cards that were always for sale at the front counter. Andersen’s style is more controlled, but playful at the same time. The cards often feature creatures that appear to have wandered out of a fairy tale and are accompanied by a little blurb that sometimes doesn’t even make sense. Andersen is a bit embarrassed of where the idea originated from, but pressed on to make them anyway.

“This is going to sound horribly cliche, but…I had a dream about them,” she said in an e-mail. “Some of the characters remind me of people and I made everything up, and some of them were literally from my dream. Strange names, nonsense text, colors and all. They’re all so strange they could work for anything.”

Andersen has always been a supporter of the Gallery Stroll and what it’s always been about, even before she was invited to participate.

“I like that it is one day a month specifically for that purpose8212;strolling around to each gallery,” she said. “Galleries often have weird hours and usually close early. It’s nice that they are all open late together so you can visit each one and see a featured show on its opening night. It’s kind of a social thing too, if you’re into that.”

Although she might have a little ways to go before she’s able to have her own show, she is constantly working to improve her craft. Whether it’s small, nonsensical cards, a fancy painting (such as the one hanging in the dining room of a Sugar House pizzeria) or a quiet, renaissance-style portrait, she definitely has goals.

“I would love to have my own show some day,” Andersen said. “I want to be shown in New York and California and have my work recognized in that “low-brow, contemporary’ scene. I’d love to illustrate kids’ books someday and have been saying so for years.”

For the time being, Andersen is happy doing local commissions and freelance work to hone her skills and get her name out there for the world to see.

For more information on the Gallery Stroll and a complete list of galleries and what they’ll be showing, visit www.gallerystroll.org.

[email protected]