Doing the Stroll: On Friday nights in Salt Lake City, take in the lively gallery scene and stay for dinner – Gallery Stroll Night – Brief Article
Follow the warm glow of light and the buzz of conversation into Phillips Gallery and join the party at the stylish shop. In Salt Lake City, the third Friday of each month is typically Gallery Stroll night at more than 25 galleries. This month, during the Olympics, every Friday is a Gallery Stroll night.
“What started out as a handful of people visiting a few independent art galleries 20 years ago has grown into a healthy 400 to 500 enthusiasts on any given Gallery Stroll night,” says Salt Lake Gallery Association president Kent Rigby, director of the Left Bank Gallery.
Exhibits at participating venues are continually changing, and work on display can range from photography and painting to art glass and sculpture. On nights when an artist’s opening reception coincides with a Gallery Stroll, some locations get so crowded that visitors can barely squeeze past one another.
Bonnie Phillips, an artist, mentor, and gentle but influential force in the local art scene, was one of the Gallery Stroll’s originators. Her gallery is as good a place as any to begin your art-gazing before savoring some culinary artistry at a nearby restaurant.
Work your way west to Pierpont Avenue, where the Artspace organization has transformed warehouses into exhibit spaces and studios for local artists. During Gallery Stroll many of these spaces are open to the public. Visitors to the intimate Art Access Gallery, located in an Art-space building, sometimes spill out onto the old loading docks of the former produce market.
All it takes to join the stroll is a map of participating galleries for that month. And, of course, a checkbook: You never know when a work of art will “speak” to you, and when one does, it is usually whispering, “Take me home.”
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Because of this year’s Olympic events, there will be a Gallery Stroll from 6 to 9 P.M. every Friday from February 1 to March 8. Pick up maps at participating galleries, or call Left Bank Gallery (see below) for more information.
Participating galleries are spread out, and city driving during the Olympics may be difficult.
Good starting points
Art Access Gallery and VSA Arts Gallery. 339 W Pierpont Ave.; (801) 328-0703.
Left Bank Gallery. 242 South 200 West; (801) 539-0343.
Phillips Gallery. 444 East 200 South; (801) 364-8284.
These convenient favorites are good places to warm up.
Oasis Cafe. Around the corner from the Phillips Gallery, enjoy creative seafood and gourmet vegetarian entrees in a spacious Santa Fe-style building that is itself a work of art, with a serene, upscale vibe. 151 South 500 East; (801) 322-0404.
3rd West Bistro. Near Pierpont Avenue, this European-inspired restaurant is located in an old Firestone Tire garage, now artfully reborn as an intimate bistro. Try the steamed mussels and one of chef Charles Kimball’s original soups. 307 West 270 South; (801) 328-3463.
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