[Art] There's nothing particularly admirable about visiting 10 Salt Lake City galleries in two and a half hours on Gallery Stroll night. There have been months like July where my stops were fewer, but the longer stay at each one -- like the 15 minutes I spent absorbing just one of Wynter Jones' remarkable paintings at Art Access -- was a necessary trade-off. Quantity time vs. quality time: the essential challenge of the busy 21st century urbanite.
But for an arts editor, sometimes aiming for a broad sampling is the right course of action. Some months I don't make it out of downtown, which this month might have meant missing Annie Kennedy's fascinating, unconventional mixed media works. Her Mormon upbringing -- particularly end-times thinking -- informs many of them, including an interpretation of "The Second Coming" that turns baked paper, olive oil and grape juice into a contemporary Shroud of Turin. And if you think art can't save your life -- literally -- you haven't imagined a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit turned into a wall-hanging quilt, with beef jerky and dried fruit turned into floral patterns and ibuprofen stitching the perimeter.
"A" Gallery, on 21st East, might also have been given a pass on one of those downtown-centric months, and then I would have missed abstracts like Dave Adams’ “Desire Followed Her As Birds,” the bright oils bursting out of the aluminum surface almost three-dimensionally. And my sniggering inner adolescent would have been denied Brent Godfrey’s more representational suggestion of post-masturbatory release, sort of evident even without the title “Eruption.”
Even downtown is getting harder to keep up with, as new galleries like Saans join the stroll itinerary. Located next door to Kayo Gallery on East Broadway, Saans debuted with Capree Kimball’s two evocative photographic series: the bubbling, distorted, tactile black-and-white portraits of “Beauty and Decay,” and the popping colors of women immersed in a bathtub, one representing each of the Seven Deadly Sins. I had to pry myself away to make time for Art Access (an eclectic mentor/protégé “Partners” exhibit), Rio Gallery (the sound portraits of “Salt Lake Audioptic,” profiled in next week’s issue) and Palmers Gallery (a juried group show, but also the best and biggest buffet spread of any gallery on a regular basis). Hey, a 10-gallery stroller’s gotta keep up his strength. (Scott Renshaw)