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Art Fit for Sugar House

Mar 10, 2016 10:19AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Natalie Mollinet | natalie@mycityjournals.com

Sugar House - Sugar House is a very cultured place with different kinds of people, from hipsters to out-of-towners to lifelong residents. At the Sprague Library on Highland Drive, the art galleries featured there are chosen specifically for Sugar House. 

Currently at the library there is art featured called “If I Were a Caveman This Would Be My Wall: Works by Alan Durtischi.” The gallery features art from an oncologist from Bountiful who does his art as a hobby. The art looks like caveman drawings, but with a more modern twist.  Other interesting art galleries are coming up, and all are anchored towards Sugar House residents. 

“What I specifically look for at Sprague is – if you follow the galleries here, there’s a huge amount of variety here, in terms of the artwork, and that’s quite purposeful because we have such community use of our meeting space,” Celeste Metz, the head chair of the committee that chooses the galleries, said.  

Metz added that there are children that visit the library, along with different types of community groups that reserve the library to hold their meetings. She hopes that with so much of a variety of people using the library in Sugar House, she will be able to use the art to draw people in. 

Sugar House has over 30,000 residents and does hold quite a dynamic of students, older residents, young families and small families. And with multiple elementary schools that are in the area, picking out an exhibit that will entice the local demographic can be a struggle. 

“Sugar House is so diverse. We get so many groups of people, and we’ve got a lot of people who appreciate arts and crafts because we have gallery spaces. We have a lot going on here culturally, and so we kind of want to be part of that. We want to be active and engaged in it,” Metz said.

Along with the galleries featured at the library, the community holds a Sugar House Art Walk every second Friday of the month, when people can follow a map to different locations where local artists can display their artwork. 

Laurie Bray, with the Sugar House council, who’s in charge of the walk, said that the walks are geared towards the places where people can come visit again, but the art is all local. 

“Our venues of course include a few galleries but also include Sugar House Coffee, the Greenloft Coop, Unhinged, Cameron Wellness Center and Smith Crown Vacuums. These places display art from mostly local artists,” Bray said. “The galleries choose their own artists, and artists are welcome to reach out to several of them. Some, like Local Colors and Rockwood Art Studios, have artists who pay monthly to have space there so they are not able to accommodate others. We hope to get people’s return to visits to the venues and their business at these places, too.” 

The art walks have been a success, attracting about 70-90 people to the venues, and even more during the summer months when musicians and dancers perform. 

 “We know that our public and our patronage love it -- very educated very broad patronage,” Metz said.

The Sugar House art walks are held every second Friday of the month from 6-9 p.m., and the maps can be found online at sugarhouseartwalk.org. The exhibit “If I Were a Caveman This Would Be My Wall” runs until March 12.     

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