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The City Journals

Taking A Stroll

Aug 04, 2016 02:15PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Orlando Rodriguez

Businesses in the Salt Lake Valley opened their doors once again for the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll on July  15. Shades of Pale Brewing and the Miri Gallery are among those in the South Salt Lake area, located on 154 West Utopia Ave, and 3605 South West Temple, respectively. Both took the opportunity to advertise their companies, as well as lending a hand in both showcasing and honing the skills of budding local artists.

These events are part of an ongoing series by an institution whose mission is providing  citizens the chance to become more invested in the arts market. There are dozens of local businesses and art-specific institutions that cherish the opportunity to inject some culture into the heart of the state. They also have served as a catalyst for the creative minds in the community to prosper and network. 

Alexandra Ortiz, co-owner of Shades of Pale along with her husband Trent Fargher, opened their pet-friendly beer garden in South Salt Lake after getting their start in Park City.  She mentioned that the reason they chose the area is for a more affordable infrastructure, but were also enthralled by how communal the area was. She not only handles the marketing and PR duties for their brewery, but is also a painter and photographer. “Whenever I get thechance, I take pictures of dogs,” she says. 

It’s this love for animals that inspired her exhibition, “Dogs of Pale,” in which she showed her work and offered free portraits for the pets of participating patrons. She also took this event to promote her rustic and homely beer garden, whose aesthetic is enhanced by the use of  recycled palettes to create their furniture. She also spoke about what set them apart from other breweries. “The brewing process at other breweries is usually backdoor, hidden, here it is visual.” They hope to do more events like this in the future and see this as a step forward in  becoming more  engaged with the community.

The Miri Gallery, a community-based art studio, opened their doors for their exhibition “Art Before Art: A Sketchbook Exposition.” Visitors would be implored to walk the space and admire the sketches and sketchbooks that decorated the room,  as well as mingle with the artists themselves. Keith Beard, owner of the gallery, really relished this event to build an interest in the arts in the community. He also spoke about what inspired this new exhibition. “Ideation from sketchbooks are where art starts,” he says.

Usually the artistic thought process is rarely witnessed first hand. “With this exhibition, we are allowing vulnerability into the artistic process,” Beard explains. He an artist himself, he understands what it’s like to not be particularly proud of a rough sketch, but a lot of the rough sketches you see end up being the final product. His gallery’s mission statement is encouraged by an eagerness to bestow on artists a space in which they can fuel creative juices, and get their name out there.

Alexandra is always looking to show artists’ work at her brewery, and she’s available for  portraits of your pet as well. Their website is The Miri Gallery offers figure drawing courses and the opportunity to rent the space for any exhibitions. You can visit for contact information and a list of past exhibits. More information on future events and venues for the stroll can be found at