Calling all Artists: Art at the Main is Seeking Talent

Ever wish your art could be displayed somewhere everyone could see it? More importantly, ever wish someone would buy it? Art at the Main is the answer to all your problems. It is an artists’ collective currently residing downtown at the Salt Lake City Public Library. They have a cute little shop inside the first floor plaza right next to the plant shop.

An artists’ collective means that unlike most galleries, this little haven is run by artists and for artists. It’s been successful for 11 years now. Anywhere from 14-20 artists display their work, usually around eight pieces on a continuous basis. They have the option to do demonstrations and be showcased annually. The artists also take turns running the gallery in periodic four-hour shifts. The best part? They are looking for new artists.

How do you join? There is an application process, which can be found on their website at artatthemain.com. You submit work to a committee who reviews it and decides whether or not you are in. The committee accepts all different art styles, as you can see from walking through the gallery. There are a few monthly fees and obligations associated, but they are relatively low compared to other galleries, and the exposure is great since the main library is a popular tourist stop. Artists get to price their own work, although the gallery has a minimum of one dollar per inch painted. Art is not limited to canvas — any artwork made by hand is accepted, so ceramics and sculptures work great. The only work the gallery does not accept is, sadly, photography.


(Photo by: Justin Prather / Daily Utah Chronicle).

 

“I had no idea this was here,” said Adrian Bangerter, one of the artists currently on display. He was looking for a place to display a few of his paintings when he stumbled upon Art at the Main. After he spoke with the current artists there, he decided to submit some works. He was accepted and then realized, “I had better start painting again.” He now has about eight works in the gallery. Adrian is a realist painter. If you are trying to spot him, look for boats, as they often frequent his work. For him, Art at the Main is more than just a place to display his work. It is a community where he found like-minded professionals in his field. These artists gather together to go see gallery openings, for dinner and to discuss art once a month.

“We all get along,” Bangerter said. “It’s a nice, comfortable feeling with the other artists.”

They are more than just artists — the gallery is completely run by its contributors. They do all of the advertising, scheduling and display work in house. “We want everybody to learn all aspects of the gallery,” Bangerter explains. An artist can leave with a month’s notice after the first year of participation. When they do it is with the knowledge of how to run a gallery, not just how to make and sell art.

“Sometimes I think ‘how did I get here?’” Bangerter remarks. He loves the gallery and would love to get some new people in to display their work and become a part of their community. “We have the pottery, we have the glass work. Really something for everybody.” So don’t hesitate to fill out an application or stop by and admire some work. Maybe you’ll even find a keepsake to take home — art makes any dorm room more classy.

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