The non-profit Utah Arts Alliance (UAA) has just added one more name to its list of venues: the Urban Arts Gallery. The grand opening at the Gateway Mall was a success, featuring DJs, local art giveaways and performances by the local Bboy Federation. Since the gallery was conceived, it has established a niche for itself, in part, from the success of the Urban Arts Festival (also put on by UAA) which will be going into its third year this summer.
What exactly are “urban” arts? Derek Dyer, founder of UAA and Executive Director for the Urban Arts Gallery, admits that it was a question asked a lot at the Urban Arts Festival. Cat Palmer, the curator and director explains, “Basically, urban art is encompassing anything that is inspired by city life and city culture, so it can be anything from street art to modern fine art.” The various pieces currently showing in the gallery represent both ends of that spectrum.
Derek Dyer also explains that the gallery couldn’t have existed without the support of the Gateway Mall. The Gateway’s focus on entertainment and its proximity to the UAA’s main office makes the space ideal. The interior hasn’t changed much since it was an American Eagle store.
The Urban Arts Gallery is entirely stocked with hand-made, local works, and are not limited to pieces that hang on a wall. Jewelry, cards, leather belts and wallets, t-shirts, and magnets made by various locals can all be purchased at the gallery as well, and a shortage of cash doesn’t limit you, either. “We have a range from $1 to $18,000 here,” says Cat with a laugh.
The gallery will be open Tues-Sat 12-8pm, Sunday 12-6pm, closed Mondays. More information can be found on the Utah Arts Alliance’s website, www.utaharts.org.