Take a look at GALLERIES and note the number of new exhibitions opening on Friday, Nov. 16. That's no coincidence. It's the third Friday of the month, and that means another Gallery Stroll.
The Salt Lake Art Dealers Association is holding these strolls monthly, from September '90 through February '91. The galleries that are members of SLADA decided to give these strolls a test run for six months, since participants said they were a lot of fun and suggested they be held more than a couple of times a year.But isn't holding them once a month a bit too frequent? Not according to Dolores Kohler, president of SLADA. "We get more and more people participating each time. Last month there were around 250 people."
David Ericson, SLADA member and owner of Gallery 56, said that the dealers appear to be very happy with the gallery strolls, even though sales are not necessarily brisk on those evenings. He said there are other yardsticks that measure success.
"For one thing, the experience is educational," Ericson explained. "I try to educate the public, since a number of them don't know the difference between good and bad art."
Ericson is qualified to do this, since he's been actively involved in the art scene for many years. "I recognize national and local trends as well as put things into historical context."
He added that many local people still cling to representational art, while a smaller number have expanded their aesthetic vision to include impressionism. But he says that few have learned to appreciate abstract and nonobjective art.
When asked what his preference was, Ericson said, "My personal taste lies in works that are too modern for the traditionalist - and too traditional for the modernist."
As I talked to other gallery owners, I discovered more reasons why these monthly strolls are proving successful. They provide:
1. An opportunity for the public to plan in advance to attend. A date set months in advance allows the media to more effectively disseminate the information.
2. A chance to meet the gallery owners and operators. It doesn't take long for a person to discover that gallery owners and operators are not only knowledgeable, but very personable as well.
3. Greater exposure to gallery art. Participants' artistic appetites are often whetted and they'll often return to the gallery to take a second look at works that initially impressed them.
4. An informal setting where people can meet and get acquainted with the artists as well as be among the first to see the artists' most recent works.
6. An opportunity for galleries to cooperate with one another.
This month, 17 local galleries will be participating in the stroll. Those in the downtown area are: A. Allen, Courtyard, Dolores Chase, Ellie Sonntag Fine Arts, Gallery 56, Marble House, Pierpont, Salt Lake Art Center, Southam, Tivoli, Utah Designer Crafts and Williams galleries. They are close together so participants can stroll from one to another - providing the weather is good.
Outlying galleries which are also participating include the Art Barn, F. Weixler, Repartee, Urban Arts and Sego galleries.
The Gallery Stroll is free. Galleries will open their doors at different times - 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. But all of them will remain open until 9 p.m. Some will serve light refreshments and provide live music. Maps showing the locations of these galleries are available at any of the above listed galleries. Please refer to GALLERIES in this section for addresses. For more information, call 532-7332.