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Category Archives: Galleries

Rio Gallery

The Rio & Alice Galleries were established as a free service to Utah artists and surrounding communities. These venues allow emerging artists, professional artists, and curators to collaborate in the process of exhibition-making as well as engage the community through thoughtful and innovative art-making and dialogue. The Rio Gallery is located in the grand lobby of the historic Rio Grande Depot.

Past Exhibitions

Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm | Open Saturdays from 10 – 2, Nov 11 – Apr 21 for Winter Market
Closed Sunday
300 S Rio Grande Street SLC, UT 84101
Free and open to the public

Exhibition Proposal Guidelines

Call for Exhibition:Transcontinental Railroad 150th Anniversary

May 18 – July 6, 2018

Gallery Stroll Opening Reception May 18, 2018, 6-9pm 

Our Sacred Landscape features the work of three Utah artists taking inspiration from the beauty of the landscape. Each artist expresses their viewpoint through a different medium. Karen Kurka Jensen uses water, ink, and color on delicate rice paper, Cara Schwindt works in textiles, and Jodi Steen uses acrylic paints on canvas and raised panels as a medium.

The artists have combined their work to reveal a passion for nature. “I often find inspiration in the colors of the landscape. The colors of a scree field or the combination of colors on the barren hills between autumn and winter- I weave these influences into my work,” explains Schwindt.

Jodi Steen’s work represents the landscapes that she experiences in her many outdoor adventures. Her abstract approach to landscape painting is in two parts: the sky is fluid and loose with long strokes, while the land, or water sections becomes very tight with numerous layers of lines and texture. Her paintings evolve through multiple layers and textures based on a combination of land, sky, and water. She applies abstraction by breaking down the obvious views until there is nothing left but shape and color.

Sumi-e is the Japanese word is for black ink painting. The discipline developed concurrently with calligraphy; using ink and a brush on rice paper or silk. When speaking of her work, Karen Kurka Jensen said, “I find in nature, peace and healing. When I discovered the medium of sumi-e, where the importance is connecting spiritually to your subject, I found the language of my soul.”


Upcoming Exhibitions

Mitchell Lee and Nolan Flynn  July 13 – August 31

Design Arts ’18  September 7 – October 19


Contact the Rio Gallery Manager
Felicia Baca at 801.245.7272

The Rio Gallery is a member of the

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Logo

Alice Gallery

The Alice Gallery is located at the historic Glendinning Mansion in Salt Lake City, Utah, which also houses the main offices of Utah Arts & Museums. The gallery is named after Alice Merrill Horne, a legislator who supported the arts and founded the Utah Arts Council in 1899.

The gallery hosts exhibitions by Utah artists and works from the State Fine Art Collection. The Rio & Alice Galleries were established as a free service to Utah artists and surrounding communities. These venues allow emerging artists, professional artists, and curators to collaborate in the process of exhibition-making as well as engage the community through thoughtful and innovative art-making and dialogue.

Past Exhibitions

Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm | Closed Saturday & Sunday
617 East South Temple SLC, UT 84102
Free and open to the public
Gallery Phone: 801-236-7555

Exhibition Proposal Guidelines

May 11th-July 6th, 2018

Gallery Stroll Artist’s Reception: June 15, 2018 | 6 – 9 pm

The language of fabric has been the foundation and springboard of Laura Sharp Wilson’s work for the past two decades. Her earliest paintings were of threads formed into chaotic knots, later work utilized flat botanical imagery giving plants human powers.

Wilson says, “I love fabric for so many reasons. It is woven together like a society, that it can represent the female realm, that it can be sewn, pulled apart, ripped, it can rot, it can have a pattern, and a pattern can be dissected. Fabric can transform a person with clothing and costume, or an interior, with rugs, curtains and upholstery. “

In her current work, Wilson is looking back at the people who expanded this country’s population. People like her great grandparents who unraveled their lives, came to America settled and re-wove their existence. Her Irish, Scottish and Swedish great grandparents fought hard to elevate themselves in this country but in the process ignored those already here. Wilson struggles with the fact that these people, a carpenter, a small town doctor, a house painter, a textile importer, plopped down in a country with a, “racist, oppressive social system, and carried on, changing little, for the poor, non-white and indigenous of this land.”

Can bound empty spaces represent a deep insecurity? Can transparency and opacity suggest ignoring others? Can a structured or chaotic weaving portray a society? Wilson thinks so. In her images, the fabric of people’s lives is dissected and broken down into threads, strands, rope, shapes, patterns and chains, which are allowed to bind, constrict, envelope, unravel, create webs, outline, cover up, and reconcile. A new narrative appears illustrating internal feelings of turmoil and confusion which beg to be sorted out and clarified.  She says, “In making this work I feel part of the discourse this country is currently having about where we come from, who we are and what we want to be.”

Laura Sharp Wilson was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1965 and grew up in New York and New Jersey. She received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Wilson also studied surface textile design at North Carolina State University and served as an apprentice at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. The artist has exhibited sculpture, installation, painting and drawing nationally and internationally since 1996. Wilson’s design “Thread, Strand, Rope and Yarn” a 5,000 square foot terrazzo floor is part of the public art of the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City. A collection of her drawings were on exhibit at McKenzie Fine Art in New York. Currently Wilson is working on “Small” an exhibition that considers her great-grandparents Euro-American generation. Laura Sharp Wilson lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and son. More at


Upcoming Exhibitions

Selected works from the Utah State Fine Art Collection  July 13 – September 7

Jan Andrews and Trent Alvey September 14 – November 2


Contact the Gallery Manager
Felicia Baca at 801.245.7272

The Alice Gallery is a member of the

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Logo

A Different Perspective on Landscape Painting at Rio Gallery

adam_leviUtah Arts & Museums presents En Plein Air: Levi Jackson & Adam Bateman, an exhibition on display at the Rio Gallery from Jan 20th – March 10th, 2017. An artist’s reception will be held on January 20th from 6-9 p.m. for Gallery Stroll.

Adam Bateman and Levi Jackson, in collaboration, have made 60 paintings en plein air as a performative act, returning them to their forgotten foundation in the western landscape. Having both grown up and lived in rural areas of the West, both Jackson and Bateman kicked against the tradition of landscape painting as the defining characteristic of western art’s historical significance and culture. For this exhibition they have traveled headfirst into seeing the landscape through painting’s eyes.

The Rio Gallery is located inside the Rio Grande Depot at 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Additionally, the Rio Gallery is open during the Winter Market at the Rio Grande Depot. The Winter Market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 28, Feb. 11, and Feb. 25. Vendors sell local artisan goods, foods, and crafts, and the market also includes food trucks.



Art-o-mat creator Clark Whittington helps an art lover make a purchase.

Utah Arts & Museums introduces Utah’s first Art-o-mat, a cigarette vending machine that has been transformed to sell small pieces of art. Purchased in April 2014, this Art-o-mat is the creation of Artists in Cellophane (AIC), an organization based in North Carolina that encourages “art consumption by combining the worlds of art and commerce in an innovative form.” AIC believes art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable.

There are currently 100 active machines in various locations around the country. Utah Arts & Museum’s model will be housed primarily at the Rio Gallery in the Rio Grande Depot for 12 months while it’s under an exclusivity contract. After that, it will be leased to other organizations in Utah on a first-come, first-served basis.

At the Art-o-mat’s Utah debut at the Mountain West Arts Conference, 46 conference-goers fed the machine a five-dollar bill for a cigarette box-sized work of art. Utah’s machine holds work by 11 artists. Each artist includes a brief description of what’s inside, such as “earrings with a twist” or “alcohol ink painting,” and the works are as varied as you might imagine: tiny robots with movable arms and legs, barcode flip books, painted ceramic tiles, earrings, small paintings, and more.

There are approximately 400 contributing artists from 10 countries currently involved in the Art-o-mat project, and AIC says it is always searching for fresh work. Artists are asked to submit their art for review, and if they’re chosen, Art-o-mat pays them to create work that will then be distributed to machines all over the country. Each piece includes a small paper with contact information and details about the artist. Utah Arts & Museums hopes Utah artists will participate so that local talent can be represented in the project.

To learn more about Art-o-mat, visit

“This Is the Place” Opening in Rio Gallery – 13 Aug 2013

“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”

– Joan Didion, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums announces the exhibition “This Is the Place,” from August 16 – September 13, 2013 in the Rio Gallery (300 South 455 West, Salt Lake City). There will be a public reception on Friday, August 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. during Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

The exhibition showcases a group of visual artists as they consider this place so many call home. Just as we shape and build the landscape around us, the landscape has a remarkable effect on us, shaping and building culture. Utah has been the place for many people: indigenous peoples prior to the arrival of the Mormons, then the Mormon pioneers, followed by the many generations of more recent migrations to the state. This show explores the diversity and value of Utah through artists, community participation, and historical photographs.

“We’re pleased to highlight the various perspectives on Utah presented by this exhibition,” said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. “A state as diverse as ours — geographically, demographically, culturally — provides fertile ground for some really engaging artwork.”

There will be special weekend hours on Saturday, August 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate “National Can-it-Forward Day” at the Downtown Farmers Market. There will be a canning display, food preservation experts on hand, raffles, giveaways, hands-on demonstrations, and vendors offering canned goods (pickles, jams, sauces, etc.) with samples and special deals. The show also coincides with the Utah State History Conference, “The Making of Place,” September 5 – 8, 2013.

Invited artists for “This Is the Place” include Vicki Acoba, Paul Adams, Fidalis Buhler, Jim Jacobs, Amy Jorgensen, Jessica Li, Joe Ostraff, Linda Reynolds, Will Varner, and Clay Wagstaff. In addition, Joe Ostraff’s installation, “Potluck,” features 50 individual panels by 50 additional Utah artists. The exhibition also features a digital slideshow with photographs submitted by the public.


The Rio & Alice Galleries were established as a free service to Utah artists and surrounding communities. These venues allow emerging artists, professional artists, and curators to collaborate in the process of exhibition making as well as engage the community through thoughtful and innovative art making and dialogue. Please contact Felicia Baca, Gallery Manager, with questions at or at 801.245.7272.

We maintain and operate three exhibition spaces. To find out what is showing at each of the galleries, click on the links below.

Alice Gallery
Glendinning Home, 617 East South Temple, Salt Lake City map
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday – Friday; Closed Saturday – Sunday

Rio Gallery
Rio Grande Depot, 300 South Rio Grande Street (455 West), Salt Lake City map
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday; Closed Saturday – Sunday
*Open Saturdays from 10-2, Nov 11-Apr 21 for Winter Market

Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts
600 East 1100 South, Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park map
Hours vary depending on time of year. Click link above for information.