Now in its seventh year, the nonprofit Art Access Gallery’s 300 Plates fund-raiser has become an eagerly awaited event among Salt Lake City art lovers. Attendees line up around the block hours before doors open, and Art Access Director Ruth Lubbers says, “We had to find a way to outsmart people.” Spectators wanted to get inside so badly that Lubbers had to enact a lottery system: a small group of entrants at a time, with names picked from a hat. People can come in Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to preview and scope out prospective purchases. The gallery then closes for an hour, opening again at 6 p.m. for a social hour before names are drawn.
With 95 artists—up from last year’s 80-something—it’s a chance to see work by a mindblowing assemblage of local painters, a virtual Who‘s Who of SLC art, including artists such as Spanish-born Pilar Pobil, Trent Call, Sam Wilson (detail of his contribution pictured), surrealist Sri Whipple and emerging artists like Zachary Proctor. It’s fascinating to see what an artist like Steven Larson transfers to sheet metal from his depictions of suburban wreckage on delicate paper. The size restriction makes individual styles stand out all the more.
It’s for a worthwhile cause—the gallery’s mission to make art available to persons with disabilities—but it’s also one of the highlights of the local art calendar, and serves to kick off the Gallery Stroll’s warm-weather season. With live music and food catered by the Himalayan Kitchen, it’s a party.
300 Plates @ Art Access Gallery, 230 S. 500 South, 801-328-0703, May 13-14, Accessart.org.