The Salt Lake City Arts Council is excited to announce the completion of the City’s newest public art installation at 337 Pocket Park. Mayor Biskupski will officially announce the opening of the public park to the community on Friday, June 29th at 3:00 PM. The celebration is free and open to the public.
337 Pocket Park provides more public green space and pays tribute to the 337 Project which remains a milestone in Utah’s contemporary art scene. In 2007, Adam and Dessi Price purchased a condemned two-story residential building once located at the site (337 South 400 East) and scheduled it for demolition. However, inspired by New York City’s Wooster Collective and its creative impact on the community, the Prices decided to first transform it into ephemeral art – an artistic creation that exists only briefly for the benefit of Salt Lake City’s artists and art fans.
The Prices turned over the 42-room building to 100+ local artists. The artists ranged anywhere from taggers to established gallery artists and they filled the 25,000- square-foot structure with art; full from floor to ceiling with paintings, murals, sculptures and installations. It received thousands of visitors and became a visual arts hub before it was destroyed.
Later the vacant lot was sold to Salt Lake City Corporation and in 2015 a portion of the land was developed into a community garden managed by Wasatch Community Gardens.
Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands then decided to create a pocket park west of the garden that will lead pedestrians from the sidewalk on 400 East to the garden and will also function as an inviting and engaging gathering place for the community.
The park provides much needed green space in a rapidly densifying part of the City and creates a place for gardeners and public to enjoy nature, art, and community. Nancy Monteith, Salt Lake City Park Planner on the project says, “What I like so much about this place is that in each iteration, from art project to community garden to public green space it is about bringing people together.”
This project supported the careers of 16 local artists. For 11 artists, this was their first Salt Lake City Corporation public art commission. Five of the artists are established local public artists. Each artist created at least 1 unique panel design on the fence that outlines the perimeter of the park. The fence contains 24 panels.
“Compelling public art is created as a response to the site—its story, landscape, and people,” says Dana Hernandez Salt Lake City’s Public Art Program Manager, “The 337 Project was exciting, accessible, innovative. We love the idea that the 337 Pocket Park fence complements and memorializes that effort.”