All the cool kids are doing it. Well, the cool kids running the cool businesses are doing it. They’re all hanging original art on their walls. You see, what they really want is to be an art gallery, but instead they run a cafe, a medical center, or -- a credit union.

If you haven’t noticed, artwork isn’t just for galleries anymore. And travel posters and cheap reproductions are no longer for businesses looking to decorate their walls. Business owners are seeking out artists to grace their space with interesting, thought-provoking and high quality work. Most see it as a win-win. The artists get some exposure -- another venue to sell their work -- and the businesses and their clientele don’t have to be subjected to insipid images all day. It adds another layer of responsibility on the business, but the improvement on the space is worth it.

This Friday for Gallery Stroll, in addition to the many fine galleries Salt Lake has to offer, there are businesses showing off our local artists as well:

Avenues Bistro on Third is featuring the photography of Joe Marotta. You’ll see some of his recent images of eateries in Italy and France. See what they did there? They made it relevant. Smart.

Evolutionary Healthcare is presenting oil paintings by Justin Caruth.


Justin Caruth

America First Credit Union will feature amazing paintings of Red Rock landscapes by Carol Berrey.


Carol Berrey

There’s something admirable about a business that recognizes and participates in the local culture. Their space comes to life with an added level of interest and importance. The same goes for your home by the way. Have you ever walked into someone’s house and wondered what it was that made it special? Was it the sleek IKEA furniture? Doubtful. Was it the careful choice in their color scheme? Possibly. More often than not it is the homeowner’s attention to details such as what they choose to display on their walls and bookcases. And we all know original art has a powerful effect on the room in which it resides. So learn something from these alternative venues when you’re out on Gallery Stroll. You might find something that grabs you. Take it home to make your space a more unique and interesting place to spend your time.

Laura Durham is assistant editor at 15 Bytes, Utah's Art magazine, and is a contributor for Salt Lake magazine.