337 Project – A Temporary Labor of Love

337 Project - Temporary Labor of Love
Photo by Rich Legg

Temporarily exhibited from May 19-27, 2007 was the 337 Project. A project in which 144 artists descended upon the soon to be demolished building to create images, graffiti, performance art, and sculptures. The Salt Lake Art Center was invited, along with other artists, to decorate the large building.

Art Center Director, Ric Collier, says:

At 337 South 400 East, stands a bland, derelict, grey stucco two-story building. A reuse of a residential dwelling as an office building, this narrow, labyrinthine collection of rooms, hallways, stairs and closets will be demolished soon to make space for Utah’s first all-green, mixed-use loft-style condominiums. Before this exemplary development begins, the building has been turned over for use as a 20,000 square foot canvas, hosting the largest single collaboration of Salt Lake area contemporary artists ever to be gathered and directed toward a community installation, performance and happening: a high-profile art project entitled 337.

While the Art Center did not initiate this project, we were invited to be active participants alongside artists from myriad experiences and educational levels, disciplinary and ethnic backgrounds, and ages. We had no curatorial control over the selection of artists, the themes of their respective contributions to the overall project, or the place of the art work inside and outside this rawest and challenging of spaces.

337 Project - Temporary Labor of LoveArtists put their names into a lottery and then as their names were drawn they were allowed to enter the building and “reserve” a space, wall, or room for their project. Admirably, these artists poured their hearts into this short lived exhibit. The images are imaginative and powerful.

337 Project - A Temporary Labor of Love
Photo by Rich Legg

When asked what it takes to create something of this stature, Mr. Collier replied, “Courage.” Indeed, there is courage of character to create something temporal when most artists yearn for creating art for long-lived fame.

Visit the following links to learn more about the project and see images from the exhibit:

337 Project
Flickr Photos by Rich Legg

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