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South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Rafael Blanco-1
Ivana Martinez
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KUER
Spanish artist Rafael Blanco, who’s from Chicago, said he always wants to bring diversity to his work. He said as an immigrant it’s important to give marginalized communities a platform. “Hopefully they will see themselves represented,” he said while working on the mural. “I think that to me as an artist, it is a beautiful thing to try to give a voice through an image through mural painting that is going to be meaningful to someone.”

PHOTOS: Take a peek at the latest South Salt Lake’s Mural Fest has to offer

South Salt Lake’s Mural Fest is an international-artist-known attraction that started back in 2018. This year, 13 artists, both local and international, made their way to what’s known as the creative industries zone to create their vibrant pieces.

Lesly Allen, festival organizer and arts council director for the area, said these murals bring pride to the community.

“The art does a lot of different things. It revitalizes the area. It encourages businesses to move in. It brings people into the neighborhood,” Allen said. “But the most important thing really is it adds a sense of place to the neighborhood.”

Here is some of what we saw as the artists were putting on their finishing touches:

South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, fish at West Temple
Ivana Martinez
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KUER
Artists have been working all week to complete their pieces for the Saturday meet and greet event along West Temple from Main St. to 300 West, where the public is invited to come do a gallery walk around the neighborhood and chat with the artists.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Gerry Swanson
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Local artist Gerry Swanson said he wants people to walk by his mural and to “note the subtle beauty of Utah.” It’s set against a turquoise backdrop with purple and orange mountains and birds adorning the piece.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Smock and Roll
Ivana Martinez
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KUER
Smock and Roll, a local team of two artists, Caroline Kane and Alli VanKleeck, want people to feel a sense of tranquility when they see the lily pads while they walk by or grab a drink across the street. They were inspired to enter after they attended Mural Fest last year.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Rian Kasner
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Rian Kasner works on their mural Thursday afternoon. Kasner said they want people to know they “are a work of art.” They wanted to capture the feeling of exuberance the dancers are feeling in their piece.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Aline Herrera
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Artist Aline Herrera, from Mexico, said she loves weirdness and randomness in art. She said she takes a lot of inspiration from mimes in her work from the kind of expressions they made. Herrera said she appreciates the complexity of emotions that are showcased through their work — both the “neutral” sadness and happiness.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Lindsay Huss
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Ogden-based artist Lindsay Huss is in the midst of painting Courtney Mae Muir from the Northwestern Shoshone tribe. Similar to Blanco, Huss said it’s important to show people who aren’t typically represented in art. She said the tribe and Mae Muir were very excited about the mural.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Rafael Blanco-2
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Blanco was a traditionally classic artist. He said he fell in love with public art because he can give his pieces to the community when he was done. Blanco enjoys painting where people don’t anticipate seeing art.
South Salt Lake Mural Fest 2022, Thomas Turner
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Atlanta-based artist Thomas Turner said each piece of this mural is symbolic of Utah — from the Sego lily to the bee and the rising dawn. He said he likes to research the places he visits to better understand how a mural can be representative of a place.