LOOK: The Salt Lake City Art Truck
Adam and Dessi Price have an appetite for destruction. Or maybe we should call it impermanence. First, in 2007, the...
Adam and Dessi Price have an appetite for destruction. Or maybe we should call it impermanence. First, in 2007, the husband-and-wife team corralled more than 150 local artists to help reinvigorate a condemned Salt Lake City building by dressing it up with their original art. They always liked the idea of art in unlikely places, and this building was the perfect fit. But after ten thousand Utahans came to see the collection, it was all demolished to make way for sustainably built housing.It was the Prices's first foray into curating public art, but it wouldn't be their last. One of their friends suggested, only half in jest, that they purchase an old ice cream truck and drive around to schools and playgrounds handing out art on popsicle sticks. "We didn't follow up on that idea-yet," says Adam. "But it did get me thinking about art on wheels." To wit, this past December, they launched Art Truck, a 40-foot-long truck that travels around Utah bringing contemporary art to people who wouldn't otherwise see it-in this case, really small people.The Art Truck is part of the larger 337 Project-named for the address of their first temporary exhibition-which organizes various offbeat art shows in the area. With the Art Truck, they've expanded their reach to provide lesson plans for teachers based on the roving art show (What can you make with recycled materials? Is there a difference between a spray-painted fence and a mural?), to encourage kids to explore their own creativity and expand what they think of as art. Currently, 337 is teamed up with the installation artist Dan Steinhilber and his painter wife Maggie Michael, both of whom have their share of formal exhibiting experience (they've both shown at the Smithsonian). Steinhilber's installation uses recycled packing materials inside the truck, which kids can walk through. Michael's painting, meanwhile, adorns the left side of the truck itself.
"I'd be thrilled if people walked away from various 337 Project events with the feeling that art can be transcendent, accessible, and fun," Adam says. During a recent visit to an area elementary school, one teacher asked his seventh graders what they thought of the Art Truck. "One student answered, ‘It made me realize that if I just look at the world differently, I can see art everywhere,'" says Adam. "That pretty much sums up what the 337 Project is about."To learn more, visit 337project.orgPhotos by Adam Price.