This morning, I drove to Spring City with artists Alex Caldiero and Tom Schulte. We met Rick Gate at Das Cafe, where, joined by Otto Mileti, former owner of the Zephyr Club in SLC, we ate Bratwurst, mashed potatoes with dill and mustard gravy, sauerkraut, and potato salad and shared stories about icy roads, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Wynton Marsalis, and artists of various stripes including Big Daddy Roth, creator of Rat Fink and finally a resident of San Pete County Utah . Then we drove to Ephraim, where Rick has a show up at the Granary, a beautiful old building saved from destruction by my friend, the artist Kathy Peterson, and some of her friends.
The building is a perfect space for Rick’s beautiful art, work spanning decades now, a show called “Anthology.” Well-endowed Kokopellis hang opposite a series of portraits, geometrical wonders alongside fish-eye compilations, collages below double canvases. Much of the work is on birch panels, wood that has its own life under and around and through the bright yellows and reds and greens and blues.
For much of the year Rick runs river rapids and hosts fishing guests at his family’s Lake of the Woods lodge in Ontario, Canada. His photos of the waters and skies he inhabits inspire me on Facebook. And today I find myself in the thoughtful company of a trio of artists who exchange ideas about media and form and process while surrounded by a body of Rick’s work.
A couple of days ago Rick hosted Leah Ollman, an art critic for the LA Times and also a writer for Art in America. She had written positive reviews for Rick’s LA shows in the past and will now write an essay for a catalog the Granary is producing.She noted, while in town, that Spring City has more galleries than service stations.
Here a few photos of the work (and of Tom, Rick, and Alex talking art):