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Jimmi Toro: A mature artist in a maturing gallery

‘Faces’ » Utah artist talks about his work and why there are few child prodigies in painting.

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"The face is an attempt to illustrate the lyrics of the song," Toro said. "City," he added, is about how "each city has its own flavor — like how Manhattan is different than Chicago — just like each person. So the words are about getting to know a person, in relation to getting to know a city."

Toro has spent the past five years getting to know Salt Lake City, having moved here with his wife, Teri, and their three children.

At a glance

Jimmi Toro: Faces’

A solo exhibition of some 80 paintings by Utah-based artist Jimmi Toro.

Where » Urban Arts Gallery, 137 S. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City (in The Gateway shopping center).

When » March 21 to April 7. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays.

Opening » An opening reception is set for Friday, March 21, 6 to 9 p.m., coinciding with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

Also at the Gallery Stroll

Here are some other highlights for this month’s Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, set for Friday, March 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. at galleries in and around downtown Salt Lake City:

‘The Emergent Event #2’ » Students of the University of Utah’s Warnock Special Topics Class have set up a storefront at Artspace Commons (824 S. 400 West) as an “emergent collective” to display an installation “featuring the collaborative sewing kits that will tool the upcoming environmental projects called ‘Interstitchiaries.’ ” This is overseen by a visiting artist in residence, J. Morgan Puett, and is connected to Puett’s “Mildred’s Lane” project in New York. The storefront is open from 5 to 8 p.m., and sounds like one of those things you have to see for yourself to understand.

‘Instantly Framed’ » Alpine Art (430 E. South Temple) is celebrating its expansion and the launch of its new framing app, Instantly Framed. To mark the occasion, the gallery will exhibit works created by established and emerging artists on their phones. The exhibit runs through May 1.

‘Mark by Mark’ » The Alice Gallery in the Glendinning Mansion (617 E. South Temple) will showcase works by three artists — Al Denyer, Lydia Gravis and K Stevenson — that showcase one of the artists’ most elemental tools: the mark. The exhibit runs through May 9.

‘Utah Ties’ » CUAC (175 E. 200 South) will present awards to winners of its annual juried exhibition, which highlights works by artists with Utah connections (whether they live here, used to live here or have spent time as students or professional artists here). More than 550 works were submitted, and works by 52 artists were chosen by gallerist Adam Gildar of Denver’s Gildar Gallery. The exhibit runs through April 12.

For more details about participating galleries, go to gallerystroll.org.

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After first making connections with a Park City gallery, he was eventually wooed by Derek Dyer, executive director of the Utah Arts Alliance, which oversees the Urban Arts Gallery. Now Toro is on Utah Arts Alliance’s board and is redesigning the group’s logo. (Like many artists, he worked in graphic design to pay the bills while his art career was still taking off.)

He sees promise in the Urban Arts Gallery, which is why he agreed to put on a solo show and to have the gallery represent his work.

"I’m trying to help them elevate the level of their gallery, to more of a legitimate gallery that serious art buyers would be interested in," he said.

Toro "is kind of our golden artist," said Palmer, the gallery’s curator and director.

His exhibit, she said, is a turning point for the Urban Arts Gallery, which opened 16 months ago in a large space once occupied by an American Eagle Outfitters clothing store.

"We are just graduating from being a teenager, I feel," Palmer said. "This is the perfect exhibit to say, ‘Look at us, we are moving into the adult world.’ "


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