Learn about Salt Lake City’s street art with a new interactive app

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Muralist Chris Peterson paints a 100 foot mural dedicated to Thomas Edison at 250 S. Edison St., commissioned by THE BLOCKS in Salt Lake City, Nov. 5, 2019. THE BLOCKS will launch a new phone application this Friday that will catalog public artworks in the downtown area. The public art and mural trail app will showcase artists and their artwork.

It will be easier to find and learn about downtown Salt Lake City’s street art, thanks to a new mobile app launching this week.

The app catalogs more than 40 murals and public art pieces in downtown Salt Lake City, creating a self-guided walkable tour. People can scan QR codes on plaques near the designated art pieces to learn about each artwork and the artist behind it — and be guided to other public art nearby.

The Blocks, the campaign to promote downtown Salt Lake City’s cultural district, will throw a block party to launch the app on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. on historic Edison Street, 150 East, between 200 and 300 South.

At the party, a new mural by Utah artist Chris Peterson will be unveiled. The mural, “Broadway & Edison,” is an homage to Salt Lake City’s first street-lit thoroughfare. Peterson, in a statement released by The Blocks, said the mural “is a nod to this cool piece of history and the neighborhood’s modern magnetism.”

Some of Peterson’s better-known murals around Salt Lake City include the Crank SLC map at 749 S. State St., the Hawkwatch wall on 900 East near the S-Line in Sugar House, the “You Are Here” map on the side of the Sorensen Unity Center at 1300 South and 900 West, and the Utopia Project in South Salt Lake.

( The Salt Lake Tribune ) The western side of Utah artist Chris Peterson's Crank SLC map mural at 749 S. State Street in Salt Lake City.

( The Salt Lake Tribune ) Utah artist Chris Peterson's Crank SLC map at 749 S. State St. in Salt Lake City.

People will be able to download the app starting Friday, and representatives from Liiingo, the Boise-based online publishing platform that developed the app with The Blocks, will give tutorials during Friday’s party.

The block party will feature live music at three venues, performance art, author readings and in-store activities at several businesses on and near Edison Street. The businesses include: Copper Common, Campos Roastery & Kitchen, Diabolical Records, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Salt Lake Film Society, FICE Gallery and Este Pizza.

The block along Edison is a haven for street art. Murals by Dave Arcade and Benjamin Wiemeyer are located along Edison, and an alley behind FICE Gallery features a wealth of street graffiti and murals, highlighted by the famous “Ave Maria” by El Mac & Retna that overlooks 200 South.

[Read also: Dozens of murals are making Salt Lake City ‘a free outdoor museum’]

Coverage of downtown Salt Lake City arts groups is supported by a grant from The Blocks, a cultural initiative of Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County.