Springville is different.
When you drive South and cross into the township, it only takes a few minutes to realize that Springville is set apart, both geographically and socially, from the rest of the valley.
The town has flourished into a thriving community since 1850, when eight pioneer families settled it—but the town is a much smaller, quieter version of the cities that surround it.
One of the town’s key differences is its inherent enthusiasm for the arts.
The town was built on the bedrock of creativity, and has always been a haven for musicians, actors, poets, playwrights and painters.
The entire city is dotted with bronze sculptures by Gary Price and Jeff Decker, and it would be hard to take more than 15 steps on Main Street without bumping into some form of artwork.
Springville is home to one of the first art museums West of the Mississippi. The town’s moniker, “Art City,” was coined in response to the museum, which was founded in 1903.
By 1935, the small museum was bursting at the seams with artwork, and the building needed a drastic expansion. The community raised $100,000 during the great depression to make the construction possible, and the building they created stands today as The Springville Museum of Art.
Another refuge for artists is the Center for Academic Study & Naturalist Painting. CAS is a traditional school for aspiring artists. Their mission, according to their mission statement, is to produce “art that serves the public, elevates society and reestablishes the standards of art as a visual language that can be understood and felt beyond any boundaries.” Viewers are welcome to watch the students at work as they paint and draw from life.
In 1947, a small group of Springville citizens got together to create a community theater. Eventually a small stage was purchased and it still functions today as the Springville Playhouse. It is the longest continually running community-based theater in Utah.
The Rivoli Movie Theater is a historical landmark in Springville that opened its doors in 1927. The theater is being remodeled and should re-open soon.
The Porch on Main is a quaint, vine-covered cottage stuffed full of handmade crafts. Local artisans create most of the items sold there, and there is plenty of variety to choose from. Whether you’re looking for candlesticks, old bottles, vintage cooking sets, quilts, clocks, handmade dolls, dusty books, birdfeeders or picture frames, the Porch is the place to be.
One of the most unique places to eat in the Valley is the Art City Trolley. In 1994, husband-wife team Jeff and Kelly Decker acquired a dilapidated trolley car and decided to transform it into a restaurant. A unique atmosphere filled with fresh, tasty food has proven to be successful formula for the couple. The restaurant has frequently won city and state awards for their salad and barbeque dishes.
Ginger’s Garden Café is a great place to sit and enjoy a healthy, organic meal. Their menu has more hummus, edemame, pitas and raw cucumber than you can shake a cheeseburger at. The environment is youthful and energetic, and if you go on a Friday night you may hear some local music. Turn over a new leaf and check it out.
When all is said and done, Springville is most unique for the feeling you get when you’re there. The town is slow, peaceful, welcoming, unpretentious and artistic. It’s amazing how you can feel so far away while still being so close.
Springville Museum of Art
126 E. 400 South
Center for Academic Study & Naturalist Painting
43 E. 200 South
50 S. Main Street
110 S. Main Street
The Porch on Main
144 N. Main Street
Art City Trolley Restaurant
256 N. Main Street
Ginger’s Garden Café
188 S. Main Street