Four places to find art that aren’t museums

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Photo by Ai Mitton/UVU Review

Photo by Ai Mitton/UVU Review

1. Tattoo parlors and tattooed people
Tattoos are older than Jesus. They’ve been around for awhile, but tattoos are still controversial at best and condemned at worst. While many disagree with tattooing and find all of it rather obnoxious, there are those that view tattooing as an art form. Tattoo artists aren’t just Joe Shmoes that pick up a needle and mindlessly draw on people. To become a tattoo artist, one must spend years perfecting their skills, developing a portfolio, and working as an apprentice in a tattoo parlor. It takes passion, drive, persistance, and raw artistic talent to become a tattoo artist. Stroll down to one of the many tattoo parlors we have here in the Valley (such as Painted Temple) to catch a glimpse of the art these artists create on the human body each day.

2. Various outdoor surfaces
You know what else is older than Jesus? Graffiti. Dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, graffiti has literally left its mark. Whether it’s communicating a political message or marking territory, graffiti is not without controversy. Is it art worthy of gallery space? Or is it merely vandalism? I will leave it up to you to answer these questions, but before you do, please check out the British street artist Banksy. Google him. Then Google “Google.” Then Google “Googling Google.” You may end up unlocking some secret portal.

3. The floor
I used to work at a museum. Every day I was surrounded by walls with framed paintings. And these paintings were good, for the most part. But nothing inspired me more in that museum than when I would mop the concrete floor in the back. That ground was where paint would fall as it carelessly dripped off of brushes and where spray paint would accidentally leave its mark. In short, the floor was a canvas in and of itself. I loved the abstract and free quality of the museum floor more than I loved the trapped paintings on the wall. Keep your eyes to the ground, folks, because you never know when you will be walking on art.

4.  Elementary schools
Okay, so just strolling into a grade school may not be very reasonable and probably not very legal, but if you ever get the chance to volunteer in a Kindergarten art class or to see an art show done by people under the age of 12, do it. There’s something special about the mess of fingerpaint on a piece of construction paper. Kids will paint, draw, and create with wild abandon. It’s spontaneous. It’s pure. There’s a genuineness in their art that is sometimes very hard to find in the art of adults.