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IN Utah This Week magazine article

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by: Daisy Blake
Ever wonder where Blonde Grizzly got its name? Co-owner Caleb Barney says he gets asked all the time if it’s a combination of the indie bands Blonde Redhead and Grizzly Bear. In fact, the real answer is so much more dorky-hip. “We were watching a Discovery Channel special on grizzly bears, and there was this huge green field full of grizzlies just grazing, and the one in the front was blonde. You don’t imagine bears eating grass and it was just a great moment.” This answer really sums up Caleb and his wife Hillary, who run the gallery together. They are like the kids at school who were effortlessly cool, and their gallery breezily reflects that. Caleb worked in retail before starting a kiosk in Layton Hills Mall that carried the Zerofriends clothing and prints line, whose main artist is Alex Pardee. That line carried over into their downtown gallery at 15 E. 400 South, which opened in July. Caleb is now at Blonde Grizzly full time, while Hillary works as a freelance graphic designer and is also at the gallery a couple of days a week. As well as original art that changes every month, they sell clothing, prints, and jewelry, which they say keeps them in business. They always try to choose art that is affordable and that appeals to the trends they see from their customers, and if visitors want to buy a piece but can’t afford it all in one go, they will offer payment plans. They say something they’ve discovered since opening is that it’s almost impossible to gauge when the gallery is going to busy; “It’s hit and miss” Hillary says. “We hope we are a destination location, so people make a trip to come and see us..” They say they would like to see another community art event added, perhaps mid-month. In December they are showing Play Nice out of New York. “We are excited but have no idea what to expect. We don’t know what they’re showing yet. We leave exhibits totally up to the artists” Hillary says. “They can put installations in, paint the walls, whatever they want to do.” Play Nice will be followed by Utah artist Dan Christofferson, in January. Hillary and Caleb say they are excited by the way the art scene is growing in Salt Lake; they feel the more new galleries that open up, the better. But unlike the other new gallery owners, Caleb is not an artist himself. However, Hillary says “He does draw really good hot dogs. He’s a good hot dog artist.”