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ART CANVASS

Local painter Randi Wagner has just completed a huge painting measuring 8 by 18 feet. It hangs in the two-story lobby of Codale Electric Supply's new office building.

Wagner says it's a very contemporary painting for a wonderfully contemporary building. Titled "High Voltage," it depicts the kind of business the company is in as well as its energetic leaders."I've used a dramatic palette," Wagner said, "filled with bright emerald greens, orangy red, brilliant blue, black and negative white areas."

She was given the commission before Christmas of last year. But she had to wait three months to start the painting; it took that long for a large bolt of canvas measuring 12 feet by 18 yards to arrive here from Georgia.

"I began the painting in March," she said. "And it took about six weeks to complete it."

Wagner indicated that the project was a challenge. Because of its size, it had to painted at the site. "If I had painted it somewhere else, it wouldn't have fit through any door."

As it turned out, she painted it in a room adjacent to the foyer, later to find out that it was too big to get through any opening. So the construction workers cut a hole in the sheetrock.

While painting on site, Wagner encountered a number of challenges. "I had to work in color blocks," she said, "because the painting was so huge." Frequently, she would have to step back 25 or more paces to view it. Plus she got plenty of exercise climbing up and down ladders and crouching on the floor.

She added, "I couldn't have done it without the help of Greg Rogler, owner of Frames. He beautifully engineered the whole thing. Without him, I would have been at a loss."

Nor could she have completed the project without the help of eight construction workers and a scissor forklift to lift and hang it.

Codale Electric Supply's new building is located at 3150 S. 900 West. Stop by and step into the foyer. There you'll see Wagner's colorful creation that appears to float in space.

- Another great gallery stroll has been planned for Friday, May 20. Eleven members of the Salt Lake Gallery Association will be participating. Their galleries will be open from 6-9 p.m.

Opening their doors this month are Art Access Gallery, Artspace Artists Association, Dolores Chase Fine Art, Hippodrome Gallery at FHP Healthcare, LeftBank at Pierpont, Phillips Gallery, Repartee Gallery, Salt Lake Art Center, Southam Gallery and Tivoli Gallery. Also participating are three Phantom Galleries.

Gallery stroll maps are available at all member galleries prior to stroll night and at participating galleries during the event.

- Art Access/Very Special Arts Utah is offering a free day of workshops in visual arts, music, dance poetry and drama for special education teachers on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will be held at Lincoln Elementary School, 1090 Roberta St. Tours of the Lincoln Elementary School art program "Kids Against Violence" will also be offered. For details, call Art Access, 328-0703.

- The Salt Lake City Arts Council is seeking volunteers for the city's ninth annual "Living Traditions Festival" planned for Friday through Sunday, May 20-22. This celebration of Salt Lake's traditional folk and ethnic arts will feature food, song, dance and costumes of more than 40 different cultures found in the Salt Lake Valley. The festival will be held on the grounds of the Salt Lake City-County Building.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of duties and need only to commit two hours of their time. For details, call 596-5000.

- Lectures, workshops, classes and meetings:

Wednesday, May 18 (8 p.m., Wildcat Theatre, Shepherd Union Building, Weber State University, Ogden) - Russian emigre painters Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid will lecture on their collaborative work.

Tuesday, May 24 (7 p.m., Art Access Gallery, 339 W. Pierpont, 328-0703) - Gallery talk by Kent Miles on exhibition "Class of '94," photographs by students of Salt Lake Community High School. A sign language interpreter will be present.