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Art adds beauty to Provo salon

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The Bon Losee-owned beauty shop at Cotton Tree Square has the usual assortment of shears, blow dryers and files to finely groom the hair and nails of its clients.

But artist Scott Griffin thought there was something missing from a place named Gallery Salon."I said, `It's called the what?' " he said. "It had a bunch of cheap prints on the wall."

Not anymore. Original oil paintings and water colors now adorn the walls that Griffin, a decorative house painter who dabbles in art, recently textured and painted. The Gallery Salon now lives up to its billing as a gallery and a salon. And all the works of art are for sale, ranging in price from $300 to $7,000.

"This is a totally new thing. It's not exactly new because the Romans did it years ago. But it's new to our decade," he said.

Griffin lined up Utah County artists such as Gary Kapp and Mary Ann Free Smith as well as others from Utah and surrounding western states to display their work. In addition to fantasy and landscape paintings, the gallery features several sculptures. A meet-the-artists night is scheduled for March 20 at 7 p.m. Artists will be available to talk about their work and answer questions.

"Maybe we can get people in Utah County interested in art again," said Griffin, the Gallery Salon's curator. Local artists were happy to add their work to the exhibit because Utah Valley offers few places for them to do that, he said.

Griffin, who owned an art gallery in Nebraska, said residents in the valley don't seem to appreciate fine art.

"I think the biggest thing is they're do-it-yourselfers," he said, adding people might see a work of art and figure they could do it themselves. "You could cut your own hair, too, but why would you want to?" he said.

The idea to combine personal care with art came from the ancient Romans, Griffin said. Public baths in Rome were popular because they offered more than a place to wash. They included fine art, lectures, poetry recitals and music.

The Gallery Salon has been open for about a year, and the art went on display about two months ago. Griffin said he intends to rotate new pieces into the shop every three or four months.

"It's kind of a neat idea," he said. "I hope it can last."