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Hanging art: The Southam Gallery celebrates 25 years in Salt Lake City

It takes tenacity, brains and luck to survive in the art-gallery business. Just ask Linda Southam, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her gallery, still located at 50 E. Broadway, where she first hung out her sign in December 1982.

In its 25 years, Southam Gallery has been a mainstay in a neighborhood that has gone from chic to cheesy and back again ... almost. She has survived because she loves art and continues to offer clients excellent works by talented Utah artists.

"Having been an art dealer and gallery owner for 25 years has been like raising a child," Southam said. "Sometimes you get lots of headaches and very little appreciation. However, in both instances, it can be well worth the endeavor."

Southam knows whereof she speaks: Her daughter Kimberly started working for her mother at age 11 and has been a valuable asset to the gallery ever since.

"I never could have done 25 years without her contribution," said Southam. "Kimberly has excellent PR skills, much better than mine, and she has a great relationship with both artists and customers."

Kimberly, who received a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of Utah, has described herself as a "latchkey gallery kid." Today she is the gallery's director and one of the most personable people you could ever meet.

In the beginning, apart from her tenacity and art-business sense, Southam corralled some of the finest Utah landscape and realist artists in the state: A.D. Shaw, Dan Baxter, Ken Baxter, John Jarvis, Richard Murray, Jonathan Bronson, John Myrup and Gary Ernest Smith.

Over the years, some of the artists have moved on, but the majority stayed and have been joined by Linda Curley, Larry and Sharlene Christensen, Graydon Foulger, Phyllis Horne, Steve McGinty, Steve Sheffield, Kate Starling, Kathryn Stats, Karl Thomas, Diane Turner, and the list goes on and on.

"We are proud of the beautiful paintings we have placed in our clients' homes, offices and corporate buildings, both in Utah and throughout the country," Southam said. "We make no apologies for representing artists who create beautiful work and add a positive dimension to a world permeated by many negative events."

Southam is certain that much of the art she's sold will be passed on down to children and grandchildren, to be enjoyed by future generations.

"I still get a thrill seeing them (the artwork) for the first time," she said. "The excitement of viewing an expressive, well-executed painting can give you a thrill, reminding me of Christmas, opening up that special present."

The 25th-anniversary exhibit, which opens Friday and runs through Nov. 21, showcases many of the same artists who started out with Southam and will be part of an opening-night reception Friday evening at 5:30.

Featured artists in Southern exhibition

Donald Allan

Rob Adamson

Michael Bingham

Richard Boyer

Scott Brough

Robert Call

Sharlene Christensen

Larry Christensen

Linda Curley

Alexander Dzigurski II

Barbara Edwards

Carole Evans

Graydon Foulger

Susan Gallacher

Rich Graham

Jerry Hancock

John Jarvis

Elva Malin

Steve McGinty

John Myrup

A.D. Shaw

J. Ken Spencer

Aaron Stills

L'Deane Trueblood

Diane Turner

Matt Warren

If you go

What: "25 Years on Broadway"

Where: Southam Gallery, 50 E. Broadway

When: Through Nov. 21

Gallery hours: Tuesday-Thursday, noon-5:30 p.m. (by appointment call 712-5170)

How much: Free

Phone: 322-0376

Web:www.southamgallery.com


E-mail: gag@desnews.com