Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram Home News Calendar Instagram


Home BLOGS Guest Blog Guest Blog: Utah

Guest Blog: Utah

Written by Jesse Pollock   
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 09:06
Our dude, Jesse, went on a short trip to Utah and brings back some great photos.
I recently hopped on a 20-hour train ride to Utah in order to check out some art and other fun stuff along the way. Utah might seem like an odd choice, and 20 hours might seem like a long train ride. Both of those things are very true, but sometimes San Francisco can get a little stuffy in the winter. Plus Utah is actually the home to a nice collection of Earthworks art which has always impressed me a great deal.

My friend Mariah went with me. Actually it was more like I went with her, since she had been to some of the art sites before and planned most of the trip for me.

Mariah spent a good deal of time mending on the train. I sort of wish I could sew better. Seems sort of relaxing.

Everyone on the train slept at some point except for me. For some reason I just couldn't pull it off. I think it might have had to do with the air. At night they pump the heat like crazy and it makes the air in the compartments really stagnant.

We got the rental car and I finally passed out. When I woke up I found myself here.

These are the Bonneville Salt Flats.The flats are supposedly aligned perfectly with the shape of Earth, which gives all the surrounding mountains the illusion of floating. The flats are also used as The Bonneville Speedway where cars have got up to 600mph during trials and races. It's all salt in case you hadn't quite got that one.

They also film movies and commercials here all the time, especially car commercials (you know, the ones where they're spinning out in the desert?). When we arrived they were filming a Nissan commercial or something. Nothing like driving out to the middle of a beautiful place at six in the morning and seeing a film crew. Rad.

Next we spent the majority of the morning searching the plains on crappy dirt roads looking for a bomb crater. Apparently the are a bunch of unauthorized bomb testing sites from the 50's scattered around the country. This one had metal debris and crazy stone deposits all around it. The book we found this in also said there were still "unexploded ordinances" in the area which made me sort of un-easy.

This is Wendover Air Force base which has been shut down for quite some time. Up until recently you could go wherever you wanted, but the small working airstrip that still exists just acquired the sort of plane that comes with special security requirements.

This radio tower lets you listen to signals that originate from the surrounding area. I got obsessed with listening to the fast food delivery channel.

This hanger used to house the Enola Gay. I was excited to check it out but now it's behind the fence. We found a way in through a window, but then I noticed the new power lines running to the abandoned building. We decided against it which was wise seeing how as soon as we drove away, a police car cruised up to park out front.

The base is owned by the town, but The Center for Land Use Interpretation plays a role in maintaining some of the buildings and offering art residencies. CLUI is a really amazing organization and you should look in to what they do if you haven't heard of them before.

We found out that not all of the buildings were abandoned.

The Sun Tunnels were completed by Nancy Holt in 1976 and consist of four large concrete tubes, laid out in an open X configuration. The "tunnels" are pierced by holes of varying size, that correspond with the pattern of selected celestial constellations. There is a tunnel for Draco, Perseus, Columba and Capricorn.

Since I had slept a total of maybe 2 hours since leaving San Francisco, I thought whiskey might help me make another go at it. It did.

I forget what this was. We were on our way to something else when we passed a sign for this rocket exhibition. I think it was at the company who makes the rockets which kind of sucks since there were tons of replicas war missiles and other stuff that I have no interest in. Actually it kind of bums me out now that I think about it, but the NASA space rockets were cool at the time.

This is what we had been on our way to see. This is the site of the Golden Spike, where The Union Pacific and The Central Pacific met 1869 and completed the first transcontinental railroad. Nice work fellas.

As interesting as the Golden Spike was, this is what the whole trip was about for me. This is Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty. Smithson finished it in 1970 using black basalt rocks and earth from the site on The Great Salt Lake. The Jetty coils for 1500 feet, stretching out counterclockwise into the translucent red water and is totally above water in the winter. I might also add that it is utterly amazing.

The red hue of the water is due to the presence of salt tolerant bacteria and algae that thrive in the extreme 27 percent salinity of the lake.

Utah has some unusual liquor laws, but the only one that annoys me is the 3.2% beer. We sat drinking a good 3 hours before we remembered that one. I thought I was having one of those "I-just-can't-get-drunk-days".

They have bowling in Utah as well.




Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

Los Angeles based Alison Blickle who showed here in San Francisco at Eleanor Harwood last year (PHOTOS) recently showed new paintings in New York at Kravets Wehby Gallery. Lovely works.

Interview w/ Kevin Earl Taylor

We haven't been featuring many interviews as of late. Let's change that up as we check in with a few local San Francisco artists like Kevin Earl Taylor here whom we studio visited back in 2009 (PHOTOS & VIDEO). It's been awhile, Kevin...

Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.

Jay Bo at Hamburg's Circle Culture

Berlin based Jay Bo recently held a solo show at Hamburg's Circle Culture featuring some of his most recent paintings. We lvoe his work.


Fifty24SF opened Street Anatomy, a new solo show by Austrian artist Nychos a week ago last Friday night. He's been steadily filling our city with murals over the last year, with one downtown on Geary St. last summer, and new ones both in the Haight and in Oakland within the last few weeks, but it was really great to see his work up close and in such detail.

Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?

Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net

ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

Congrats on our buddies at Needles and Pens on being open and rad for 11 years now. Mission Local did this little short video featuring Breezy giving a little heads up on what Needles and Pens is all about.


In a filmmaker's thinking, we wish more videos were done in this style. Too much editing and music with a lacking in actual content. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.

Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

FFDG is pleased to announce an exclusive online show with San Francisco based Ferris Plock opening on Friday, April 25th (12pm Pacific Time) featuring 5 new medium sized acrylic paintings on wood.


Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne played host to a huge group exhibition a couple of weeks back, with "Gold Blood, Magic Weirdos" Curated by Melbourne artist Sean Morris. Gold Blood brought together 25 talented painters, illustrators and comic artists from Australia, the US, Singapore, England, France and Spain - and marked the end of the Magic Weirdos trilogy, following shows in Perth in 2012 and London in 2013.

Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

San Francisco based Fecal Pal Jeremy Fish opened his latest solo show Hunting Trophies at LA's Mark Moore Gallery last week to massive crowds and cabin walls lined with imagery pertaining to modern conquest and obsession.

John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

Well, John Felix Arnold III is at it again. This time, he and Carolyn LeBourgios packed an entire show into the back of a Prius and drove across the country to install it at Superchief Gallery in NYC. I met with him last week as he told me about the trip over delicious burritos at Taqueria Cancun (which is right across the street from FFDG and serves what I think is the best burrito in the city) as the self proclaimed "Only overweight artist in the game" spilled all the details.

FRENCH in Melbourne

London based illustrator FRENCH recently held a show of new works at the Melbourne based Mild Manners

Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.

Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.

Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.

NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.

Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding

"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle

Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.

Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.

Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.

The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.

The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.