Skip to main content

Midvale Journal

Midvale art house on Main Street?

Mar 15, 2021 11:37AM ● By Erin Dixon

There are no official plans yet, but Midvale City is contemplating putting in an Art House on Main Street to attract more people to the area. (Photo/Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

The building that used to house the Midvale history museum stands empty. 

The museum moved to a new community center in Midvale Park

Midvale Community development director Nate Rockwood said the city is considering, “turning this [empty space] into an art house.”

The potential art house would open with more than just paintings on the walls like a museum. There would be space for artists to create, open space for visitors to meet artists and purchase art.  “[It could] act as an area we could do art classes; a community arts center open to the public,” Rockwood said. 

Who would pay for the operation and expenses? It could pay for itself. The city would only need $20,000 to $30,000 to get it going. 

Artists would be able to rent space to work, which would support the operation.

“The city would maintain ownership of the building but [it] would be self-sustaining from rental fees,” Rockwood said.

An establishment like this could help with the revival of Main Street. “It helps the placemaking of Main Street. It’s not something we anticipate a local business putting in there,” Rockwood said. 

Midvale residents are split on the idea. 

Louis Gonzales said, “I think our neighborhood needs some culture brought to our residence and our children. I am all for the art house!”

Matthew Dungan had an opposing opinion. “I think this is a waste of money. There are already plenty of arts districts in SLC to visit. Let's invest in more businesses and things that will attract people to shop in Midvale,” Dungan said. 

Would it just end up another empty building on Main? Timing is essential and tricky. While the art house could thrive on a busy street, there needs to be a busy street to support it. 

“I think it’s the right time coming out of COVID to hit the ground running; to get as many eggs in the basket as we can and as many chickens running down the street as we can, just have everything happening all at once,” Rockwood said. 

For the art center to flourish, it would be up to locals. 

“It really takes the right people going in there. You want some artists that want to see it succeed. We really want the community artists to make it their own,” Rockwood said.