Glendale Gather Blocks, located at Glendale Park (1375 West 1700 South), is the most recent public art installation in Salt Lake City. The entire park has been transformed into a colorful gathering space containing site-specific art located throughout it, along with new playground equipment, a new pavilion, and a walking path.
Glendale Gather Blocks was created by an artist-led team consisting of Chuck Landvatter, Jared Steffensen, and J. Dayton Crites. The process began in 2019 with a ‘request for qualifications’ from artists and/or artist-led teams based in the United States. The Salt Lake City Public Art Program received a total of 135 applications for the project. After a careful review of the applicants, the Salt Lake City Art Design Board recommended Landvatter, Steffensen, and Crites to the Mayor for commission.
“We wanted to create a place for people to gather together,” said artist Jared Steffensen, who designed the sculptural elements of this public art project. “Each of the sculptures have been fabricated differently so they provide unique opportunities for play and interaction within the park: they can be used as a playground, a picnic table, or for seating. These sculptures are for a place, not about a place.” In speaking about the colorful color palette found in this public art installation, commissioned artist Chuck Landvatter mentioned how “they evoke a bright and optimistic feeling, much like Glendale is as a community. These colors come together beautifully and create a synergy that compliments the whole project.”
One of the most impactful elements of Glendale Gather Blocks is the way in which it has incorporated the portraits of several Glendale individuals throughout the park. These serve as a celebration of their work, lives, and advocacy and enrich our City as a whole. “Getting to know these people,” says Chuck Landvatter, “has been so fulfilling. When I initiated this project, I didn’t expect that part of the process to be so rewarding. I’ve gained many friends along the way and got to know Glendale in a much more intimate way.” Each individual tells a unique story – some are immigrants, some have lived in Glendale for many years, and their ages vary. In all, it is unique individuals like these who, together, make Glendale the incredible place it is today.
List of community members pictured in murals:
- Kim Khuu
- Gilberto Rejón Magaña (Coach Juan)
- Roxanne Langi
- “Tuna” Abdullah Mberwa
- Charlotte Fife-Jepperson
- Janet Ramírez
- Ifa Motoliki
- Esperance Iradakunda
- Karen Sanchez
- Elizabeth Montoya
- Abdulkhaliq Barbaar
- ‘Inoke Hafoka
- Simon Larson
- Laurent Ntakarutimana
- Dane Hess
- Ailine Lao
More changes are planned for this area in the next three years. The city plans to convert the vacant Glendale Water Park, which is adjacent to Glendale Park, into a new 17-acre regional park. An initial phase of community engagement for that project will begin this fall.
Photographs of Glendale Gather Blocks by Logan Sorenson.
Follow @slc_publicartprogram on Instagram to see public art projects based in Salt Lake City.