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Utah Black Artists Collective: Changing the scene

By Angelika Brewer - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 6, 2022

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Co-founders of Utah Black Artists Collective, Jayrod P. Garrett, left, and Wynter Storm.

Ogden natives Wynter Storm and Jayrod P. Garrett, co-founders of Utah Black Artists Collective (UBLAC), started their organization in July 2020 with the hopes of helping Black artists in Utah get their art into the world and find each other.

Garrett said, “Before we started Utah Black Artists Collective, I knew a total of, outside of myself, maybe three Black artists. You would be surprised to hear how many Black artists I’ve spoken to who’ve said that before our organization, they knew anywhere between three to four other Black artists. That describes to you how disconnected we are. It is hard for us to find each other. We are (roughly) 2% of the state. Let’s take that one step further; I work with art museums every so often. I ask them the question: ‘How do you communicate with artists who come from different cultures?’ and they often say, ‘We don’t know where to find them.'”

UBLAC includes a wide variety of creative talent, from dancers and musicians to writers and visual artists. They welcome art in all forms, with the intention of helping their artists build exposure and careers. Storm said, “It’s important that artists get paid. We do the behind the scenes work with getting grants and funding so we can continue to uplift these artists and support them, and we can show them and ourselves that our dreams can come true and that being an artist can be sustainable.”

Garrett added, “Rest is a form of wealth — in fact, one of the most important forms of wealth I can think of. Every Black artist I know is in the thing known as ‘the hustle.’ To be able to share that wealth with them has been magnificent.”

Through its sponsors, events and partnerships with businesses and venues, UBLAC creates a connection between their artists and people interested in booking them. “We get about five to 10 emails a day from people and organizations looking for Black artists and Black organizations to partner with for their events. We have become exactly what we envisioned,” said Storm.

UBLAC runs two monthly events, Paint and Poetry which will be held Saturday, at Clever Octopus, 2250 S.W. Temple, South Salt Lake, and Soul 2 Soul Open Mic, on May 15, at Black Cultural Center, 95 Fort Douglas Blvd. Building 603, Salt Lake City.

To join Utah Black Artists Collective, send an email including a photo of yourself, a third-person bio, examples of your work and any applicable social media handles or websites to utahblackartcollective@gmail.com.

To see the artists, visit www.UBLAC.org

If you’re interested in partnering with Utah Black Artists Collective for an event, contact utahblackartcollective@gmail.com

Follow on social media at: Utah Black Artists Collective on Facebook and @_UBLAC_ on Twitter and Instagram


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