Kaleidoscope showcases WSU artists, raises funds for Wildcat

Artists and Weber State University students Alex Suzuki and Ashley Ellis were featured in an art show put on by the local artistic platform Kaleidoscope on Nov. 20 at The Shred Shed in Salt Lake City.

(Sourc: Alannah Bowlus)
(Source: Alannah Bowlus) Art by Alex Suzuki and photo prints by Ashley Ellis lie on the table as attendees of Kaleidoscope’s show at The Shred Shed browse.

Bianca Velasquez created Kaleidoscope about a year ago.

“My initial idea with Kaleidoscope was to have a space or a group that can provide artists what they need, the marketing that they need, so they can focus on their artwork, without exploiting them,” Velasquez said.

Since its creation, Kaleidoscope has played a large role in providing northern Utah’s art scene with a place to come together to share talents and sell artwork. Though Kaleidoscope focuses largely on art that has a tangible end product, it has not overlooked the local musicians and the musical art forms they represent.

Soon after Velasquez created Kaleidoscope, she was joined in her efforts by Cisco Garcia and Alannah Bowlus, who were both interested in helping out local artists.

“We’ve been a power team ever since,” Velasquez said.

The Kaleidoscope team said many artists are too shy to seek out opportunities to showcase their work, so many artists never share their work in fear of rejection. They said they had to encourage four of the five artists at their last show to come and sell their art.

“I think it’s awesome, because it gives you a chance to connect with people that are on your same level socially,” said Suzuki, a WSU freshman, “and the people you connect with just kind of understand the more raw type of art that you see here.”

(Source: Alannah Bowlus) The Kaleidoscope team posed for a photo outside their show at Shred Shed November 21. From left to right: Cisco Garcia, Bianca Velasquez, Alannah Bowlus.
(Source: Alannah Bowlus)
(Left to right) Cisco Garcia, Bianca Velasquez and Alannah Bowlus, members of the Kaleidoscope team, pose for a photo during their show at The Shred Shed on Nov. 20.

Suzuki encouraged artists to try going public with their work.

“Even if you get some of your prints or your work out there, you’ve still made a success,” Suzuki said. “That’s your work on people’s walls at their homes.”

For Ellis, this was the first art show her photography had been featured in. Suzuki’s first art show was the first Kaleidoscope show in May of this year.

“It’s like when you have a little kid and they draw a picture of a cow or something and you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s an awesome cow. Do more, make more,’ and you stick it on the fridge,” Bowlus said. “It completely changes their outlook on art in general.”

Valesquez added, “We are the fridge.”

Bowlus said they intend Kaleidoscope to be a platform for people to shout from.

“It’s such a shame to know so many talented people who have no outlet,” she said.

Kaleidescope is coming to the Only in Ogden art gallery Dec. 6, and not just to encourage the local talent in the area. It will host an art show fundraiser for WSU freshman C.J. Julian, who has a condition called Arnold Chiari malformation.

“Essentially his cerebellum is elongated, so his skull is pushing his brain into his spinal cord, which is cutting off spinal fluid to his brain, so he has to get part of his skull removed,” said Suzuki, Julian’s cousin. “He’s always lived in Ogden. His personality kind of encompasses everything that is great about Ogden. All of his hobbies and everything he likes to do embodies the spirit of Ogden. He mountain-bikes, he skis — it’s all about the mountains — and his disease that he has really kind of hinders all of that. Because he gets really dizzy, if he’s riding a bike and he gets dizzy hanging off of a cliff, it just kind of stops him from doing a lot of the stuff he wants to do.”

All of the funds from the Kaleidoscope show on Dec. 6 will go to helping Julian through brain surgery on Dec. 13.

More information on the event and on how to get involved with Kaleidoscope is available at https://www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopeSLC.