Locals of the Salt Lake art scene were met with red tape mid-December when an art warehouse in Sugar House was cited as unsafe to occupy. Fortunately, the Fire Marshall and the building owner were able to quickly resolve the infractions and the building was reopened the same day.
Scrutiny for alternative art spaces has increased since the devastating fire that killed 36 people last month at a warehouse in Oakland, California. The Ghost Ship, as the warehouse was known, was home to painters, musicians, tattoo artists and designers. In addition to providing shelter and an art studio, the warehouse was often used as an event venue. On December 2, the party guests possibly didn’t know the warehouse wasn’t permitted for either a living or event space and that no sprinklers or smoke alarms were installed.
In response to this loss, the Salt Lake Fire Department seems to be taking precautions by making sure similar warehouse spaces in Utah are safe and in compliance. The Jenkstars, who rent space in the warehouse, were happy to report that the Fire Marshall was appreciative of what their group brings to the area and that neighbors are “pro-creative artist community.”
The Jenkstars are a collective of artists, permaculture pioneers and upcycle engineers. They host a monthly event in their section of the warehouse called Sustainable Living Art Music. The S.L.A.M. is open to anyone interested in sustainable living, art, music and technology. Hopefully the tragedy in the Oakland will only continue to improve the collaborations between artists and fire departments with the purpose of strengthening our communities. —Lauren Singer Katz
Jenkstar CASL, 2225 South 585 East
– Lauren Singer Katz