At just 20 years old, Weber State University student Kayla Varnell is already making a name for herself in the art world. On Oct. 21, Varnell was featured in the grand opening of the Downtown Artist Collective, a new gallery in downtown Salt Lake City. The gallery features local artists from all different mediums: photography, painting, ceramics and so on. Varnell specializes in painting and mixed media.

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The Downtown Artist Collective is a small gallery in downtown Salt Lake City where local artists showcase and sell their work. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

Why do you do art?

“Art is my love. It’s my driving passion, the reason I wake up in the morning and the one thing that keeps me up at night. The art I create is what sets me apart from the rest of the world. I would go so far as to say that creating my view of art has become my world … I can communicate things through my expression of paints, drawings and sculptures that I can’t describe with beautiful words and neatly-typed font. It’s more than just a thing hanging on a wall. It’s a language that communicates through time and space.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Working as a florist, I think that really plays a big part in my work. I love making the past look pretty. I want to be happy, and my art helps me achieve that.”

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Kayla Varnell stands beside her piece at the Downtown Artist Collective on Oct 21. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

In the future, Kayla hopes to open her own gallery. She currently uses Etsy to sell some of her work. In January, she will be featured in another show at the Downtown Artist Collective.

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A crowd gathers for the grand opening of Downtown Artist Collective in Salt Lake City on Oct. 21. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)
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