Like-minded artists and those interested in art of all kinds, the metaphysical, energy-work, tattoos, piercings, permanent jewelry, and art classes now have a place to gather in Tooele City.
The “Art Grove” opened at 115 S. Main Street on Oct. 1. Their grand opening event was held on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. where they offered flash tattoos, tarot card readings, permanent jewelry, and aura and chakra scans. Several food trucks were also present at the event.
Johnny and Ashley Doyle, who previously owned the Desert Flora store on Vine Street, and Nichole Riley, a local tattoo artist, purchased the building which was most recently a car dealership, once a liquor store, and Swan’s AG Market in the 1950’s, on Sept. 7.
“I was celebrating my one-year anniversary at Desert Flora and Jared Stewart [Tooele City’s economic development director] came in to congratulate me and told me there was a building that was open and asked if I would like to go see it,” Ashley explained. “I called the owner and five minutes later we were here looking at the building and the next day we had the keys.”
After purchasing the building, Nichole and Johnny moved their tattoo studio, which previously was in a small space in Tooele City to the new location.
After the trio moved into the building, they got to work redoing flooring, painting, fixing electrical and plumbing issues, remodeling the basement, repairing the roof, fixing the façade of the brick outside, and decorating. Johnny, who owns Doyle Construction, was able to do the bulk of the contractor work, but it took all hands-on-deck to make the building operational by the opening date.
“We did a lot, but I knew how to do most of it,” Johnny said. “There’s probably not a room in here that we didn’t do something to. Literally every square inch of this place has had something done to it.”
The name “The Art Grove” celebrates the history of the building during the time when it was Swan’s AG Market in the 1950’s.
“We wanted to come up with a name that incorporated the ‘AG’ from Swan’s AG to keep some of the history,” Ashley explained. “Johnny came up with the idea of the ‘Art Grove,’ because it’s an artist collective. Everyone in here is an artist and a grove is a collection of trees. The name fit on a lot of different levels.”
The Art Grove houses Ashley’s store, Desert Flora, which offers plants, hand-made jewelry, candles, clothes, incense, and crystals for sale. It also houses artists such as tattooers, piercers, permanent jewelers, and a barber.
The Art Grove offers reiki work, sound baths, art classes for kids and adults, and paint nights by DRA Art space, women’s circles, and yoga currently. The owners are hoping to welcome additional artists and add classes to their space. They are also hoping to turn their hallway into an art gallery for local artists to display and sell their pieces.
“This is Ashley’s vision and we are trying to build a community where people who are interested in art and creativity can come together,” Nichole said. “You don’t have to be an artist to come in here. We want people to come to make themselves feel better… I feel like this place is something new and different that can change Tooele little by little.”
“We want everyone to feel welcome and feel comfortable,” Ashley added. “We want to be there to make changes in our community and help people grow.”
There is also a coffee truck in the parking lot, called Nordic Brews.
The Art Grove is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday with classes and appointment times after hours. To make an appointment for a tattoo, piercing, or permanent jewelry, or to learn more about classes and events, please call 801-742-1444 or visit the Art Grove’s Instagram page. Those interested in offering classes, renting space at the location, or displaying and selling their artwork should also call the phone number.
The Art Grove is also working on getting their class schedule up on vagaro.com/theartgrovetooele.