Tucked into the cozy Marmalade district in north Salt Lake City, an historic building sits on a quiet, nondescript street corner. This former grocery store built in the 1930’s spent the last 50 years of its life as the primary working studio of Anna Campbell Bliss, an artist and educator whose impact on the local arts community can be seen to this day.

Our studio has a deep connection to Anna and her husband, architect and furniture designer Robert L. Bliss. Ever since the two passed away in 2015 and 2018, the non-profit arm of our studio, the Bliss Foundation for the Arts, has worked to document and preserve the couple’s art and workspaces while supporting the local art community in the way the Bliss’ did throughout their lives.

At the inception of Modern Out West, we had the opportunity to clean, restore, and document the historic Bliss Studio, simultaneously working towards a space that would serve as our home base, a working shop, a library for the impressive Bliss collection, and a community gallery space. Through documenting the Bliss’ collections and work, and documenting their lives, we were able to approach our many tasks with the perspective of historic preservation.

Updating the building’s structure was a hands-on, collaborative process. Every team member got their feet dirty, painting, cleaning, organizing, and forming strong personal connections to the building from the outset. It’s clear that the building is loved by many, allowing it to continue to serve as a creative studio and cultural touchpoint.

The Bliss Studio is a living and breathing community space in our neighborhood. Brimming with art and historical artifacts, it serves as constant inspiration for working artists and designers. Its exhibition space has hosted art shows, residencies, and community events, linking its rich history to its bright future.

Project No: 1926

Client: Bliss Studio Trust

Completed: Ongoing

Budget: $25,000

Size: 3,000 SF

Architect: mow

Interiors: mow

Manage: mow

Construction: mow

Elec: Rocky Mtn Consult

Mech: None

Struc: MJ Structural

Furniture: Robert L. Bliss

Art / Brand: Anna C. Bliss

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