Admit it, at some point in your life you’ve claimed to have discovered someone or something before it was popular.

Maybe you were a regular at a restaurant before you couldn’t get a table on a Friday night. Maybe you wore feathers in your hair five years ago. Maybe you hung out with Jon Hamm back when he was on Gilmore Girls that one time. Or maybe you listen to bands that don't even exist yet.

Whatever it is, you saw talent and potential in something that the mainstream didn’t recognize yet, and that makes you cool.

This Friday, April 20, you have a chance to set up what you’ve wanted to say for a long time. If you take advantage of this opportunity, in five or 10 years when people come to your home and covet that remarkable painting on your wall you can say, “Yeah, I bought it for $200 at the artist’s first exhibition.”

Not only will you feel cool, you will be cool—elite in fact. Why? Because you had vision. And a little bit of money.

This Friday, Alpine Art will open the Utah State University Student and Staff Exhibition. Organized by Zachary Proctor, Matthew Larsen, and Chuck Landvatter this exhibit will feature 30 students from USU along with three of their instructors.

“Rather than doing a boring final, we thought we’d do a final that we stick in a gallery so the students could learn how to make a drawing from start to finish and then organize a show to learn about the presentation of that piece,” says Proctor. “The students were in charge of the whole production. They were set up in committees to handle different aspects of the exhibition. The work you’ll see is their final project for the spring semester.”

What does that mean for you? It means you get to see 30 talented students in their first gallery showing. Don’t you wish you were around for Doug Snow’s first show or Tony Smith’s? You never know which one of these students will have a career that will take off. And judging from the quality of their instructors, it isn’t much of a guessing game. Any of these pieces will be worth something some day, but more importantly, it will be worth something to you because there is something for everyone in this show. There’s drawing, painting, printmaking—you’ll find a gem you’ll want to take home with you for sure. And because they are students, their careers are in their infancy. So you can snag a quality piece of art that you’ll love for a mere $200.

Proctor thinks you’ll be surprised at the variety and the uniqueness of the student’s artwork, “Some of these pieces are their third or fourth oil painting, but you’d have no idea.”

Make Alpine Art one of your stops on Gallery Stroll evening. And bring your checkbook.

Laura Durham is assistant editor at 15 Bytes, Utah's Art Magazine, and is a contributor for Salt Lake magazine.