By Sabina Dana Plasse
Summer is an excellent time to peruse galleries as well as visit and examine one’s own collection and valuable works of art. At Western Home Journal, we are always discovering rare gems in mountain town galleries and individuals and businesses, which handle specialized trades. In this issue, Meyer Gallery presents new emerging artists for its summer exhibitions who will all be present for their openings in Park City. Meyer Gallery is one of the oldest Park City fine art galleries with a family history to match, exuding a love for art and artists, especially those from within the region. Read about Susan Meyer and how Meyer Gallery provides a unique space and advisement for collectible art. In addition, discover the decorative concrete fine art of Jon Nasvik. Nasvik has discovered a niche in concrete fine art, which is not only unique and fascinating, but, a new perspective in design and form through working with concrete. And when owning fine art, it’s important to take care and know whom to trust with your precious investments. Scott Harder, the Art Doctor, is at your service to handle all your fine art needs for repair, cleaning, and conservation. Discover art care tips and much more from the Art Doctor and become inspired to collect or enjoy fine art.
High Hills Ancient by Jon Nasvik, 96” X 44”.
Contemporary Fine Art at Park City’s Oldest GallerY
Chocolate Shop by Mary Sauer. Oil on canvas at Meyer Gallery.
As the oldest art gallery in Park City, Meyer Gallery’s roots on Main Street span several decades and a legacy. Owner Susan Meyer purchased the gallery in 1997 from her parents, who bought the former First National Bank of Utah building in 1965 to create an art gallery. Today, Meyer Gallery thrives as a contemporary fine art gallery in Park City’s Historic District and is also listed with the National Register of Historic Places as well as being part of the Park City Museum’s Historic district tour.
Having grown up in Salt Lake City and Park City, Meyer is a local, which gives her an edge to finding new regional and local artists as well as fresh work in the area. Surrounded by art for most of her life, Meyer spent a great deal of time during her childhood visiting artist’s studios. She recalls driving through several Native American reservations so her parents could buy jewelry and art directly from the artists.
White by Britton Snyder. Oil on canvas at Meyer Gallery.
“This was a unique and unforgettable experience,” says Meyer. “What sets me apart from most galleries in Park City is my focus on Utah and regional artists, which is unusual for Park City. I look for art that is not solely for decoration but for curating a collection. It’s a wonderful quality for art to be thought-provoking and beautiful while still unambiguous enough for many generations to enjoy and benefit from. It’s a valuable quality to have accessible art and art that’s not too difficult to take in.”
Featuring both representational and abstract works in several mediums, Meyer Gallery presents an art experience that is approachable and thought-provoking at the same time. “It’s our goal for guests to enjoy a welcoming visit to the gallery and to provide customer service that exceeds expectation,” says Meyer.
“Without a happy artist you don’t have a gallery and without a happy buyer, you don’t have a gallery, which are the reasons why I will not exhibit art that’s only decorative. I look for art that is also collectible so a client is happy with their art selection years from now, not Just for a short period of time.”
Winter Landscape by Gary Smith. Oil on canvas at Meyer Gallery.
Meyer works endlessly to identify hardworking, talented artists throughout Utah and the surrounding areas who will be a match for her clientele. “Without a happy artist you don’t have a gallery and without a happy buyer, you don’t have a gallery, which are the reasons why I will not exhibit art that’s only decorative,” she says. “I look for art that is also collectible so a client is happy with their art selection years from now, not just for a short period of time. My dad taught me that your job as a gallery owner is to equally have the interest of the artist and interest of the buyer in mind.”
Playfully Grounded by Spencer Budd. Ceramic, wood, and paracord at Meyer Gallery.
On average, a Meyer Gallery artist shows with the gallery for at least 12 years, and Meyer takes a great deal of pride in featuring work without too much distraction in her two-floor gallery where there’s plenty of space to view and enjoy the work.
“I help clients who seek original and relevant art from the area. If it’s an artist that is from the region, I especially love the element of exhibiting and supporting local artists.”
For Meyer, art that sparks her own personal curiosity is what often appeals to her the most. “One of our artists, Brian Kershisnik, who is well known in the region, continues to captivate me. He incorporates metaphors in his work that may apply to anyone. The paintings he produces for each show are very relevant to his own life. He’s a rare artist who looks inward, very deeply, before he begins a painting, to determine what’s going on in his own humanity, which relates to other people and their lives. I help clients who seek original and relevant art from the area. If it’s an artist that is from the region, I especially love the element of buying and supporting local artists.”
DN1817 by Kaori Takamura. Mixed media at Meyer Gallery.
This summer, Meyer Gallery will present several artists’ openings and new exhibitions to include mixed media artist Kaori Takamura and a combined show with painter Britton Snyder and bronze sculptor Spencer Budd. Takamura will be present for a solo show to open on Saturday, August 3, for the 50th annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival on Main Street. Takamura will demonstrate her mixed media technique throughout the day at Meyer Gallery. Originally from Japan, Takamura lives in Arizona. “Her work delights me because of its upbeat and playful nature,” says Meyer. “I was attracted to her work because she was producing pieces that looked like quilts but in the detail she utilizes pieces of canvas stitched together, having several parts like a quilt. It is canvas or wood stitched together with thread. Takamura was attracted to the quilts in America because they reminded her of work from her native country. I like women’s handiwork, and I think that it says a great deal about women and their role in art history and the hands-on nature of tactile work.”
On Friday, July 26, Meyer Gallery presents a two-man show featuring Britton Snyder and Spencer Budd. “It’s each artist’s first show with Meyer Gallery,” reveals Meyer. “Britton produces interesting ethereal figurative pieces with oil paint. Spencer, who also does figurative work, will present larger sculptures than we have had from him in the past. Spencer is an art teacher and a fine art figurative sculptor, producing realistic figures with a modern edge.”
Visitors enjoy Meyer Gallery during the Park City Gallery Association February 2019 Gallery Stroll. Photo by Caroline Hargraves
Meyer Gallery is part of a very healthy art community in Park City. “Every state tends to develop an artist community, and Park City is definitely Utah’s area to buy art,” says Meyer. “Many galleries show a strong diversity of mediums. Having traveled on a national level to many different art districts, Park City’s old town is refreshingly easy and it is enjoyable to stroll from gallery to gallery.”
“It’s a wonderful quality for art to be thought-provoking and beautiful while still unambiguous enough for many generations to enjoy and benefit from.”
Taking Concrete Art to a New Level
First Light by Jon Nasvik, 43” X 60”.
“I’m working with bigger pieces this year, concentrating on combining sculptural elements and wall art.”
For Sun Valley artist Jon Nasvik, concrete is an art medium, that he continues to master. As a universal building material derived from ground limestone rock, concrete can also be handled and manipulated to produce exquisite fine art, unlike any other material. Having created numerous works of concrete art, Nasvik is reaching new levels with his design and creativity, all within the qualities of fine art in a concrete form.
“I’ve been working with concrete on an artistic level for about 50 years,” says Nasvik. “Creating functional and decorative concrete works have kept me in constant demand for the growing number of design-oriented people who recognize the benefits and appeal of concrete. The range of possibilities this unusual art medium has to offer is intriguing because working with concrete offers seemingly endless possibilities in fine art. It isn’t nearly as heavy as most may think and it can endure environmental elements unlike many other art forms.”
Spring Thaw by Jon Nasvik, 24” X 32”..
As opposed to traditional paintings, Nasvik can approach his work from different angles and perspectives. He mixes integrally colored cement and builds up layers, either against a form or on the surface, followed by cutting, grinding, chipping, and other methods to reach his goal for any particular piece.
Nasvik develops a connection with the subjects of his work, inspiring him to describe the feelings he wants to portray in each piece he creates. High Country Ancient is an example of not only a unique point of view, but also an interpretation about a tree that had an effect on him. “It sort of spoke to me,” he says. “I’m old and I’m massive and I’ve endured. Such respectable tenacity is difficult to ignore.”
Bait Shop Trout by Jon Nasvik, 12” X 31”.
Nasvik gets excited about working when whatever comes into his head starts to formulate. His process and approach naturally informs his art, but there is still a fair amount of control he needs to maintain. “When I laid out the tree, I used a ½-inch by ½-inch stick,” he says. “When I dipped into the fluid cement mix, holding it at an angle, it slowly slid down and kept the flow going. This process didn’t make perfect lines, so, where I needed to, I went back with a brush and a different color to better define the branch shapes and exploit how light lands in an irregular way on rough surfaces. Now, there is the suggestion of light from the application of cement colors and the actual effect of light on the textured surface. I often innovate when typical artistry tools don’t work under the circumstances, but I have them when I need them.”
Nasvik often applies new ideas and concepts to his work. “It’s a combination of sculpture and painting, and I love the possibilities of how sculpture and paint are emerging with the use of concrete. I can have as much or as little relief as I want. I’m working with bigger pieces this year, concentrating on combining sculptural elements and wall art.” Experimenting with fabric forming will allow Nasvik to test out new types of forms that will billow from the art. Taking on a form from the cement will give a new dimension to the artwork. “It does not always have to be flat paint,” he says.
Astral Landscape by Jon Nasvik, 30” X 84”.
Nasvik has taken his ability to work and handle concrete into his art, adding a great deal of character with bold and rich expression, and he would like to become more aggressive with that technique while exploring different ways to achieve new approaches. “The adventure for me is thinking it up as I go. I’ve always been more of a sculptural artist than a painter, but putting paint and sculpture together is exciting,” he says.
I asked Nasvik how he knows when he’s finished with a particular artwork. “I hit a point where there’s no longer any objectionable parts remaining in the piece. When there’s no more angst, there’s nothing left to do but decide if there’s success and of course that remains in the eye of the beholder.”
For more information about this one-of-a-kind concrete art, call 208.720.1367 or email email@example.com.
“The adventure for me is thinking it up as I go. I’ve always been more of a sculptural artist than a painter, but putting paint and sculpture together is exciting.”
The Way to Peace by Jon Nasvik, 8” X 8”.
When It Comes to Fine Art, the Art Doctor Cares
“Paintings need to release moisture and outgassing, so proper framing space between glass, mats, and the work of art is essential. The picture frame is not just an embellishment, it’s a means for protecting your art.”
William Scott Harder, aka the Art Doctor® and owner of Scott’s Frame and Mat in Ketchum, Idaho, is not only well-studied and experienced in caring for and handling valuable fine art, he’s also an expert in an art emergency. Harder’s skills range from framing and cutting mat boards to painting and chemistry to handling issues that occur with fine art wear and tear. As a general practitioner for art with a mobile service, Harder provides comfort to serious art collectors as well as galleries and art institutions with an on-call service, offering a bevvy of art care techniques and processes for fine art.
As a framer and conservator of fine art for many collectors, Harder has numerous tips and suggestions, which will work for any art lover or aficionado. “I tell everyone with collectible art to obtain a condition report for each piece of art you own from a professional framer or conservator like me. It’s not just for insurance purposes. It’s also for the history of owning a rare item. Art doesn’t always increase in value, but when it does, and if you are a collector, you need to document and insure it.”
Harder explains how there are also many false beliefs when it comes to protecting and preserving fine art, including the idea that paintings should be hermitically sealed. “Not true,” says Harder. “Paintings need to release moisture and outgassing, so proper framing space between glass, mats, and the work of art is essential. The picture frame is not just an embellishment, it’s a means for protecting your art.”
“When storing art,” he says. “Avoid direct contact with bubble or plastic stretch wrap or visqueen. It can leave a residue, which will lead to a need for conservation and even restoration.” According to Harder, art and your skin have a great deal in common; there’s a need for both to contract and expand. Art, like skin, also becomes fatigued in the process of contracting and expansion, and therefore it’s best to pay attention to cracks and any other occurring changes in your art so that you can protect it.
Lighting is also important to how art is exhibited in one’s home and in any space; however, knowing how to light art is of the upmost importance. Harder says, “When lighting an acrylic or oil painting, never use direct lighting. Use a raking light from a distance to illuminate.” Harder’s institutional knowledge is extremely useful for not only protection and care of fine art, but also how to exhibit it, especially when it comes to climate. “Whether it’s high-desert living or seaside moisture, it’s important to make sure art has proper air circulation and, of course, that it is framed properly to handle.”
Perhaps one of the most frequent questions and queries Harder discusses with art collectors is about freshening up one’s art. “Many clients ask me about how to refresh their collection,” says Harder. “I suggest to all my clients to move their art around. Art will have a whole new perspective on a different wall or another location in one’s home. If you need help moving or repositioning your pieces, call the Art Doctor. I’ve got the tools and know-how to make all art collections look their very best and stay protected to retain their value.”
Visit artdoctormobil.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.