Fine Art Rooms in Park City Partner Website

A new trend in art collecting takes hold

by Sabina Dana Plasse

Above: Morning Shadow | Oil on canvas | 56” x 42” | Richard C. Harrington | Summit Gallery


Icarus | 72” x 40” | Nicholas Wilton | Julie Nester Gallery

Park City fine art galleries are experiencing a spotlight moment with art collectors and art-seeking new homeowners. As a trend for contemporary art has sparked for those looking to fill space with large and dynamic works and add an element of attraction to modern home design, Park City’s art galleries are reaping the benefits. In this issue of Western Home Journal, Julie Nester Gallery, Summit Gallery, and Susan Swartz Studios share how they are working with new clients as well as emerging and established artists, and reaching new levels of interest as art galleries and artists while enjoying Park City’s newfound desire for art collecting.


Sunflowers 7 | Acrylic on linen, mixed media | 24” x 24” | Susan Swartz | Susan Swartz Studios

A Spotlight on Contemporary Art

Julie Nester Gallery

Artist Nicholas Wilton provides a soul connection to modern design


Rose Tears | 60” x 72” | Nicholas Wilton | Julie Nester Gallery

“The shapes and colors are very realistic to me, like a stand-in for certain feelings, an ocean or sea of hopefulness, boldness, and emotion that seem to be better expressed using shapes and colors.”

–Nicholas Wilton, Artist


Thru Line | 56” x 58” | Nicholas Wilton | Julie Nester Gallery

With new vitality and interest, Park City is embracing its connection to nature and beauty more than ever, as are those discovering it as a place to collect and appreciate contemporary fine art. At Julie Nester Gallery, located in the town’s Iron Horse District, an expansive warehouse space provides a setting that imparts a dedication and passion for contemporary fine art that has been the mainstay and core of the gallery’s offerings for more than 25 years.

Representing a diverse collection of figurative, abstract, and landscape styles through original paintings, mixed media, photography, and sculpture, Julie Nester Gallery’s roster of artists includes today’s most exciting emerging, mid-career, and established artists hailing from the U.S. and Canada.

“Park City is increasingly being perceived as an art destination,” says Nester. “It is exciting to present artwork in this current environment. We have always strived to have a roster of nationally recognized or on-the-cusp artists with a selection of provocative, high-quality, and intriguing artwork. It is a thrill to exhibit our roster of talent at a time when Park City’s national and international awareness is growing. As the population continues to grow, we see more people in Park City interested in non-traditional or contemporary art.”

Art collecting is exploding in Park City as art collectors and buyers seek works to satisfy the growing new architecture builds and contemporary collections in the Mountain West. In addition, contemporary architecture and design contribute to this trend within the home building market. New modern and state-of-the-art construction begs for fine art that complements a home for style and appeal, creating a desire for unique living spaces.

“This home design style makes for a perfect canvas to collect and present contemporary art, which has always been our focus and which we are known for,” says Nester. “Since the pandemic, Park City has continued to grow, which has expanded our sales possibilities. There has also been an increase in the number of people buying art without ever walking into the gallery, which has led to even more reach outside of Utah.”

Answering the call with this current rise of collecting and enjoying contemporary fine art, Julie Nester Gallery’s artist, Nicholas Wilton, provides new works that explore a connection to nature and life through his well-honed and attractive abstract style and sensibilities.

“His paintings have two personalities,” says Nester. “From a distance, they are often quite bold in color with very balanced compositions. And then, up close, they can be intricate with his unique mark-making and heavily layered and worked surfaces. He is also consistently challenging himself to evolve his work—this means that there is a freshness to it and an excitement to anticipate what’s coming. Every show we exhibit for him contains new and original ideas.”


Bluenote | 72” x 40” | Nicholas Wilton | Julie Nester Gallery

Collectors and buyers enjoy Wilton’s art because his macro and micro worlds co-exist throughout his work. Using nature as a foundation to offer feeling and exploration, Wilton paints with balance in mind, where some elements are visually more vital than others, yet there’s always an equilibrium. Wilton’s work also and most ardently exists as a point of connection to break through the mundane and offer introspection while providing an overview with a new perspective.

“His paintings have life,” says Nester. “Buyers often comment that they continue to see new things within the paintings. His bold use of color and composition means that the paintings become visible elements within the home. This is not artwork that blends in with the decor. Our collectors often comment that their guests notice Nicholas’s paintings, and they become topics of discussion.”

Wilton is a well-traveled and committed artist from Mill Valley, California, whose life reflects his work. He offers workshops in exotic locations, including Majorca, Spain, to Morocco, and embraces people and the planet through his work. Wilton describes his painting process as creating a feeling from colors, shapes, and forms where everything is optimized for a positive and enlightening experience. His design and purpose evoke emotion.


Coriander | 72” x 84” | Nicholas Wilton | Julie Nester Gallery

“We can get a feeling when we look at something in nature that always looks familiar. For me, it has become a type of shorthand over the years,” says Wilton. “The shapes and colors are very realistic to me, like a stand-in for certain feelings, an ocean or sea of hopefulness, boldness, and emotion that seem to be better expressed using shapes and colors. They are reminiscent of natural forms. I use and look to nature for my inspiration, and the work has a distillation with these colors and forms.”

Wilton acknowledges that we are all hard-wired in nature because it is our planet and where we come from. This creates balance.

“When I compose, I adjust it, and it feels how I feel in the world,” he says. “It’s optimal and positive. There is a momentary vibrancy. It is how I use space because a connection to the soul is emergent, and we don’t have to know all the reasons why something is here. It will unfold. It’s ongoing in nature all the time.”

When viewing Wilton’s work, it’s easy to rest in many places in his painting—finding a sanctuary, whether it’s the top right corner or front and center. There is a language of color, shape, line, and form to convey a feeling in every area of his work, which is his goal. It invites the viewer to let go of reality and open themselves up more to see things in a new and different way.


“Buyers often comment that they continue to see new things within the paintings. His bold use of color and composition means that the paintings become visible elements within the home. This is not artwork that blends in with the decor. Our collectors often comment that their guests notice Nicholas’s paintings, and they become topics of discussion.”

–Julie Nester, Julie Nester Gallery

“I am interested in growth and change,” Wilton says. “Generally, I am becoming more free the longer I am here, and the work reflects that. There’s more comfort in risk-taking, which has provided me with more trust and confidence. It’s layered, and there’s a stacking effect for what I have done before and what comes next.”

Wilton is always focused on new work, which he constantly builds upon from what he has already created. Although familiar, it is fresh and evolved—it is the same but better.

“Becoming more and more alive transmits, and people recognize this,” says Wilton. “The work reminds them of that possibility for themselves. It’s about possibility. It’s what I am thinking and feeling. When you are not relying on something that looks like something, there is tremendous pressure to land a feeling. Letting go and pushing off is different. You want the current to take you and to let go and drop into something new and different and be moved. It creates wonder. It’s what I am chasing down because if everything is figured out, it’s boring.”

He adds, “People need, want, and crave this. In this world of AI, predictability, and all the information we could ever want, it is incumbent on creativity. Creativity and art will save the planet and the world, so there’s an urgency and importance of creating it right now.”

Creating significantly sized works of art, Wilton can accommodate a need for big paintings in large homes, which has contributed to Julie Nester Gallery’s continued growth as a primary source for large artwork in Park City. New large and small works by Nicholas Wilton will be available for a 2024 summer exhibition at the Julie Nester Gallery.


Kaleidoscope | 72” x 60” | Nicholas Wilton | Julie Nester Gallery

Appealing to mountain living

Summit Gallery

Convening traditional & contemporary fine art


Western Chiclets | Mixed media | 48” x 48” | Holly Manneck | Summit Gallery

“You should let yourself connect to art in a natural and authentic way because when you do, you will likely find that it will bring you joy for
a lifetime.”

–Megan McIntire, Owner, Summit Gallery


When building an art collection or taking an interest in becoming an art collector, there are endless possibilities as far as how to collect and acquire fine art. At Summit Gallery, located on Park City’s Main Street, owner Megan McIntire’s mission is to make the process of owning and collecting art approachable and enjoyable for any level of interest. McIntire has been operating the gallery in the heart of Park City for the past five years with a commitment to fine art that has allowed Summit Gallery to thrive.

“As a Utah native, I have always been enchanted by the charm of historic Park City. After years of working on Main Street, it became clear that it was the perfect home for Summit Gallery,” says McIntire. “My love affair with art began at the age of ten when my ‘Granma’ gifted me my first real paintbrush and weekly art lessons. The love of art was a special connection that I shared with her and one she had shared with her mother. It was passed down through generations, and I knew then that art would forever be a part of my life.”

With several galleries in Park City offering Old West fine art and only a handful of contemporary galleries, McIntire saw a need for a gallery that could combine the two styles while also providing a cohesive look to one’s home. And she had artists in mind to represent that would accommodate this desired approach.

“Since the pandemic, Park City has seen a rise in second homeowners becoming full-time residents,” she says. “We saw a shift in inspiration as more East Coast and West Coast homeowners arrived in Park City. During the early days of the pandemic, Park City was an escape from big-city living. However, it quickly became a home away from home for people from all around the country. Many found that the solace of mountain town living was just what the doctor ordered. With an influx of coastal influences, fine art appetites evolved, steering away from heavy Western motifs as new residents incorporated their more modern tastes into their Park City homes. Our goal is to offer a cohesive collection that satisfies the existing beautiful mountain homes and those of new contemporary designs in the area.”


Mercury Falling | Found objects | 30” x 25” x 12” | Tina Milisavljevich | Summit Gallery

McIntire has embraced this new trend and curates work to accommodate Summit Gallery’s new client base. With steady foot traffic on Main Street, along with the gallery’s vast network of collectors who recommend Summit Gallery to others, McIntire’s expansive artist roster of contemporary and traditional fine art is able to fulfill a need for those wanting to start or expand a collection with oil paintings, bronze sculptures, glass works, and mixed media.

“We work directly with clients and encourage connection when searching for a new piece,” says McIntire. “Artwork that evokes an emotion, reminds you of a family member, or makes you happy. You should let yourself connect to art in a natural and authentic way because when you do, you will likely find that it will bring you joy for a lifetime. If you are trying to match a sofa or a rug, you will be done with the art as quickly as you are done with your sofa.”

McIntire adds, “Let the art stand on its own. It should give you joy, and you will love it forever. Your kids will want to inherit it because they find a piece of you engrained in the art.”

Assisting with design elements and sizing to offer an elevated feel to a space while still giving clients the freedom to be able to choose something that they genuinely love and enjoy, McIntire boasts a roster of talented artists and is constantly approached for representation but only selects work by important and relevant artists.

A popular Summit Gallery contemporary artist who works in mixed media is Holly Manneck. Her work is approachable and relevant but never dated—considered authentic pop art. “My process may be complex, but my images are simple,” explains Manneck. “They are a slice of life, past and present, that tell a story. As I develop a montage of images, a story emerges that invites the viewer to experience the tale. I use vintage images and my own photos, always choosing images that I connect with. I hope the viewer finds a connection that either evokes a feeling or thought. I often use images of women to give a voice and sense of empowerment.”


Autumnal Equinox | Oil on metal | 51” x 51” | Cynthia McLoughlin | Summit Gallery

Tina Milisavljevich’s sculptures are created from found objects, including pieces from old automobiles and driftwood she discovers at a lake near her home. These distinctive and whimsical works of art exude a spirit of unique design and creativity. “My art is a tapestry woven from the threads of vintage automobiles from the 1950s and ‘60s and the captivating journey of tumbled driftwood,” says Milisavljevich. “Inspiration stems from the strength, history, and memories of those once-thundering automobiles that graced open roads, with the innocence of that era deeply etched in my childhood memories resonating profoundly. It’s this connection that fuels my passion, compelling me to continue creating and following the artistic path I so deeply love.”

Offering a fresh new appeal, Cynthia McLoughlin’s painting on metal provide a contemporary approach to traditional art. “My paintings are profoundly influenced by the natural world, especially the captivating dance of light and shadow across the mountains and the big western sky,” says McLoughlin. “I find inspiration in the ever-changing seasons and the intricate beauty of flora and fauna. My travels also play a significant role as they evoke emotions and experiences that find their way onto my panels, infusing my art with a sense of wonder and introspection.”

The subtle and little differences that make Summit Gallery artists stand apart from so many others are one of the reasons McIntire is drawn to them, including painter Richard C. Harrington. “The barns are a tribute to people like my aunts and uncles, ranchers for generations, people living lives of labor close to the land,” says Harrington. “By expressing the ever-changing effects of light on color and form, I aim to take a subject of sweet nostalgia and make it something contemporary and iconic.”

“Our goal is to offer a cohesive collection that satisfies the existing beautiful mountain homes and those of new contemporary designs in the area.”

–Megan McIntire, Owner, Summit Gallery


Afternoon Sun | Oil on canvas | 40” x 30” | Richard C. Harrington | Summit Gallery

Always on the lookout for things that do not exist on Park City’s Main Street, McIntire wants clients to know that when they walk in the door, they are at Summit Gallery and nowhere else. Bronze artist Jeremy Bradshaw ensures this attraction with very approachable fine art that connects and is elevated but playful. “A lifelong desire to be close to wilderness and wildlife has brought me much happiness, and that is what I most want to share in my artwork,” says Bradshaw. “I strive to accurately represent my animal subjects while still providing a slight joyful lift through their expressions and poses. I aspire to bring my sculptures to life to reflect an artist’s life authentically committed to the natural world.”

With approachable art and a friendly focus on art collectors, Summit Gallery emphasizes that people should love their art. A visit to the gallery is far from being a nose-in-the-air experience, and since many more people are here to stay in Park City, there has been a shift in facilitating art buying within the community.

“We want clients to be happy with every aspect of the gallery, including installation, commission, custom work, and anything else,” says McIntire. “Our goal is to facilitate a meaningful experience for all collectors and to create friendships along the way.”

Summit Gallery offers a mix of traditional mediums for mountain living with an inspired edge and a contemporary approach. It is art that stands the test of time but will also work with today’s architecture and design trends.

“Park City is a place that has always supported the arts and inspired creativity. It’s constantly evolving and changing—never the same. As it grows and trends change, it is important that we grow and evolve as a gallery. I am very passionate about supporting and being involved in the arts,” says McIntire. “Being able to help people connect with art that brings them joy while supporting artists in their endeavors as professionals is endlessly fulfilling.”


Red Repose | Bronze | 10” x 18” x 15” | Jeremy Bradshaw | Summit Gallery

A Year in the Life of Park City’s

Susan Swartz

Celebrating achievements in art, film, & activism


Evolution of Nature Installation | Susan Swartz | Susan Swartz Studios

“Every obstacle I’ve faced has been a pivotal force in shaping the artist I’ve become, molding my perspective, refining my techniques, and fundamentally infusing every aspect of my work.”

–Susan Swartz, Artist, Susan Swartz Studios


Left: Nature’s Bouquet 66 | Acrylic on linen | 24” x 48”.
Right: Evolution of Nature 30 | Acrylic on linen, mixed media | 18” x 36”.

For artist Susan Swartz, 2023 has been a year of accomplishments. As a Renaissance woman, Swartz’s visual understanding of art, film, and creativity for beauty, healing, education, and humanity has many outlets. She is a powerful voice and continues to be one for many people.

When Swartz began her career, she found that women with artistic ambitions were generally encouraged to teach rather than forge their own art careers. Swartz did teach to further her career, but she also honed her craft with an eye toward making her mark on the world in a professional capacity. Jason McCoy Gallery, the renowned New York art institution, took note. Fast-forward to February 2023, and the gallery, which began representing Swartz, hosted a widely acclaimed solo exhibit of her work. The opening drew luminaries from the art world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s director, Max Hollein, art philanthropist Agnes Gund, as well as other prominent individuals, including notable collectors and supporters.

Swartz’s early career was marked by a focus on realism. However, her trajectory took a transformative turn towards abstraction during her recovery from Lyme disease and mercury poisoning. Grounded in nature’s offerings as a healing mechanism, her Nature’s Bouquet series deftly illustrates the result of this struggle by incorporating Swartz’s theme of using natural elements such as floral arrangements, which are demonstrated through tangible globs and drips of paint, giving dimension while building a strong sense of movement and depth. Her studio is based in picturesque Park City, and Swartz has always been drawn to mountain towns for their unparalleled beauty as a source of inspiration and she draws on this in her work.

“Susan Swartz has always been a working artist,” says Jason McCoy. “Her early work was figurative and displayed a mastery of technique and love of nature. Later in life, Susan turned from figuration to her interior self and has plumbed the depths made famous first by so-called ‘abstract expressionists.’”

McCoy adds, “Originally, Susan was an artist, a teacher, and a very capable capturer of nature. In those early days, she painted in a Wyeth-esque manner—very precise—rendering what she saw literally. Then, and Susan only knows herself exactly what happened, but she had an epiphany. I interpret it as internalizing her external vision. Her talent to paint what she saw literally transformed into an ability to paint what she felt emotionally. She allows us to see her experiences of the sky, the water, and the mountains. She takes organic material and enables us to see it in a way that we’ve never seen fruits and vegetables before and to experience their healing powers. There is a mystery in all of the pictures. Even the sea becomes ephemeral, intense, and deeply emotional.”


Evolution of Nature 18 | | Acrylic on linen, mixed media | 72” x 72”

“Susan has embraced the past while putting her own charming and fresh imprimatur of light and color in her ongoing body of work.”

–Walda Bestoff

“Healing is the North Star for Susan Swartz’s art,” remarks Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women for the Arts. Following a two-year renovation, the institution recently reopened, and Swartz’s piece Gentle Morning, which was acquired by the museum in 2012 and loaned for exhibition to other institutions in Hungary, Germany, Russia, and the U.S., is now on display as part of its permanent collection.

Fisher Sterling adds, “Taking what nature has given, what humankind has wrought, she makes paintings that embody the earth itself and express her resilience, exuberance, and joy.”

Beyond art, Swartz is a visionary behind and a founding member of Impact Partners, an organization dedicated to funding independent documentary storytelling, where she has played a pivotal role and channeled her creativity to produce several films that raise awareness about social and environmental issues. She served as executive producer of the Academy Award-winning film Icarus and Women Art Revolution—a film that explores the Feminist Art movement and which was selected by MoMA New York as one of the best documentaries in 2010. These documentary films enable Swartz to expand her social and political care, viewing our earth as a sanctuary to be healed and protected.


Nature’s Bouquet 56 | Acrylic on linen | 12” x 12”

“I am profoundly interested in the alchemy between nature and art,” says Swartz. “Every obstacle I’ve faced has been a pivotal force in shaping the artist I’ve become, molding my perspective, refining my techniques, and fundamentally infusing every aspect of my work.”

Swartz was more recently an executive producer on Navalny, supporting her advocacy for social justice, health, and the environment and part of her ongoing vision to shed light on important issues and inspire change. The film investigates the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 95th Academy Awards in March. Swartz recognized the importance of the film’s director, Daniel Roher’s creative process and inspired him to publish a series of his drawings, paintings, doodles, and gum wrappers from 18 sketchbooks he created between September 2020 and June 2022 during the production of the film. She also encouraged him to exhibit those drawings and sell copies of the film’s poster at Susan Swartz Studios during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival to raise additional money and awareness for Navalny’s plight.

As a passionate steward of the environment, Swartz was thrilled when her Evolution of Nature 24 painting garnered one of the highest bid counts of Sotheby’s Inaugural Impact Gala auction, alongside art luminaries and legends such as the event’s co-chairperson Annie Leibovitz, David Hockney, and Ai Weiwei, where 100% of proceeds were donated to Instituto Terra, an ambitious ecosystem reforestation project headed by infamous photographer Sebastiao Salgado. The piece was featured in the Sotheby’s “Contemporary Discoveries” exhibition in New York City from September 23 through October 3, 2023.


Left: Vase (extra small, green 2) | Hand-painted acrylic | 8 x 8 “.
Right: Rhapsody Understudy 12, 13, 14 | Acrylic on linen | Susan Swartz Studios.

“I am profoundly interested in the alchemy between nature and art,”

–Susan Swartz, Artist, Susan Swartz Studios

Across the country, Swartz embarked on a pop-up series in New Orleans (NOLA) at the Ten Nineteen gallery earlier this year in support of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Her parallel concerns for the environment, health, food, and education resonated with those in NOLA’s fine art community and others with Swartz’s work addressing the dichotomous power of nature to heal and destroy, based on the notion that the health of the earth is inextricably linked to human health.

The selected artwork included her Nature’s Bouquet and Evolution of Nature series pieces. The abstractionist works, which feature organic elements and diverse colors, utilize acrylic on linen, mixed media, and hand-painted vases to showcase the healing qualities of the natural landscape.

“Monet is the obvious nature artist who comes to mind, and we will remember his blockbuster show at NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art) in the ‘90s. Susan’s work reflects his subtle influence. Going back to early American artists Thomas Cole and Martin Johnson Heade and coming forward to Joan Mitchell, Susan has embraced the past while putting her own charming and fresh imprimatur of light and color in her ongoing body of work,” says Walda Bestoff of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

Swartz adds, “NOMA’s sculpture garden was an exceptional display of the bond between art and nature. It was my pleasure to support the garden, which is open to all at no charge so that it can continue to inspire us all for years to come.”

Constantly seeking ways to amplify her impact, Susan concentrates on meaningful, authentic causes, especially when considering supporting projects for the health and the environment. She approaches life with a sense of resilience, hope, and a heart full of gratitude.

Ending the year on a high note and with a significant milestone and accomplishment in her illustrious career is Swartz’s debut at Art Miami in December 2023. Swartz will be exhibiting and celebrating her work, life, and resilience at the Jason McCoy Gallery booth alongside acclaimed German artist Christiane Löhr. A curated collection of Swartz’s large-scale paintings and sculptures, including select works from her Nature’s Bouquet series, will be exhibited for serious art collectors and aficionados to absorb.

“Taking what nature has given, what humankind has wrought, she makes paintings that embody the earth itself and express her resilience, exuberance, and joy.”

–Susan Fisher Sterling, Director, National Museum of Women for the Arts


Rhapsody Installation | Acrylic on linen | 96” x 252”