Art Park City
This winter, the Park City galleries and artists offer new works on a local, regional, and national level. Read why an art collection can be one of the most pleasurable life experiences with a few pointers from Susan Meyer, owner of Meyer Gallery, who offers sage advice on collecting, owning, and valuing fine art. At Thomas Anthony Gallery, Boise-based artist Ed Anderson will present new works in his signature style, which begins with his observations and closeness to the animals he paints. On his own, sculptor Miguel Edwards from Bend, Oregon, who works in steel and glass, also has a new collection of work, exhibiting his tactile ability to create smooth and illustrious pieces expressing a universal connection to mind, body, and matter. Whether you have an established art collection or not, the Park City fine art and gallery scene has a great deal to offer for any art collector or admirer.
For many people who are art lovers or art aficionados, there comes a time when they become serious about becoming art collectors. Susan Meyer of Meyer Gallery on Main Street in Park City not only understands on how and why collecting art matters, but as a gallery owner, a role she took over from her parents, she too evolved throughout her life as an art collector. So, how do you spot an artist worthy of collecting?
“To start, I always look for one quality in an artist’s work that is truly brilliant. That quality could be the conception, the sensitivity, the execution, or something else. Good art can be quite striking and highly decorative, but great art will transport you,” says Susan. “Any medium that excites you is a great start. Ideally, your artworks lift your spirit, tease your imagination, and feed your curiosity. Some folks are passionate about photography while others are intrigued by the hand manipulation of mixed mediums. Diversity is important in an art collection as it adds texture and intrigue to your senses. If you are going to drop a large sum of money on a specific item, I would suggest that you indulge in the pieces that get your heart thumping.”
At Meyer Gallery, Susan works with a range of collectors from first-time buyers to seasoned collectors. However, if there’s one true tenet about art collecting, it is that it will last longer than your life so buy works you love. “I suggest that a well-curated art collection is something that is established over time,” says Susan. “Art pieces may live with you far longer than most objects we purchase or own, even longer than the homes we live in, so choose thoughtfully. Take your time and then trust your gut.”
Of course, many people buy art they love, but it’s not always something that creates or supports a valued art collection. An important part of having a gallery assist you in the buying process is finding collectible art and an artist who is committed to a life’s work, which will be recognized. As Susan says, “Fine artists are talented, highly skilled, and often innovative. Their work has a special quality that their instructors and peers recognize from early on. Good gallerists work hard to find those individuals and provide a public platform for their works. Collectible art is often acquired by art museums or important collectors for their permanent collections. These types of acquisitions help to cement the artist’s place in art history. One of my artists, Galina Perova, painted a portrait of famed artist Jasper Johns. The portrait permanently resides in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. It is an accomplishment that is undeniably a benefit to all who hold a Perova in their collection.”
When you do have a very collectible artist in your collection or perhaps you are considering acquiring a major work of art, it’s important to take care of it. Insurance and proper care for art is very important. “Obviously, protecting a work from damage is key,” says Susan. “Works on paper should be kept out of direct sunlight. Some bronze patinas will change color in direct sunlight as well. Humidity in a bathroom can invite mold to build onto a canvas or under glass, so when placing art in a bathroom consider a wall sculpture made from metal or glass. When storing art, it shouldn’t be exposed to freezing or sweltering temperatures.” Susan adds. “Insurance is definitely something to review with your agent. You might need to add a rider to your homeowner’s policy.”
Another consideration of collecting fine art is the possibility of reselling your treasures down the road. Susan says that the galleries, auctions, or private sales are all opportunities to exchange your treasures for cash. “One of the reasons that I like selling the work of artists from the western region is that I can be more useful in the resell process by providing updated price estimates and other data for resell on a number of online platforms, live auctions, or at times, reselling in my gallery,” she says. “There is rarely a better place to initiate reselling a good art piece than in the home state of that artist.”
“Enjoy the process of learning and developing an eye for what you love and what is quality work versus what is simply amusing at the moment. Take your time and then trust your gut.”
If you are ready to start an art collection and become an art collector, Susan Meyer can offer some great ideas to jump-start you in the world of fine art. “From any gallery, I would ask the staff about who are their most accredited artists and also who is an emerging talent. The gallery staff should be able to provide you with the full name, education, and curriculum vitae (C.V.) of the artists you are considering. Walk away if they cannot provide you with that information. Avoid spending money on an artist whose work is not well documented online. Younger emerging artists like Lis Pardow or Silas Thompson may not have a lengthy C.V. yet but that’s okay if their existing credentials and work is strong. More expensive works by established artists should come with a rich C.V., somewhat like a pedigree. In the case of Gary Ernest Smith or Brian Kershisnik, you will find a lengthy history of museum shows, distinguished awards, and rare honors. When the buyer knows their goals and budget, we can guide them to artists who may be of interest. For example, we often sell out half of the show of Fatima Ronquillo weeks before we actually receive the work. If you want one of her pieces, you need to be determined and decisive when the opportunity arises.”
Susan adds, “We have a delicious show calendar this winter. I would strongly encourage attendance for the openings of Galina Perova, Brian Kershisnik, and Fatima Ronquillo. These three are in high demand by experienced collectors. The openings for Santiago Michalek, Jeff Pugh, David Riley, David Lecheminant, and Leslie Duke will be especially attractive to collectors wanting to consider artists whose careers are flourishing with some important credentials to their names.”
Thomas Anthony Gallery
Understanding the Attraction of Ed Anderson
Capturing an emotional connection to the prominent wildlife of the West is what separates the work of Ed Anderson from so many other artists. Based in Boise, Idaho, with a passion for hunting and fishing, Ed has spent many years developing his style and technique through his process of elaborate sketchbook drawings. His journals have appeared in many international publications, and Ed’s passion for his art and design has captured the attention of the biggest names and leaders in the outdoor fishing and hunting industry.
“There’s always a story and a reason to go into the woods to encounter things,” he says. “I like iconography, which is why I create works with sockeye salmon and buffalo. I travel with a sketchbook where all my ideas end up. My painting style is based on this with a great deal of color piled on and done very fast, and it drips and runs similar to my sketchbook. Then there’s an ink drawing over the top, which is very gestural, and it’s how I execute my sketchbook drawings. This is what I hope comes across on the canvas or the board or whatever the final painting may be. It’s easier to work big. It’s a style that translates better if it’s bigger. It’s looser and more gestural. When smaller, it’s harder to work with, but it’s also hard to find people with 10-foot spaces for my works.”
Ed’s larger-than-life canvases represent the spirit of Americana. “I strive to catalog Americana,” he says. “My subjects are derived from my vast experience in the outdoors, where I spend much of my time.” Ed has a passion for illustrating his travels across the U.S. through his fishing and exploration of heritage in all of his destinations. “Charlie Russell was the gatekeeper of Western Art who cataloged Americana 150 years ago,” says Ed. “I am paralleling his work today with my ability to catalog stories of the real American West in the 21st century.”
“You see spontaneity in nature, and this is what Ed captures in these expressions. It’s a narrative that defines who he is.”
No matter where Ed may be located, he’s always trying to capture his experience with his style—big, bold, colorful, and engaging. “I tell my collectors that my brain is thinking ten years down the road, and I think the style will represent something different and transitional. It walks the line of painting and illustration and abstraction and realism. It puts people on an edge, and it pops,” says Ed. “What makes this interesting is the cataloguing of Americana with sketches, journals, and other things to give the final pieces a history and a background. There’s a great deal of work in the Western art scene, which is quite different from collecting classic Americana of the West from the 1800s and earlier. There’s a whole dialogue on Western forest fires, ranching, pilots, river rafting, and vacation towns as well as the many individuals who exist in the West. There’s no certain subject for me, but I fell into the outdoor industry and it’s easy for me to paint fish and elk. I hunt, fish, and know my outdoor life, and I travel in the mountains and on the rivers.”
This winter at the Thomas Anthony Gallery located on Park City, Utah’s historic Main Street, Ed Anderson will have his debut exhibition with the gallery on Saturday, February 8. The gallery is a new artist showcase, and owner Thomas Anthony is excited to present Ed’s new works to exemplify his understanding of color and form in the hopes of capturing the imagination of collectors.
“Ed is able to offer a presence of emotion conveyed in the expression of his subjects,” says Thomas. “What we’re all about and what we work really hard to find is unique, quality painting and sculpture. We like to find talent who work hard in their chosen medium in a manner that is unique unto themselves. It’s not something you would see anywhere else. It’s an understanding of color or a blend of color that no one else does. I recognized this in Ed’s aesthetic immediately.”
Thomas explains that Ed’s understanding of color and how he uses it to achieve his desired aesthetic is exceptional and very important because it defines who he is. To apply color as a visual aesthetic takes imagination. Ed’s work is also exhilarating and fresh. According to Thomas, “He presents shape and form in a manner I have not seen before. We look for this quality and uniqueness. The way imagery takes shape and his wildlife develops is not often seen in wildlife paintings. Ed has sharp and crisp line work, which brings the color in his paintings to life. It creates an understanding of a mindset where the artist wants to take you on any given painting.”
“I travel with a sketchbook where all my ideas end up. My painting style is based on this with a great deal of color piled on and done very fast, and it drips and runs similar to my sketchbook. Then there’s an ink drawing over the top, which is very gestural, and it’s how I execute my sketchbook drawings. This is what I hope comes across on the canvas or the board or whatever the final painting may be.”
There’s a presence of emotion conveyed in the expression of Ed’s animal subjects, whether it is curiosity, surprise, or determination. “You see spontaneity in nature, and this is what Ed captures in these expressions,” says Thomas. “It’s a narrative that defines who he is.”
Thomas Anthony was 21 years old when he opened his first gallery, and since then he has owned galleries in three states. “There are artists who have been with me for decades,” says Thomas. “I also receive five to ten submissions a week to request my representation. I have a really good core of artists from all over the country and all over the world; however, what I like most is meeting amazingly creative people.”
The Fine Art of Miguel Edwards
Form and Process Guide
When contemporary sculptor Miguel Edwards moved to Bend, Oregon, from Seattle, he knew his art could be realized in more powerful ways, especially with a full-time home studio dedicated solely to his craftsmanship. Miguel’s work is gaining momentum across the country at serious speed and with his most recent steel sculptures, he has expanded his representation throughout the U.S. Recently, he signed with Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California, which was named a top 25 for galleries in the U.S. and best gallery in California by American Art Awards, Havoc Gallery in Burlington, Vermont, and D Gallery in Carmel, California.
“Perhaps it’s my relationship to cold, dirty metal that keeps me going,” laughs Miguel. “I used to crank out work in limited time with limited space. Back then [in Seattle] I had a huge photo studio and tiny workshop up a steep flight of stairs. When the larger projects like Perseus II came, I struggled to find bigger locations in working warehouses that I could use after hours.” He adds, “But with my new studio, I’m able to take more time without the complications of shared spaces. I can now spend greater quality time developing my work, rather than juggling tools and workspace with others. I finally have the true studio practice that I have been chasing for years and it feels as good as I expected.”
Edwards’ series of penumbra sculptures, the pieces of rolled flat bar, are pretty straightforward to build on the base level; it’s the nuances that take the time and experience. The steel is rolled cold, not heated in a forge, in either a plate or ring roller. Those pieces are then cut to desired lengths and welded together. The welds are then ground, sanded, and filed. This process continues to some level of diminishing returns. For years, much of this work required at least two people, depending on the scale. As of late, Miguel has figured out how to do it alone in his new shop with his ever-expanding tool collection, which is a breakthrough on many levels, though he still loves working with others.
“When I create work that is beautiful and arresting to the viewer and that inspires them to simply pause and contemplate or perhaps to create or collect art, or even just ask a simple question, I feel I’ve done something worthwhile.”
Thanks to this new freedom and seismic, creative flow, Havoc Gallery founder, Bruce R. MacDonald, invited Miguel to show at Havoc Gallery at Context Art Fair in December 2019. Context, which is part of Art Miami, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Art Miami maintains a preeminent position in America’s modern and contemporary art fair market and is globally recognized as a primary destination for the acquisition of the most important works from the 20th and 21st centuries.
In addition to the upcoming Palm Desert and Miami shows, Miguel’s work is part of the Colorado Academy’s permanent collection for the Ponzio Arts Center, a visual arts education center. Without question, Miguel’s growing legacy is in demand, with more of his public works on display in the cities of Redmond, Oregon, and Ketchum, Idaho. Miguel also was awarded a commission for a large new sphere sculpture with glass and LEDs by the Seattle Ballet, for which he will be working with GGLO, a major architecture firm in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Boise, for the Center Steps Project. And just last year, Miguel was approached by Special Olympics and built “Hope Rising,” the cauldron for the opening ceremony in Seattle.
Miguel can make hardened steel dance. “I’m finding new places in my process,” he explains as he contemplates how physics applies to his work. “The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. This, in the context of the human experience and how we make choices in life, is intriguing to me. It’s highlighted in my newest body of work. It’s a gritty, industrial process to transform cold-hard steel into fluid and seductive contours. Metal is heavy, sharp, loud, and cold, but how the forces of light and gravity interact with these materials allows me to bring to it a sense of calm and levity. When I create work that is beautiful and arresting to the viewer and that inspires them to simply pause and contemplate or perhaps to create or collect art, or even just ask a simple question, I feel I’ve done something worthwhile.”
Miguel has certain introspections relating to his work, saying, “I use beautiful and simple shapes, and I’m evolving as a craftsman. I want to leave behind occasional artifacts that were created by an authentic and industrial process, especially with how society is evolving to such a virtual world and things like 3D printing and virtual reality are becoming so prevalent. To me, everything about steel is exuberant: from its mineral smell to its varied texture, the way it behaves, and what it enables me to do. With the physical considerations of time, chaos, and intuition—these are my collaborators.”