Park City boasts of more art galleries per square foot than any other city in Utah. There are at least ten in 3 1/2 blocks on Main Street, starting with the Kimball Art Center and ending with the Lido Gallery. If you want to see lots of art without wearing out the soles of your shoes, drive to Park City.
Unlike other galleries around the state, those in Park City do their best business in winter when the snow-covered slopes attract skiers from all over the world. And gallery owners make a special effort to fill their shops with eye-catching exhibits.- At the Lido Gallery, co-owners Marv and Carole Schmidt are currently putting together a powerful exhibit by four Utah artists.
When I stopped by the gallery last week, one of the artists, Nancy Lund, had just arrived with a carload of new paintings. As I glanced at them, I was immediately impressed by the variety of techniques and media. In addition to her usual floral paintings executed in watercolor were a number of mixed-media works. She had combined oil, watercolor, poster paint, pen and ink, pencil, etc. And she had painted on not only paper but watercolor board, tissue paper, and satin.
Lund said she occasionally paints on top of crinkled plastic wrap. This results in exciting textures. She is currently experimenting with watercolor crayons. Those paintings vibrate with color.
"I get so emotionally involved when I paint landscape," Lund said. "I try to capture the excitement I feel. But how do you transfer onto a painting surface the scents, the noises and other sensations?"
Although she asks the question, she has discovered part of the answer. It's probably due to her philosophy. "You've got to be honest with yourself," she said. "You've got to paint what is familiar to you."
Jennie Allen Creer, Lund's younger sister, will also exhibit in this show.
Her style is distinctive. She calls it "folk" and "naive" art. To convey her positive feelings about home and family, she paints pleasant images of people and houses. These images are generally flat and outlined in black.
Diane Pierce introduces a direction compatible with, but in contrast to, works by Lund and Creer. She is fascinated by young people and catches them in situations where they appear natural, relaxed and filled with the excitement of life.
Several of her paintings for the upcoming show were hanging on or leaning against one wall. One work depicts children walking a dog. (Or is it a dog walking them?) The painting was untitled, so those of us in the gallery dubbed it "Best Friends." Hopefully the artist will approve.
Pierce's works reflect a keen understanding of color mixing and the juxtaposition of warm and cool colors. They also reveal her fascination with sunlight and shadow.
Jerry Anderson's Western sculptures round out the show, as his impressive 3-D bronzes add another dimension.
About 10 years ago, Anderson retired from the iron business and moved to Silver Reef, Utah, to sculpt full-time. A dedicated artist, he has already produced a number of impressive sculptures. They range in size from small (one-foot high) to life-size. His large bronze monument "Old Sorrel" is located on the campus of SUSC in Cedar City. Two others can be seen in Dixie Center's courtyard in St. George.
Attracting immediate attention in the Lido Gallery is his "Ancient Artisan," a 32-inch-high bronze and onyx sculpture. In his smaller sculpture "1,000 A.D.," he has included another onyx slab upon which a bronze Anasazi is incising petroglyphs.
Opening receptions for this show are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. The show runs through December.
- The Kimball Art Center, down the hill and at the other end of Main Street, is currently featuring works by members of The Stillwater Society, a group of professional artists living in Montana.
Dotting the Main Gallery are some impressive - and some unimpressive - paintings by ten members of this society.
The most striking works have been painted by Robert Morrison, art professor emeritus at Rocky Mountain College in Billings. His angular, stylistic approach is a welcome change from the highly representational, detailed paintings in the show.
Bernadine Fox's and Elliott Eaton's watercolors are fluid but not always impressive. And in Joyce Mackay's oil paintings, I sense the artist is struggling to rid herself of a representational approach to painting. But, as yet, she has not succeeded.
- The best exhibit in the building, however, is David Schultz's color photography in the lower gallery (recently named the Badami Gallery).
In 1987, after seven years of fashion photography in Dallas, Schultz moved to Heber City, Utah. "The never-ending diversity and beauty of this part of the country makes this an ideal location for me," he said.
Believe it or not, this is the photographer's first gallery showing. But I guarantee it definitely won't be his last.
Schultz loves to photograph in early morning and late afternoon when the interplay of light and shadow is at its best.
He is also attracted to small areas of bright color, like red trim on a boat, or a red barn surrounded by cool colors. "Intense, highly saturated colors always grab my attention," he said. "But the soft light on a foggy day or the subtle colors after sunset have a definite place in my work."
Both shows remain at the Kimball Art Center through Jan. 2. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.