Friday, February 18, 2011

In art world, positive signs emerge

Ketchum gallery owners say business is improving


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Andria Friesen, owner Friesen Gallery in Ketchum, installs “Owl” bronze statue, a new work by Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace. Photo by Sabina Dana Plasse

Signs of an economic recovery are starting to appear, at least for Ketchum art galleries. Tonight, Feb. 18, from 5-8 p.m., the Sun Valley Gallery Association will hold a Gallery Walk in Ketchum. Association members and others will open their doors to show off their latest exhibitions. Many of the gallery shows will have artists in attendance.

"I am truly thrilled," said Andria Friesen, owner of Friesen Gallery. "It's a new year. The absence of the weight of last year is palpable."

Friesen, who is showing works by sculptors Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace, is not the only gallery owner excited for Gallery Walk and Presidents' Day weekend snow and visitors.

"It's snowing and some more people in town" said Minnete Broschofsky, owner of Broschofsky Galleries. "It's a big weekend coming up and the mountain and trails have been wonderful."

Broschofsky said she can't wait for people to come to her gallery to see works by Russell Chatham, paintings by Theodore Villa and a selection of wildlife works by gallery artists.

Ingrid Cherry, who works at the Kneeland Gallery, said the gallery will have three of its artists in attendance. She said two of the artists have shows in Scottsdale, Ariz., but chose to be in Ketchum.

"Things are going well," Cherry said. "It's surprising, but we are doing fine."

Cherry said Ketchum is a great place for art lovers because all the galleries are close together and people can see all of them in an afternoon or evening.

"It's nice to be in a resort area," she said. "I was just in San Francisco, and you have to drive everywhere."

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At Gilman Contemporary, Director Casey Hanrahan said things are better.

"We have amazing things coming up," Hanrahan said. "We are getting new work, and work is selling. We have a nice loyal client base, and people are discovering us every day, too."

Hanrahan said it's nice to see life in town and have people coming through the doors.

Robin DeNovo, owner of Gallery DeNovo, also expressed excitement about Gallery Walk and her show with Canadian master painter Yehouda Chaki.

"I've been getting a good response," DeNovo said. "It's an honor to be able to represent such a masterful painter. I'm optimistic."

DeNovo said she always hears from people who come from all over the world that Ketchum has an incredible art scene.

"I'm proud of that," she said. "I love being around incredible art work. No matter what the state of things may be, art truly lifts you."

Gail Severn of Gail Severn Gallery said that since Dec. 20, things have been wonderful at the gallery.

"People have decided to live their lives again," Severn said. "It's exciting that so many people are starting home projects and coming back to the gallery for something they were interested in buying but could not. People are feeling more steady."

Gail Severn Gallery will present Michael Gregory's exhibition, "Where the Rivers Change Direction." Gregory's new oil paintings feature iconic structures in the Western landscape.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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