Interpretations at InSight Gallery

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Layout 1Perhaps because it doesn’t happen very often, it is a true pleasure to meet someone who is thoroughly, unabashedly passionate about her work. Elizabeth Harris, owner of InSight Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas, is just that kind of person. In Harris’s eyes, witnessing someone connect with a work of art on an emotional level is one of the most moving and memorable experiences a person can have, and it’s a privilege she enjoys nearly every day.

inside-insight-galleryThat probably explains why Harris is so excited about Interpretations, the upcoming solo exhibition of works by Nancy Bush, opening on October 18. “If you watch people stand in front of Nancy’s work,” says Harris, “you will see them visibly relax.” Bush is a tonalist landscape painter, which means she applies layer after layer of thin oil paint to build up a soft, subtle pallette that invites the viewer to connect with the spiritual qualities found in nature. “Everything around us is so chaotic and our lives are so busy,” Harris continues, “but looking at her work is a full body exhale.” As in previous solo shows, Bush has created some special, larger works to complement the smaller pieces that the gallery always has on site.

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Marsh-light by Nancy-Bush

Bush is one of the few local artists represented at InSight Gallery. Of the 60 or so traditional, representational artists found here, only six are from the Texas Hill Country in and around Fredericksburg. Nearly all are nationally recognized artists, such as master oil painters Daniel Gerhartz, Mian Situ, and Sherrie McGraw, as well as two of the top wildlife artists in the country, Lindsay Scott and Jim Morgan. A fair number of Western artists make their home here as well, including veterans Roy Anderson, Robert Pummill, and about eight members of the Cowboy Artists of America. Harris is quick to point out, however, that the gallery also features nationally emerging artists like cityscape artist Mark Lague and figurative artist Gladys Roldan-de-Moras.

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Nocturne by Nancy-Bush

InSight is located in Fredericksburg, a fairly small Texas town that has become quite a tourist destination in recent years. Visitors love the excellent dining options, abundant wineries, and, of course, the amazing galleries. Yet InSight stands out, not only because of the quality of the art but because the gallery space itself is exceptional. A historic limestone building built in 1907, the space was completely renovated in 2010 to become InSight’s 8,000-square-foot home. But Harris and her husband insist on creating a welcoming, approachable atmosphere, giving people the opportunity to make an emotional connection with the artwork that speaks to them. With this in mind, Insight participates in the monthly First Friday Art Walk and holds occasional lectures and demos, so that visitors can simply enjoy the art and learn more about it in a low-key environment.

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Sunset-on-the-creek-oil-16-x-16-by-Nancy-Bush

Nancy Bush’s exhibition runs through November 8, and there will be a reception with the artist on Friday, November 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. To learn more about InSight Gallery and to take the “virtual tour,” visit www.insightgallery.com.

 

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Symbiosis: Roby King Gallery

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On Bainbridge Island, the Roby King Gallery and its’ visitors believe in supporting each other.

Fumi-red-zinger

Fumi-red-zinger

Washington’s Bainbridge Island, just a ferry ride across the water from Seattle, is a hopping tourist destination. Local and long-distance visitors alike flock to this idyllic setting in droves, especially during the summer months. But a few years back, a long-term reconstruction project through the heart of the island’s business district blocked the steady stream of tourist traffic. Local merchants, like the Roby King Gallery, feared for their survival. Yet somehow the locals kept Roby King and others in business by supporting them during the reconstruction crisis, and the gallery continues to thrive today.

Co-owner Andrea Roby-King loves to tell this story, not only because she and her husband Wes King are so grateful for local support but because it illustrates an important point: People get how essential art is to any community, so much so that they won’t let a great art resource go once they have it. Ideally, a symbiotic relationship develops between a community’s art galleries and its’ people, and the Roby King Gallery has been enjoying this kind of relationship with Bainbridge Island residents and visitors since it opened back in 1990. Roby-King states that the gallery’s mission is simply to bring top quality, affordable art to the island and to the region. Simple, yet invaluable.

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simpat-north-sea

Like many galleries, the Roby King Gallery fills an educational role in the community by introducing new artists and educating art enthusiasts about various kinds of art. The gallery’s next show, the Annual Printmaking Exhibition, which opens October 7th and runs through the 29th, is a great example. “We started this yearly showing of printmaking because we wanted to teach people that prints are not the same as reproductions, even though the two terms are often used interchangeably,” says Roby-King. “Prints are made by hand, and each one is unique.”

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Lesh-dressing-room

Roby-King herself curates the exhibition with an eye toward highlighting the long tradition of talented printmakers on the island and throughout Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. There are four artists who’ve been featured every year since the beginning, but for each show Roby-King adds or subtracts a few artists to keep things lively and interesting. All types of printmaking are represented, such as etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, monoprints, and more.

This year’s exhibition features a robust group of eight artists, and collectively their work shows just how richly varied printmaking can be. For instance, Fumi Matsumoto does block woodcuts on brewed teabag papers, while Gary Groves, another woodcut artist, chisels his images from mahogany plywood, often requiring a month or more to complete one piece. The annual showing also reveals how some artists’ work has evolved over time. Lynn Brofsky, for example, has always worked with very contemporary imagery, but her work has morphed from completely monochromatic to a more colorful palette. The other printmakers included in this year’s show are Mary N. Balcomb, Stephen MacFarlane, Denise Kester, Kathryn Lesh, and Patrick Simon.

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stephen-macfarlane-pale-blue-sky

In general, the Roby King Gallery features mostly contemporary representational work, although there are a couple of abstract or semi-abstract artists. Most of the work is done in oils, but there are also works done in pastel, watercolor, mixed media, and watercolors. Among the 35 or so artists represented are Cheri Christensen, Diane Ainsworth, Neal Philpott, Faye Judson, and Pam Ingalls. For more information about the Roby King Gallery and its monthly exhibitions, visit robykinggallery.com.

Jennifer King is a marketer, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. A long time student of art marketing and the fine art industry, she currently provides art marketing services and coaching to visual artists through her company, Connect Artist Marketing. Learn more at www.connectartistmarketing.com.

 

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World-Class Art in Denver

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Richard Schmid, water-lilies-15-x-16-oil

 

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-11-11-35-amDenver’s Gallery 1261 could be described as “an artist’s gallery.” Unlike most galleries that typically set certain parameters for the artists and their work, Gallery 1261 gives their artists free reign to explore new subjects, break new ground with their media, and develop creatively through experimentation. As a result, says Connor Serr, the gallery’s manager, “clients have come to expect that kind of experimentation. They want to see something new each time they visit the gallery.”

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Richard Schmid, Nancy-and-friends-oil-16-x-24

Thus, in an environment devoted to showcasing artists’ creative evolution, it’s not surprising that the gallery jumped at the chance to host a retrospective of living master Richard Schmid’s work. Kristen Thies, Schmid’s representative at West Wind Fine Art, curated the exhibition—opening this Saturday—that features both newly created paintings and a selection of older artworks from private collections across the country, many of which have not been seen by the public for years. Like all retrospectives, the exhibition will reveal the artist’s changing interests over time. Commenting on the show, Serr says, “Richard Schmid is a living master—there’s no one better. It’s a really exciting opportunity to have this retrospective.”

Schmid, who studied the full range of classical painting techniques at the American Academy of Art in Chicago under William H. Mosby, is known for his lyrical, bravura brushwork and his alla prima method, which generally requires the artist to work from life in one continuous painting session. Throughout his career, Schmid has pursued what is known as the Grand Manner, which he defines as “a certain mingling of virtuosity and joy in art.” From still life to landscape to portraits and other figurative work, the artist’s work has been the subject of more than 50 one-man exhibitions, numerous articles, several books, and countless workshops.

gallery-1261-exteriorGallery 1261 opened in 2004 as a partnership between three owners—artist/illustrator David Uhl, artist Quang Ho, and gallerist Christine Serr, who also founded Abend Gallery in Denver back in 1990. The three of them shared a vision for a gallery space where artists could explore their creativity without the constraints of marketing and sales quotas, and to this day Ho serves as the gallery’s curator, choosing works of the highest quality. Most of the gallery’s artists create representational works with a contemporary edge, and many are oil painters, although visitors will certainly find a range of styles and media showing there. Hollis Dunlap, Aaron Westerberg, Mia Bergeron, Carolyn Anderson, and Daniel Sprick are just a handful of the many talented artists represented.

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Richard Schmid, Begonias-oil-16-x-20

 

“Richard Schmid: A Retrospective Exhibition,” which runs from September 24 through October 1, opens with a reception on Saturday, September 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. There will also be a book signing on Sunday, September 25, from 11 a.m to noon. For more information about Gallery 1261, additional upcoming exhibitions, and a complete listing of all of the gallery’s artists, visit gallery1261.com.

Jennifer King is a marketer, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. A long time student of art marketing and the fine art industry, she currently provides art marketing services and coaching to visual artists through her company, Connect Artist Marketing. Learn more at connectartistmarketing.com.

 

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