Visual Splendor: Nina Tichava

15Bytes recently reviewed our exhibition for New Mexico-based Nina Tichava. We have inserted the review below.

Many thanks to Shawn Rossiter at 15Bytes!

Nina Tichava - Put the Flowers you Find in a Vase

Nina Tichava – Put the Flowers you Find in a Vase

by on • 12:39 pm

Nina Tichava’s mixed-media paintings, now on exhibit at Park City’s Gallery MAR, are so easy to look at, so enticing to the hungry eye, that one might dismiss them too easily as mere eye candy, as inconsequential props in an interior designer’s stage set. And they are sweet to the first taste, seductive to the visual touch; but these large abstract canvases are also intricate and layered, providing ample complexity to the sustained gaze and nuances of flavor for the sophisticated visual palate.

Tichava is from Santa Fe, where she grew up in the home of what she describes as “hippie parents,” where weaving, beading and mixing paints was part of her upbringing. She went to art school with the intention of becoming a graphic designer, but was diverted when she took a painting class and fell in love with the “romance of it.”   The titles of her work, like “Love is the whole thing” and “The night was busy making the moon,” betray that romanticism, and Tichava creates works that unabashedly explore visual splendor.

Her Gallery MAR exhibit is titled “It is all Just a Love Contest” and the works explode with energy and spirit. Overall, the paintings have a warm and naturalistic feel, shades of white and brown calling to mind this varying time of year in the mountains, where melting snow and dormant flora create shifting patterns; but Tichava also employs bright primary colors, streaks of fire engine red and lemon yellow that intersect the canvases in crisp, unfettered bands. This undercurrent of strict geometry surfaces in other compositional elements, like the line of brass beading that bisects some of the canvases, or the compass-perfect circles that form the dominant compositional element in others. It’s as if Tichava is getting in touch with the graphic design classes she forgot to take in art school.

This juxtaposition of the natural with the geometric, of the earth tones with the primaries, provides much of the sustained play that makes these works enjoyable beyond the first savor. Washed layers of textured paint are banded by perfectly straight, opaque lines. Splotches of sky blue float across stenciled floral motifs. A layer of snow-white beading characterizes much of the work: it covers but it also reveals, acting as a drawing material to create leaf-shaped forms out of negative grounds. It’s like viewing the landscape vaguely, through a rain-streaked window or a veil of aspen trunks. What lies beneath the layers is not immediately clear so that your eye is constantly engaged in what is the mask and what the ground.

These days it is only through strenuously achieved views or careful editing that we are able to capture a landscape devoid of manufactured elements: telephone poles, roads, crop circles and bike baths intrude on much of what we think of as the “natural world.” In the end, though, as these abstract works suggest, man is no less part of nature than the wind, his strict geometry as integral a part of our experience as the shifting clouds and rising tides.

It is all Just a Love Contest, works by Nina Tichava, is at Gallery MAR in Park City through April 27. A video of Tichava discussing her work can be seen on her site.

The Marriage of Stone and Bronze

by Eileen Treasure, Fine Art Consultant

Gallery MAR is proud to announce we have added the exquisite sculpture of Bryon Draper to our collection. He is a professor of art at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Broken Amulet stone-bronze, 30 x5 x10

“Broken Amulet” by Bryon Draper, Stone and Bronze

Draper combines found limestone from the mountains surrounding his home in Utah Valley with cast bronze in its natural patina coloring. This natural coloration occurs during the bronze pour. The rough bronze still shows traces of the mold material, which helps to unify the stone and bronze and a single piece.   They are more perfectly married together as one figure, neither overshadowing or outshining the other. Each work feels like a relic, a sculpture from another time.

Left Handed Offering

“Left-Handed Offering” by Bryon Draper, Stone and Bronze

Draper references iconic poses from antiquity — but in a contemporary way. We have a perception of these traditional figures, yet we are confronted with a modern-day presentation of the figure attached to stone. The figure is fragmented, and some parts are missing, like parts of ideas that are not fully understood.

Just like these sculptures, our own reality is often fragmented out of ideas from our past coming together with our present day.  Draper asks, “Do we ever see the whole picture?”

Divine Consort

“Divine Consort” by Bryon Draper, Stone and Bronze

Royal Steward 15 x9 x11

“Royal Steward” by Bryon Draper, Stone and Bronze

Park City’s Fourth of July Celebration

The Park City 4th of July celebration has become a huge tradition in our beautiful area.  The city hosts a myriad of day long events, ranging from a pancake breakfast at the park to a fabulous fireworks display at dusk.

The old fashioned parade on Historic Main Street is not to be missed.  Marching bands, drill teams and funny floats make their way from the top of the street to City Park, where everyone enjoys live music, games for the kids and beer gardens for the grown-ups.

Weaving 1426 (Flag) 40x60-s

Nina Tichava, “Weaving (Flag)”, 40″ x 60″

Many locals attend another area tradition — the rodeo!  Adding to the festivities, the Oakley Independence Day Rodeo is celebrating its 81st year and is a sanctioned PRCA event.  The rodeo sells out quickly so get your tickets early.

Your Cheatin' Heart

Maura Allen, “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” 48″ x 72″

There are so many things to do in Park City and its environs and you can bookend the festivities with mountain views while hiking, biking and playing golf. Saddle up a horse and hit the trails with one of the many outfitters in the area. Or, you can also refresh yourself with a dip in one of the local reservoirs or a cool mountain lake.

Bridgette Meinhold, "Green Season," 30" x 18"

Bridgette Meinhold, “Green Season,” 30″ x 18″



Soltesz Fine Art Tours, Santa Fe

Michael Kessler, Arborcue

Michael Kessler, Arborcue

Gallery MAR is pleased to present a Soltesz Fine Art Tour of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Traveling to the pinnacle Southwest art destination November 10-13, 2016.

Perfect for the artist or collector! Visit Santa Fe galleries, artist’s studios (including Michael Kessler, work featured above), the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum while being wined and dined and treated to the hospitality in the Land of Enchantment.


November 10-13, 2016.  Click here for the trip overview, costs and daily itinerary.

Your art guide, Melissa Soltesz, has worked in the gallery industry for over 20 years. Melissa built her art advisor career in galleries of New York City, Park City and Portland, OR. 10 years ago she started a fine art appraiser business and 6 years ago with her fine art tours. With this extensive art world knowledge, Melissa has been an active member of the art community and has served on several boards and committees including FoCA at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and as the Chair of The Park City Public Art Advisory Board; she has also acted as a juror for numerous exhibitions and residency programs.

Melissa is originally from Connecticut and spent 17 years living in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Last year she relocated to Portland, OR and loves the beautiful green landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

Summer Fun Is Here!

The golden sunshine of summer has warmed up our collection at Gallery MAR, and here are just a few of the hot, new works that have arrived at the gallery.

Summer Fun

–One of our favorite, dog-loving, local artists is Cristall Harper, and pictured above is her “Summer Fun”


Yellow Fields

–New from Mary Scrimgeour, “Yellow Fields” (above) and “Summer Barn” (below)

Summer Barn


–Just in from Whitefish, Montana’s Shawna Moore working in encaustic:  “Xenon” (top) and “Lethe” (bottom)






–And on the wild-side from Wyoming’s Matt Flint, “Focused” (top) and “June Swans” (bottom)



June Swans-s



James Penfield‘s  small works make a big statement with “National Park Future 2” (top) and “Air Structure, CO” (bottom)






—Local artist, Bridgette Meinhold, brings two new encaustic landscapes: “Onward” (top) and “Little Spell” (bottom)



Little Spell



—Don’t miss our summer show, “In the City,” Friday, July 8 for local artist, Aaron Memmott. Here is a sneak-peak of one of his new paintings, “City Shelter”

City Shelter


Gallery MAR is open every day, and ready for fun in the sun!