September 28th, 2008

The Quick Paint Art Auction

Last weekend I was able to get away from Park City and visit the final weekend of the Jackson Hole Fall Ats Festival. This is one of my favorite arts events of the year.

Saturday morning 30 artists from across the west huddled under tents and umbrellas for the Quick Paint– they had just an hour to paint or sculpt a new piece. As you can imagine, with hundreds of art lovers wandering through the maze of tents, these artists have to work doubly hard to produce their pieces in time. We did our best to distract each one, asking questions, taking photos, and in my case nearly stepping on Greg Woodard’s sculpture model: his raptor bird! Seeing the artists work up close is a fantastic opportunity.

At the end of the hour the pieces were auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. I was very pleased with the auction results. Most paintings went for well above retail price and a few double their usual retail price! One of my favorites, a tonalist landscape by Shanna Kunz, produced exciting bidding. As did Jackson’s own Amy Ringholz, who is a favorite every year. She’s got her Quick Paint style down pat: she wears headphones while she paints to avoid distraction, leaving a sign for collectors and friends: “I’ll be happy to chat with you after 11:00 am!!” Her strategy worked well; the piece she produced was vibrant, well completed and full of energy, and excited bidders.

Shanna Kunz at the Quick Paint

The rest of the weekend was a blur of art galleries, meetings with artists, Cowboy Bar saddles, delicious food, and the beautiful Jackson landscape. Highlights? In a sparkling new location, Deihl Galleries (formerly Meyer-Milagros Gallery) featured the work of Tim Cherry. Their new contemporary spin on western art is not to be missed. Those ladies know how to throw a great art party! And local journalist Kevin Wittig showed me a hike to Phelps Lake that I highly recommend. The fall colors were truly amazing. On Sunday a farewell brunch stroll throughout the galleries ended the Fall Arts Festival with the perfect note: mimosas and bagels. I’ll be back next year…