Sedona Art Scene Part III
Yesterday I used the example of Sedona's huge Exposure Gallery to discuss what I call the Southwest gallery model -- a gallery packed to the gills with art in a riot of color and fear of empty space -- as opposed to the more standard gallery model of a minimalist white cube for a gallery.
There are a lot of art venues in the Sedona area, nearly all of them, with one notable exception, follow this Southwest model. Most of the better spaces are listed in the Sedona Art Gallery Association website.
Of these, Kinion Fine Arts seems to offer a blend of the two gallery models. They recently moved from the Hozho Center (located at 431 Hwy 179 and home to several galleries) to uptown Sedona, relocating the gallery to a former bank building, safe room and all. The Kinions have divided the gallery into two rooms; at the entrance the Southwest model is in place, but the bank's vault is used for solo shows apparently hung in the cleaner, less cluttered style of the white cube. They're also one of the few art spaces in town where not everything is Southwest art centric.
A new gallery just up a few steps from Kinion Fine Arts, located at Hyatt Pinion Point, is the very beautiful space of the Vickers Collection (there are three of these galleries in total and the one in Sedona is called VC Fine Arts), opened just a year ago and by far the only gallery in the area that fits the cleaner white cube model.
Vickers uses the white cube model, and also offers the most diverse set of artists, not just a heavy-handed focus on Southwest art (as most Sedona galleries do, driven by the tourist art market).
It will be interesting to see if Vickers can survive as the sole Sedona gallery (at least that I've seen) that offers a diverse set of artwork; the type of art that could easily be seen in New York, or Philly or DC.
At VC I quite liked the bronze sculptures of Bill Starke, a refreshing change of pace from all the bronzes of horses, bears, javalinas, Indians, deer and cowboys that inundate most of this beautiful town's galleries.
I also liked Chris Nelson's smart and intelligent reverse paintings on plexi, which upon further examination are more than just paintings, since the artist also routes the verso of the plexi so that the textured reverse plexi interacts with the acrylic paint to actually create grooves and channels that on the front of the work create smart landscapes. As interesting as this work is, this artist has to be careful that he doesn't fall into a repetitive pattern in his work.
Since I have been in the advice-giving mood, an artist that would be a perfect fir and would actually sell like gangbusters all throughout the Southwest are the amazing storm paintings of the Washington DC area's Amy Marx, who recently had her first solo in New York and whose breath-taking, hyper realism captures massive storms and weather patterns like no artist that I have ever seen.
Another East Coast artist who would be an instant hit in the Southwest is Alexandria's Susan Makara, whose beautiful stacked stones series sell as soon as she is finished with them from her studio in Alexandria's Torpedo factory.
Still in uptown, the Sedona Art Center rounds up a very good artists' run membership gallery of local artists.
There are also quite a few galleries located in a faux Mexican village called Tlaquepaque; after two trips to Sedona, I still can't pronounce it. From there you can cross Oak Creek by foot and visit a whole bunch more galleries on Hwy 179, although the ongoing construction on 179 seems to be really hurting the gallery business on that road.
Later: A big surprise! why nearby Jerome has more interesting and diverse galleries than Sedona does.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Sedona Art Scene Part III