There is a moment of grace one feels when a moose wanders into view or we hear the distinct sound of elk bugling in the nearby ﬁeld. That same feeling causes us to pause and look up as an eagle soars above or watch the sandhill cranes descend upon the preserve. Life in Park City provides front row seats to the wild around us and, for most of us, we cannot get enough.
So, it comes as no surprise that wildlife art can be seen in nearly every gallery in the West. Wildlife artists spend their lives, in the studio or often in the ﬁeld, sketching and photographing in order to capture those rare moments that allow us to lose ourselves and relive the majesty of the wildlife around us.
Many artists depict animals in nature, where the subject appears unaware of the viewer—while others work to create an interaction between subject and viewer. Some seek to stylize while others work toward translating the most minute details. Representational wildlife artists seek the classical voice of realism in varying degrees—capturing the animal in its most authentic state—in motion—often in its habitat.
“Images of the natural world evoke a sense of responsibility and convey a deeper meaning and truth. Wildlife art provides us a rare glimpse into a fragile ecosystem, and urges us to ponder our role in conserving it. When we marvel at the tripod of a giraffe bent to water, or a lioness tending to her cubs, it’s a visual reminder of our connectedness.” – Nancy Stoakes, Kimball Art Center
MONTGOMERY–LEE FINE ART
Greg Wilson’s painting, Fox in Snow, captures a split second in time as a fox runs intensely toward something just beyond the canvas. Space appears purposefully planned on the left of the painting, highlighting the forward momentum of the fox—which is further reinforced by its ears pointing in the direction it is running and its tail trails off of the opposite edge. Wilson worked for many years as a wildlife photographer—spending a great deal of time in the field studying the animals that he paints— specifically their anatomy while in motion.
Montgomery–Lee Fine Art | 608 Main Street
435.655.3264 | montgomeryleeﬁneart.com
MAIN STREET GALLERY
Kenneth Poloke’s large scale oil paintings of wild horses and bison are highly representational against modeled or nearly solid backgrounds. His purposefully limited palette of neutral greys and blacks lend a sepia quality to his paintings that make them feel both nostalgic and contemporary at the same time.
In several of his paintings the subject is depicted facing out toward the viewer while many others are rendered in profi le. In the piece Endeavor, you see a powerful horse, in motion, nostrils fl aring, with strands of mane stretched up and out toward the canvas edge. Th e implied movement lends us to believe the animal is in full gallop. Finer details such as the muscle’s between the muzzle and eyes draw the viewer in for a closer look.
Main Street Gallery | 825 Main Street
435.200.4445 | mainstreetgallerypc.com
BRET WEBSTER IMAGES
From the moment you fi rst come across a Bret Webster photograph you want to know more. For instance, how does he capture the light of an impossibly starry sky and the brilliant color in a red rock spire all in one photograph? Webster has focused his camera for decades on the wild around us whether in a tiny, crystal of snow or in a monumental landscape. His special brand of joie de vivre comes across in every one of his photographic images. In his recent piece Moonlight Moose, Webster was out in the fi eld, looking to capture a shot of the full moon when a moose emerged from the shadows and stepped into the camera lens. The moon created a perfect backlit silhouette of the moose, allowing the photographer to capture a fl eeting moment at precisely the right time.
Bret Webster Images | 312 Main Street
435.200.8258 | bretwebsterimages.com
Matt Flint is an artist whose work combines realism with stylization. Flint begins his paintings “without a plan,” preferring to stay spontaneous and “work out all details on the canvas.” His subject matter includes wildlife, the natural world and landscape. At times he chooses to paint a bear or wolf closer up than one would ever get to experience in the natural world, while in other pieces he pulls our view back to depict the subject within a landscape. Remaining, a large mixed media painting, showcases Flint’s attention to detail as well as his convincing atmospheric landscapes. Th e taupes and golds of the background balance the darks of the subject, while the sand colors overlapping the lower legs of the horse convince the viewer that this horse is fi rmly placed in an austere landscape.
Gallery MAR | 436 Main Street | 435.649.3001 | gallerymar.com
THOMAS ANTHONY GALLERY
Joshua Tobey’s cast bronze wildlife sculptures immediately catch your attention through their form and sense of playfulness. Ranging in size from tabletop to monumental, they all share a refi nement in detail and execution while embodying a celebration for life.
Tobey, the son of sculptor parents, grew up working in the studio—casting his fi rst sculpture at age fi ve. Th e bronze works he creates today have made him a national fi gure in wildlife art not just for the “fl uidity, personality and motion” in his work, but for the “visual texture” he has developed through his contemporary patina work. “My patinas have developed to the point where every new piece is the cutting edge in my studio,” says Tobey.
Th omas Anthony Gallery carries an impressive collection of the artist’s wildlife sculptures that include coyotes howling at the moon, a family of bear, raccoon, elk, owls and more.
Thomas Anthony Gallery | 340 Main Street
435.645.8078 | pc.gallery
JULIE NESTER GALLERY
Nine Francois begins each new work by stepping right up to her subject, whether it be a bear, elk, fox, por-cupine or cougar for their close-up. Francois has said that being that close to her subject, although it can be dangerous at times, is part of the appeal and allows her access to the animals in their environments. She does not shoot with a telephoto lens from a safe distance, but instead gets right in there with a medium format camera. Oft en, the perspective of the camera on the subject is an unusual one that provides for a unique com-position of negative space. Th e stark white backgrounds that surround the animals not only call attention to their form but also highlight their individual expressions and beauty.
Julie Nester Gallery
1280 Iron Horse Drive 435.649.7855
Artist Malen Piersen creates abstract wildlife art through assemblage by repurposing materials that would otherwise end up at the dump or scrapyard. Th e form of his subjects, whether a whimsical goat, deer, owl or bison, are fi lled with discarded metals and recycled materials. In his large-scale piece Buff alo, the artist has welded old farming equipment, conveyor belt chains and antique rusted metals to create the three-dimensional body of the animal, while maintaining the shape of the overall sculpture. Chain becomes torso and head, while an old tractor seat is reinterpreted as a back hip. A sense of discovery characterizes his work as you move more closely and recognize the unexpected materials that have been incorporated into each piece. A wrench, screwdriver, hubcap or gas can are used in the body of a goat, while part of a pitchfork and shovel fi ll the torso of a deer. Th e artist’s sense of humor and playfulness is apparent in all of his work.
Prothro Gallery | 314 Main Street | 435.200.8866 | prothrogallery.com
MOUNTAIN TRAILS GALLERY
Bold use of color and abstracted backgrounds defi ne Amy Lay’s wildlife paintings. Reds and purples lend a surreal quality to the pieces in which most of the subjects are looking directly at, if not appearing to walk toward, the viewer. In Turquoise Stars, the artist has depicted three coyotes staring directly out—standing side-by-side, amidst an abstracted background that connects the subjects to one another and to the stylized landscape behind them. Th ere is a loose feel to her work that is reinforced with washes of oil paint that she developed from years of working primarily in watercolor.
Mountain Trails Gallery | 301 Main Street
435.615.8748 | mountaintrailsgalleries.com
David Frederick Riley, a local Park City artist represented by Meyer Gallery, takes a con-temporary approach to his animal portraits. Bear, bison, antelope and deer are painted in warm and cool greys with greater detail given to facial features. For example, the eyes and nose in Mule Deer, a large 30”x40” oil painting, are rendered in great detail while the ears and antlers recede slightly into the misty, abstracted background. His goal is to convey an expression and emotion in the subjects he chooses to paint. As a classically trained painter in fi gure and portraiture he is able to capture subtlety of expression while “pushing experimental mark making and painting techniques that allow for a creative freedom to grow and evolve.”
Meyer Gallery | 305 Main Street
435.649.8160 | meyergallery.com