After nearly six years as the sole art gallery located at Redstone Center, the Redstone Gallery confirmed Thursday that it will close its doors on Aug. 30.

The gallery, which represents 32 national and international artists, opened in 2004. Its collection of artwork includes oil paintings, watercolors, gicleé prints, serigraphs, antique engravings, carvings and sculpture.

According to owner Bill Handler, the closure is yet another casualty of the sour economy. The gallery was doing well until the real estate market took a dip in 2008, he says.

"We were basically on target and doing well for the first three-and-a-half years. We made a nice profit in the third year that we were in business and then things just turned around," he says.

The gallery specializes in larger pieces that are used to decorate homes, Handler says. "There's just not a lot of real estate changing hands, and the corollary of that is that if somebody's not buying a new house, they don't need art for that house."

He started thinking about closing the gallery six months ago and decided to give it through the summer. "I said to myself, 'I'm going to wait another six months and see if there are any indicators at that point that things are getting better,' but there just haven't been."

The other decisive factor was his prediction for the way the economy is going. "I don't see anything near-term in sight," he says. "If I thought the bad economy was going to be over in six months, I might have thought differently about it.


Advertisement

"

Despite being one of the only galleries located outside of Old Town and the Iron Horse District, Handler doesn't think the location has hindered Redstone Gallery's success. He estimates that 60 percent of the clientele is made up of locals.

"I think our customers, being Park City residents, know where we are. If we were geared toward the tourist, [the location might have been a disadvantage], but that's really not what we're about," he explains.

Handler lives in Park City half of the year and spends the other half in Atlanta, Ga., where he owns Vinings Gallery. That gallery represents several of the same artists, including Hamilton Aguiar, Thomas Arvid and Michael Flohr.

"Customers who want to continue a relationship with the gallery can do so through me or through the Atlanta gallery," he says. "If somebody is a collector here, they're not going to be limited by the fact that we close down."

Redstone Gallery is selling its entire inventory and pieces are currently marked down to between 40 and 70 percent off the original price. "All of the artists we represent have agreed to participate in this closeout sale," Handler says.

The sale provides a rare opportunity for customers to buy art at cost, he adds. "We still have a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of inventory in the gallery that hopefully we'll sell between now and Aug. 30."

For more information about Redstone Gallery and featured artists, visit www.theredstonegallery.com .