Cisero’s Ristorante showcases Bret Webster’s photographs
May 29, 2015
Fine art photographer Bret Webster, owner of Bret Webster Images gallery, and Cisero’s Ristorante, have forged a unique partnership.
A selection of the artist’s works are on display in the Italian restaurant, located at 306 Main St. An array of enlarged color and black-and-white works adorn the entryway, the dining hall and the back dining room.
"I’m excited to see people who like the photographs in the restaurant go next door to the gallery to see other totally different works," said Cissy McComb, who with her husband Steve, owns Cisero’s. "I’m excited to keep these up, because they have such an impact."
The idea was conceived by Webster and the McCombs shortly after the eatery was remodeled.
"This was just a freshening up and we did some painting and redid the interior," Cissy McComb said. "Cisero’s has been here since 1985 and has experienced one transformation after another. After we put the antique bar in the entryway a year ago, two years ago, it lended itself to a little more of an update this year."
McComb’s first instinct was to keep the walls bare.
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"That changed when Bret approached us," she said. "The offer was super nice and the way it turned out was absolutely gorgeous. So, it was the perfect match."
Webster, whose gallery is found at 312 Main St., had recently taken a bunch of new photos in Italy, which his clients liked.
One was a color photograph called "Venetian Door."
"I’ve never had a picture that has garnered such a reaction after we hung it up [in the gallery]," Webster said. "We sold something like 25 of these photos in the first couple of days, and people were looking at the smaller prints and buying them as well."
McComb also fell in love with the photograph.
"When I look at it, I see years and years and years of changes that people have done to this single building," she said. "Over time the transition has taken place and it’s just gorgeous. I think the photo turned out so beautiful at the end with the vibrancy of the colors through the photograph."
Webster, who was recently honored by Secretary of State John Kerry (see story titled "Photographer Webster honored by Secretary of State John Kerry"), began selecting other photographs that he felt would complement Cisero’s walls.
"Since the restaurant has that Old-World feel, I wanted to select works that were not only interesting, but also entertaining for their customers to look at and what type of feeling they would bring to the room," he said. "I especially thought about what Cissy and Steve would like and what would delight them."
Webster emailed some themes and the McCombs sent back some suggestions.
"It was fun to go a couple of rounds of that and then have these nuggets of ideas generate from that back and forth," Webster said.
The seven photographs selected were the black-and-white works "Three Pots," "Venice Calm " and "Lovers’ Bridge," and the color photographs "Vernaza of the Cinque Terre,"
"Chianti Dream," "Manarola Lights" and the aforementioned "Venetian Door,"
"The pictures have settled themselves into their places," Webster said.
The first photo people see as they walk into Cisero’s is "Three Pots."
"That photo is interesting, because when you [enlarge it], you see the textures and the cracks in the pots and you can also see where someone repaired one of the pots with staples," Webster said.
"When you look at it, you wonder whose hands were instrumental in caring for those pots and why didn’t they just throw them away?" McComb said.
When selecting "Venice Dream" and "Lovers’ Bridge," Webster knew he wanted to represent his more romantic works.
"I decided on two vertical black-and-whites that would be up in the hallway dining room," he said.
"When I see those photos, I immediately feel like I’m in a gondola feeling cool air blowing around me because they evoke such a presence," McComb said. "There’s an incredible sensation to Bret’s art."
The color photographs were suggested by McComb’s husband.
"Cissy and I were both enjoying the black-and-white works, and Steve made sure there would be a balance of color," Webster said.
The partnership between the McCombs and Webster is the result of a friendship that brewed during the past few years.
"We share employees and if they want to have a meeting, they can come over to the gallery and meet in our back room," Webster said. "They also cater private events at the gallery and we work together on other events."
"[The partnership] is like getting back to that old Park City feeling," McComb said. "It’s that neighborly connection the way it used to be here. It seems that as time goes on, the less we see of friends, even those that we know well. So, it’s nice to have this connection."