Gallery MAR artists are ‘Forging Ahead’ |

Gallery MAR artists are ‘Forging Ahead’

Gallery MAR is ready to kick off the holidays with "Forging Ahead," a joint exhibit featuring new works by encaustic painter Bridgette Meinhold and sculptor Bryon Draper.

The public is invited to an artist reception is scheduled be held during the Park City Gallery Association's monthly Gallery Stroll from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, at the gallery, 436 Main St.

The Park Record caught up with Meinhold and Draper during separate interviews last week. Both said they are looking forward to the show.

Bridgette Meinhold ventures into the unknown

Bridgette Meinhold's post Thanksgiving exhibit has become a tradition over the past four years, and not only is it a great way for the painter to start the holidays, it's also a way to empty out her studio.

"This is good for me because I live in Brighton Estates, which is next to Bonanza Flat, and I'm able to get all my paintings out of the studio so I won't have to snowmobile my paintings out later," Meinhold said.

This year's works are larger in size than they have been in the past. The biggest of the 16 new works measures 38 inches by 60 inches, and the smallest painting is 28 inches by 28 inches.

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These paintings have pushed Meinhold's skill with wax.

"Last year I explored the boundaries of color, and this year, I wanted to start to explore what it was like to paint air," she said. "While I certainly painting trees and mountains, the physical and positive images that you see, there are negative reverse images of air and the sky. So the trees and mountains give you context, a frame of reference, so people can see the air in the paintings."

The exhibit's title, "Forging Ahead," speaks to Meinhold on a couple of different levels.

"The original inspiration came from the explorers of the West," she explained. "They set forth to see what was out there, but they didn't have maps and had little information."

Meinhold gets a similar feeling when she walks into a bank of fog.

"I feel like I'm walking into the unknown, and this is also an apt feeling that we're experiencing globally and nationally as well," she said. "I feel like we're in unknown territory, but still need to push forward, even though we don't know what's going to happen. We need to try our best."

Still, the unknown also holds a positive connotation, Meinhold said.

"What I find is that there is a sense of adventure," she said. "Even though things are uncertain, there could be some amazing things out there that we don't know about. We won't find them unless we set forth. So I'm forging ahead with the hope that there is so much better and exciting things out there."

Meinhold also focused on herself as an artist while creating new works for the exhibit.

"I felt a little uncertain with my place in the world when I first started painting," she said. "As I worked, I began to find my place."

As with all of her works, Meinhold's husband Matt made the frames out of reclaimed wood obtained from old barns and Recycle Utah.

In conjunction with the show, Meinhold will host a meetup for creatives scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25 at the St. Regis Deer Valley's Bar & Lounge.

This is a chance for creative people, anyone who enjoys being creative and the outdoors, to get together ansd create art, she said.

"Attendees don't need to be trained artists," she said. "I'm just asking people to bring sketchbooks, journals, things like that to draw, paint or write poetry or stories."

People can also bring guitars, cameras or other tools they need to create art.

"We'll start at the bar and lounge, and, if weather allows, we will go on a short hike," Meinhold said. "If the weather is bad, we will retreat to the inside of the bar and lounge."

Families are welcome to attend the event that is sponsored by St. Regis Deer Valley and Gallery MAR.

RSVPs are suggested and can be done by emailing, or calling 435-649-3001.

"We are asking for RSVPs so St. Regis will have an idea of how much food to provide," Meinhold said.

Information about the creative meetup can be found by visiting

For information about Bridgette Meinhold, visit

Bryon Draper: No stone left unturned

Sculptor Bryon Draper will show six sculptures that combine bronze and stone that range from one foot by eight inches and 32 inches by eight inches during the exhibit.

"They are my most recent works I made of the past couple of months," he said.

Draper's sculptures emerge from a couple of different methods.

"Sometimes I find a stone that sparks an idea and then I start building around it," he said. "Sometimes I just start working on something and the idea will develop about what the piece is going to be about."

Draper likes giving his sculptures an organic look.

"I leave the metal kind of dirty on purpose so it relates to the stone," he said. "One of the challenges for working with the two materials is getting them to integrate well. So I leave some traces of the process in my work and try to find a balance between the two, which is challenging."

Draper started sculpting later in his life than most artists.

"I actually fell into art," he said. "I didn't have anything to do with it until my sister talked me into attending college at Brigham Young University Hawaii in 1985,"

Draper was classified as an international student, so he needed a certain amount of credits to remain on the island.

"I asked around to see if there was any room in some classes, and one guy told me that there were some openings in a sculpture class he was taking," Draper said. "So I did that."

Draper enjoyed the class so much that he pursued it further and eventually graduated with a master's degree in art from BYU in Provo.

"My style evolved over the years and what I'm doing now started while attending BYU in Utah," he said. "It has evolved somewhat since then, and it will probably evolve more."

Draper enjoys sculpting because he likes working with his hands, but the ultimate reward is the feedback he gets from people who have seen his art.

"I enjoy how people connect with my works on a deep and spiritual level," he said. "It really gets me when people come and tell me that they have stood and looked at my sculpture for 40 minutes and have burst into tears."

For information about Bryon Draper, visit

Encaustic painter Bridgette Meinhold and sculptor Bryon Draper will open a new exhibit, "Forging Ahead," with a reception from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, at Gallery MAR, 436 Main St. The event, held during the Park City Gallery Association's Monthly Gallery Stroll, is free and open to the public. For information, visit