Montgomery-Lee Fine Art selected to host American Impressionist Society competition |

Montgomery-Lee Fine Art selected to host American Impressionist Society competition

Gallery owner says it's an honor to be selected

Linda Montgomery Lee is honored the American Impressionists Society will use Montgomery-Lee Fine Art as base for its 18th National Juried Competition.
(Tanzi Propst/Park Record)
The 18th Annual American Impressionist Society’s National Juried Competition schedule Thursday, Sept 28: • “Saints at Devil’s Gate: Landscapes Along the Mormon Trail” Exhibition tour and lecture by John Burton, Bryan Mark Taylor and Josh Clare, Church History Museum, Salt Lake City. Museum tour, lecture, and breakfast sponsored by Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine (free for AIS members, $15 for each guest) • American Impressionist Society opening reception and awards presentation, 5-9 p.m., Montgomery-Lee Fine Art, 608 Main St., free and open to the public. Friday, Sept 29: (All event held at Montgomery-Lee Fine Art. All events are free for American Impressionist Society members and $15 for nonmembers and guests. RSVPs are required unless otherwise noted)
  • 10 a.m. — Panel discussion group: featuring John Burton, Olga Krimon, Howard Friedland, Shanna Kunz and AIS CEO and President Debra Joy Groesser — moderated by American Impressionist Society Education Director Vanessa Rothe. A variety of topics will be discussed.
  • 1 p.m. — “History of Oil Color” lecture by Joe Gyurcsak, American Impressionist Society signature member and Blick Resident Artist/Utrecht brand manager.
  • 3 p.m. — Group demo featuring Susan Blackwood (watercolor), Doreen St John (pastel), Michele Usibelli (oil/acrylic) and Ken Spencer (oil)
  • 5 p.m. — Happy Hour Cocktail reception sponsored by American Art Collector (0pen to American Impressionist Society members and one guest only)
  • 6 p.m. — Painting demo by Albert Handell, American Impressionist Society Master and Judge of Awards, (free and open to the public)

Linda Montgomery Lee knew what kind of gallery she wanted to own when she opened Montgomery-Lee Fine Art in 1996.

“We wanted to open a gallery of good artists who specialize in realism and impressionism,” Montgomery Lee said during an interview with The Park Record. “While I appreciate all forms of art, everything we have in the gallery would be the art that I would put in my own home.”

The gallery will build in Montgomery Lee’s initial goal when it hosts the 18th Annual American Impressionist Society’s National Juried Competition from Sept. 28 to Oct. 29.

The event will open with a reception from 5-9 p.m. at the Montgomery-Lee Fine Art, 608 Main St. The reception is free and open to the public.

As part of the festivities, one of the exhibit’s judges. Albert Handell, will give an en plein air painting workshop earlier in the week from Sept. 25-27. Tuition is $500 for the general public and $450 for American Impressionist Society members.

To register, visit

Other events will include lectures, discussions and demonstrations. (See graphic for the full schedule).

“The American Impressionist Society approach different galleries for this annual event,” Montgomery Lee said. “They select what they think is the finest galleries that have the reputation to show their works. It’s an honor to be selected.”

The exhibit will feature nearly 200 works, including work from the 175 artists who were juried into the show. Visit for a list of the participating artists.

“We will show only one piece from each artist, along with art from the judges,” Montgomery Lee said. “They contacted us about a year ago, well in advance, which was good, because we have to clear out the gallery of the art we have up now to show the works.”

Awards will be given out during the opening reception. Here is the list of awards:

  • Best of Show – $12,000
  • Second Place – $8,000
  • Third Place – $4,000
  • William Schultz Award for Oils – $1,000
  • Dickinson Signature Award – $1,000
  • Ney Founders Master Award – $1000
  • Marjorie L. Bradley Memorial Award of Excellence – $1,000
  • Award of Excellence for Water Media – $1,000
  • Award of Excellence for Pastel – $1,000
  • Southwest Art Award of Excellence – $3,380
  • American Art Collector Award of Excellence – $3,400
  • Fine Art Connoisseur Award of Excellence – $3,995
  • Plus over $18,000 in Corporate and Merit Awards including Artists Choice Award

The American Impressionist art will show on two floors.

“That means all the art we have up now has to be put into storage,” Montgomery Lee said. “It will be like Sundance Film Festival for us when we lease out the gallery.

“We will, however, use our third floor to still show some our own artists,” she said. “That way we won’t totally take down all of the artwork from artists we represent.”

Montgomery Lee and her staff are in the process of receiving boxes of the new paintings.

“Since we didn’t know all of the artists, we needed to have a list,” Montgomery Lee said. “Now, all of the art will be for sale as well. So we had to enter all of the artists and their works into our database.”

The staff has been unboxing the art and designing the exhibit.

“There is an art to hanging works in gallery, because the art has to look good together,” Montgomery Lee said. “Normally, we hang art of the same artist together. But when you have one painting from one artist and have 200 paintings — both large and small — you have to look at them all to see which ones will look good together.”

Once the art is on exhibit, it becomes the gallery’s responsibility.

“We are responsible to get as many of the works sold as we can,” Montgomery Lee said.

On Oct. 30, the gallery staff will take down the unsold art and repack it to ship back to the artists.

“All of the artists have paid for the shipping, so it’s important that we ship the correct art back to the artists,” Montgomery Lee said.

Montgomery Lee said the American Impressionist Society exhibit is like icing on her gallery’s 20th anniversary year.

“I think when you’ve been around this long and have been able to establish a reputation, shows like this seek you out, and that’s a good feeling,” she said. “I think established galleries have those kinds of advantages.”

Montgomery Lee said some of the artists would be in attendance at the Oct. 28 opening reception. “We would love to invite the public, especially our local residents from Park City, to come meet the artists and see their work,” she said. “I can’t wait. It should be really exciting to see.”

The American Impressionist Society will present its 18th Annual Juried Competition opening and awards ceremony with a reception from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, at Montgomery-Lee Fine Art, 608 Main St. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit

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