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A Utah gallery for Utah artists

Anna Bloom Of the Record staff

Whether they’ve created a painting, a sculpture or a pair of earrings, all five local artists featured at Park City Colors art gallery attempt to lure Utah’s outdoor beauty, inside.

At the new gallery’s window in the Main Street Mall, co-owner Renee Mox Hall can often be found painting a golden Utah aspen forest or a Main Street skyline. Hall explains she works in acrylic paints and watercolors from sketches of landscape she encounters on her everyday runs, hikes and bike rides.

"Most of the paintings are [of landscapes] right around here," she says. I get my inspiration by passing by these scenes day after day."

Hall works in a vast array of colors, and often embellishes nature’s pallet in her work to exaggerate the beauty of local scenes and create her own spin on what she sees.

Complementing her work is the task of her husband, Wade Hall, gallery owner and professional picture framer. As an example, she sites the triptych depicting Park City’s Main Street that he mounted on copper, a five-by-ten foot commissioned artwork for the Marriott’s Summit Watch. Hall has lived in Park City for 16 years, and has created work that can be found around town. She is now currently working on three new paintings commissioned by Marriott’s Mountainside at Park City Mountain Resort.

Complementing Hall’s art is the ceramic pottery of Ben Behunin, including bowls that reflect Utah’s mountains, red rock and Great Salt Lake.

"It’s basically the story of Utah’s landscape in a bowl," she observes, noting the layers of sky, textured mountain peaks, above a strip of golden-red sand at the bottom. Salt Lake’s Chris St. Jeor, fuses hand forged metal and native stone in his sculptures which depict mountain sports such as rock climbing and skiing.

Carved and turned wood bowls and vases by Kurt and Melody Bellock feature unique design elements such as inlaid turquoise and rock. Park City Color’s jewelry artist Angie Price works elements of Western America’s night sky into her work. Items like stone pendants encased in Saturn-type silver rings and stone-linked bracelets showcase Price’s celestial signature style.

Price’s work was recently on the cover of the Sun Valley Art Festival program, notes Hall.

"I really haven’t seen anything like Angie’s jewelry elsewhere" she says.

And that’s what art collectors look for, according to Hall: something unique. People don’t want to see the same thing they could see elsewhere. Hence, Park City Colors is not a smattering of artwork, but a showcase for select, quality local artists, she says.

"What’s important about our gallery and what sets us apart from the 32 other galleries around Park City, is that our emphasis is on local artists," Hall explains.

"A client was recently in the my gallery from the West Coast who told me about a piece of art she purchased on a previous trip to Utah. She was extremely disappointed to discover upon her return home that the art had been made in California. There’s a real demand for local art."

The success of this summer’s Local Art cooperative, the Halls say, in part, led them to open their own gallery. Local Art was a gallery on Main Street that occupied some of the city’s property that is now being turned into the Park City Historical Society’s new museum. The temporary stint proved to the Halls that the public would support local work, and after nearly two decades of living in Park City, they decided the time was the right for their own gallery.

The Halls enjoy their space in the Main Street Mall. They recognize the mall wasn’t a destination for locals or tourists, many of whom were thrown off by the name of the building, thinking that they’d run into a chain store like a Gap or a Victoria’s Secret, they say. But the Halls find the mall is beginning to reemerge as something new.

"Locals have not fully discovered us yet, but there’s a revitalization going on here with the success of Shabu [Freestyle Asian Bar] and other new stores moving in," Wade Hall says. "The number of galleries that have opened here in the last several months is especially encouraging."

Park City Colors is located on the Main Street Mall’s first level at 333 Main. The gallery is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. For more information, call 655-3331. Renee’s artwork can be seen at http://www.reneemoxhall.artspan.com.


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