Art gallery makes investment in Park City
Allyson Massey and Lois Bridges had an instant connection when coincidence introduced them one day on Main Street about five years ago.
They learned that they each had one child and husbands who frequently traveled — and, it turned out, they lived down the street from one another. A friendship quickly formed.
But it wasn’t until a few years after they met that they realized they shared a similar passion: art. Massey’s home was full of beautiful artwork, and Bridges, who had made her career in fashion and interior design, had an eye for all things aesthetic.
That discovery put the wheels into motion, and in December everything finally came together. It was then that the friends opened their own contemporary art and furnishings gallery, Interior Collections of Park City, at 1351 Kearns Blvd.
"At first we said we didn’t want to do it because of our friendship," Massey said. "And then we were like, "You know, the friendship is so good, and we’re business women, so we can have, like, a friendly divorce agreement.’ So if it doesn’t work out, we have everything on paper, and we can just say it didn’t work, but we’re still going to be friends. And we still feel the same way."
Massey and Bridges specialize in contemporary investment art. Massey, who has owned a home in Park City since 2009, said she realized that kind of gallery was needed here as she watched the town grow over the past few years.
"As beautiful as the galleries are on Main Street, a lot of them are the same Western theme," said Massey, who has been a private gallerist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for about 10 years. "This is a little departure from that. There are many galleries like this in Aspen, Jackson Hole."
She added that the location of the gallery on Kearns Boulevard is perfect for their concept. They hope it becomes a destination for residents and visitors who are serious about art.
"Once people hear about us, we’re not the type of gallery people walk in and out of," Massey said. "You can, and we have some art at that price level, but we’re more suited for serious collectors and people who want to buy a piece of art, enjoy it, and then in 10 years it’s worth double the money. We want somebody to buy a piece of art for $10,000 or $12,000, then in five years, it’s worth $25,000 or $30,000."
It isn’t all about the dollar signs for a gallery primarily focused on investment art, however. Bridges acknowledged that many patrons are careful to purchase art whose value is likely to grow, but selecting pieces that strike that ineffable chord deep within the gut is equally important.
Watching people gravitate to art that speaks to them in some form is one of the most rewarding parts of the job, Bridges said.
"My experience is people like what they like," she said. "They are drawn to either the color or the motion in art. You can educate them and educate them, but they always come back and buy what they like."
Massey agreed. The first piece of investment art she ever bought was — coincidentally enough — a painting of a dollar sign by Andy Warhol. She was instantly drawn to it when she first saw it. Her enthusiasm for art blossomed from there.
"It’s like falling in love," she said. "It’s like when you meet someone and go, ‘Oh, what a great first date. I want a second date.’"
The gallery has received a warm reception so far. Massey said several Sundance Film Festival-goers were intrigued by the gallery, and she and Bridges may turn it into a lounge for next year’s festival. In addition, they plan to eventually begin hosting special events. The goal is to become a local destination, the first place people think of when they think of art in Park City.
So far, Massey said, so good.
"People are coming in and they’re really wowed," she said. "We’re meeting great people and learning a lot."
Interior Collections of Park City
1351 Kearns Blvd.
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.