Gallery finds perfect canvas in Park City
May 8, 2015
Debbie Lund stood behind the counter, surrounded by colorful paintings and detailed sculptures, and one thing was clear: She had officially joined the family business.
Lund married into a family of artists. Her husband, Allen, is an oil painter, specializing in creating beautiful landscapes. His mother, father, brother and aunt share his line of work.
But while Debbie has always helped her husband market and sell his paintings — "A lot of people know us as a team," she said — she now has a career in art, too. She and Allen recently opened Lunds Fine Art Gallery, at 591 Main St. in Park City.
While Allen’s art has been featured in another Main Street gallery for years, Debbie said they sold most of his work elsewhere, in towns such as Aspen, Colo., and Santa Fe, N.M. So when the opportunity to find his paintings a primary home in Park City arose about a year ago, they began forming a vision. About two months ago, it came to life when the gallery opened.
"It was a whirlwind," she said. "We’ve never owned our own gallery. We’ve always run our own business, but just with Allen. We had to put our running shoes on and create it."
As well as Allen’s work, the gallery features the art of about 10 other artists. Debbie, who admits she does not know how artists do what they do but has a keen eye for work that stands out, was in charge of selecting the artists. She had just one requirement.
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"I picked people whose art I love," she said. "I only picked people who make art that I would collect myself. I think that’s just essential. I can’t sell anything unless I love it."
In addition to offering art for purchase, the gallery allows customers a unique glimpse into the artistic process. Lund said Allen paints nearly every day in the gallery, with crowds gathering to watch and ask questions.
"That’s really rare for an artist to actually paint in the space," she said. "They usually don’t like to paint in front of people. They’re usually introverts, more solitary. But it has never bothered him. It’s been a really interesting draw for the gallery."
That Allen forms those personal connections with the people who enjoy his art is something that sets the gallery apart from others, Lund said.
"They meet him and they see who created the art and what his vision was," she said. "They see how much of himself he puts into the art. They buy it because of that connection they have. He paints to evoke an emotion. He doesn’t really paint what he sees, like a specific place. People often say to me, ‘I feel like I can step into his paintings and I’m there.’ I think people just connect with his work."
Lund said that connection is key for every artist, whether they interact with their audiences or not. She claims people can subconsciously tell whether an artist is putting passion into his or her work. There’s something about an artist’s devotion that shines through in great art. Lund has done her best to fill the gallery with the kind of art that clearly shows that passion.
"I don’t think people know they can tell, but they do," she said. "They’re not sure why they’re connecting with a piece, but there’s something about it. They somehow know the artist put their heart and soul into it and left everything on the canvas."
While the gallery features fine art, the Lunds wanted it to be accessible to a wide spectrum of people. With loud music echoing through the gallery and a policy that encourages patrons to touch some of the art, the gallery by design lacks the serious atmosphere that would be found in an art museum.
Additionally, Lund claims, much of the work featured comes with an affordable price tag for those who want to take the art home.
"There are a lot of gift items in here," she said. "There are a lot of gifts that are artistic and aren’t a souvenir from a souvenir shop but rather a piece of art at a price point that’s affordable."
Lunds Fine Art Gallery
591 Main St.
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