Park City tech inventor finds the magic of art with new gallery
January 8, 2016
Hal Prewitt has been all around the world and done all sorts of things.
He was one of the pioneers of the personal computer industry, inventing technology that helped shape the world as we know it today. Later in life, he became a professional racecar driver and is now one of the top endurance racers in the United States.
Now, Prewitt is diving headfirst into a new venture. He recently opened Prewitt Gallery on Main Street, where he will showcase his work from one of his other passions, photography, as well as art from renowned sculptor Peter Fillerup.
Prewitt, who has traveled extensively and whose gallery includes shots from around the world, is excited to delve into the professional art arena, a change of pace from the business scene in which he made his name. He has been an artist since he was a teenager, dabbling in painting, drawing as well as photography, but in recent years the pull to open a gallery became too strong to ignore. Prewitt, who owns the building the gallery is housed in, knew the timing was right when the previous tenant Quicksilver left the space.
"It came to a point where I need to either stop doing photography or find a way to help share the art," he said. "My motto is, "Art is for everyone," so I had no alternative, really."
Prewitt had sold some of his photography before, but he admitted that opening the gallery ignited his nerves. He was uncertain whether his art would strike a chord with people who came in. The gallery opened right after Thanksgiving, and already many of those doubts have been put to rest.
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"It’s been a really amazing experience," he said. "I try to come in and talk to as many people as possible, and one of my first fears was that people wouldn’t really like it and understand it. As an artist, you have that innate fear of wondering if anyone is going to like it. But it’s been amazing to watch people’s faces. I’ll stand in the corner, and they don’t know who I am and say, ‘Oh my gosh, this stuff is beautiful.’"
Prewitt is not going it alone. He enlisted the help of Fillerup, who is known for his Western-themed sculptures and designs. Fillerup said he always tries to push the envelope with his work, and he sees the same type of philosophy in Prewitt. For Fillerup, the future of the gallery is a tantalizing thought.
"It may be small now, but the excitement for me is, ‘Where is this thing going to go?’" Fillerup said. "What you see is going to evolve, and it’s going to be exciting."
Prewitt said he hopes people view his photography as stunning and unique. His work captures interesting moments in diverse areas of the world, ranging from the Antarctic to South Beach in Miami. His mission is to offer people photos they can’t get anywhere else.
Prewitt’s other goal is to make his art available to a wide range of people. His cheapest offerings start out at around $100, meaning his photographs aren’t just for the wealthy.
"From all my luck and hard work, it certainly has been beneficial to go to places that people dream about," he said. "Whether it be the Antarctic or other places, to share those places is really great. I feel very honored to have had those experiences. I wish everybody else could go, but they can come see the art or take it home and hang it."
The intersection of Prewitt and Fillerup, two people with very different backgrounds and skills, is one way the gallery is trying to differentiate itself from the others in Park City. Fillerup described the gallery as "an invitation to come see what’s unique and different." He said there’s something special to be found in the art for those who wish to find it.
"There is a magic that Hal creates with what he does and that I create with what I do," he said. "Maybe someone will come in here and say, ‘Oh, they’re just pretty pictures.’ But someone who knows goes, ‘Oh, that is not just a pretty picture. There’s magic here.’ They see the magic and it fills their soul and that can’t be replaced."
570 Main Street