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Summer meanderings

I love to wander around museums, and flip through pictures of Van Gogh’s flowers and Cézanne’s fruit in books at the library. But I do not need to be at the Met or the Louvre to see original paintings with the vivid bold colors that have always fascinated me. Growing up in Park City, I have been given the opportunity to see paintings and sculptures from both local and regional artists at galleries all along our beautiful Main Street. In fact, I view an art gallery as a miniature, free museum.

When I was younger, I was always terrified of being kicked out of art galleries. I thought everyone in the gallery saw me as more of a hazard than a prospective buyer. Now when I go in, I often try to dress nicely and stand with proper posture. I don’t expect to be seen as a customer, but maybe the owners can at least think I might convince my parents that my room would just not be complete with out that six-foot-tall penguin sculpture. At eighteen I am just now starting to learn that there is no reason for my insecurity.

Last week I went on a gallery stroll and realized that when I engage the gallery employees many are excited to talk with me and to teach me about the artists they represent and their work. I spent half an hour discussing the technicalities in Michael Fatali’s photographs with Gretchen Welch in the Fatali Gallery. Ms. Welch seemed delighted to share her interest in the photographs with me. I brought up my feelings of awkwardness with Coda Gallery’s Connie Katz who said she "loves for everyone to come in."

Young people ought to spend an afternoon perusing the artwork from around the world that is so easily accessible, especially considering it is fun and free.

This month, the Kimball Arts Center has a Contemporary Quilt exhibit entitled "Don’t Fence Me In" in which all the pieces are quilts from different artists. I’m amazed that I never thought of quilting as an art form before; it is definitely worth checking out. Why not stop by the Kimball the next time you go to Davanza’s?

There are also events happening in galleries all over Main Street, such as artist’s receptions and the monthly gallery strolls, when a coalition of over 20 galleries invite people to walk up and down Main Street enjoying art and food on the last Friday of every month.

There is no reason to wait for an event to take advantage of the vibrant art scene in Park City. Gallery owners want to see people, even young ones without deep pockets, enjoying the art they have chosen to bring to our town. After all, art serves no purpose if there is no one to appreciate it.

Audrey Kohouts graduated from Park City High School in June, 2010 and has been accepted to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where she plans to study art and journalism. She and her family have lived in Park City for eight years.


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