VAIL — The Art on a Whim Gallery has arrived in Vail with a unique concept — art should be fun. It should make us smile. While beauty is ever present in the Art on a Whim collection, the gallery derives its distinctive presence from the belief that pushing the envelope and having fun while doing so is what makes art worthwhile. As a result, you would be hard pressed to leave their Bridge Street locations without a smile on your face.
Art on a Whim opened in Breckenridge in 2007, gaining acclaim and a strong following on the other side of Vail Pass. The gallery is a family-owned business and one of the Raitmans is always on hand to provide an intriguing tour through their collection. In addition, each weekend throughout the winter season one or more of the gallery’s artists will be on hand offering demonstrations and in-depth explanations about their techniques.
The Raitman family set upon naming their gallery Art on a Whim for a multitude of reasons. For one, the idea of opening a gallery was just a dream for the family for a number of years. In 2007 they woke up one day and decided, on a whim, that making the dream of owning a fine art gallery would be a great idea. Given the gallery’s name, and the Raitman’s propensity for showing work that makes people smile, there are several artists with permanent homes in the collection that create work which can certainly be described as whimsical. For example, DD LaRue’s “Dog in a VW Door” sculptures of dogs hanging their furry heads out of car windows are off the wall, quirky and fun.
The two brand new gallery spaces mean a wide array of new artists have been introduced to Vail this season. Most of Art on a Whim’s artists make their homes right here in Colorado. Upon the opening of the new gallery spaces, Lelija Roy decided to make her home in Vail for the onset of the winter season. She can be seen painting her richly textured mixed-media aspen scenes in the gallery’s show space every day. Roy combines up to 20 layers of hand-made rice papers, fabrics, acrylics, india inks and more to perfectly capture Colorado’s most stunning scenery. Artists like Chris Lundy and Cynthia Duff provide a unique flair to the gallery through their use of untypical mediums to create deep, reflective resin paintings and bent birch wood wall sculptures, respectively. Alex Gupton, Tracy Felix and Robert Bissell bring fun to the collection with phenomenally detailed pieces showing musical instruments inside of music notes, marshmallow clouds floating through the mountains and bears playing in landscapes resembling our ideals of Eden. The gallery features approximately 20 artists and ensures that each well-regarded and accomplished artist finds a niche within the gallery. This both distinguishes each artist within the gallery and the gallery as a whole, making Art on a Whim a lovely addition to the Vail Village’s world-class collection of galleries.
Today, Art on a Whim welcomes you to join in the spirit of the holiday season and celebrate the opening of their new locations. The Raitman family and several of the gallery’s artists will be on hand to help spread joy and prepare to ring in the New Year. Artist talks will take place throughout the evening and food and drinks will be served to help commemorate the gallery’s grand opening. Art on a Whim is located at 227 Bridge Street and 286 Bridge Street. The party will take place from 4 to 8 p.m.