Art of the Valley Gallery in Avon focuses on Colorado scenes | VailDaily.com

Art of the Valley Gallery in Avon focuses on Colorado scenes

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
The new Art of the Valley Gallery in Chapel Square celebrates its grand opening on Sunday.
Charles Townsend Bessent |

If you go ...

What: Art of the Valley Grand Opening.

Where: Art of the Valley, 240 Chapel Place Suite B119, Avon.

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

More information: artofthevalleygallery.com or 970-390-2685.

AVON — Along with plenty of fresh public art in Avon — from murals to large bronze sculptures — there’s also a new art gallery: Art of the Valley. The gallery is the newest business in Chapel Square and is celebrating its grand opening on Sunday. A reception will take place from 4 to 8 p.m.

The gallery is owned by David and Jerri Hoffmann, of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate. The Hoffmanns financed the murals on the Pier One building west of Chapel Square, as well as the new gallery. Mason Torry painted those murals and is the director of the new gallery, which displays his work as well as art made by about a dozen other established — and some emerging — Colorado artists.

Glance into the gallery and you’ll see a common thread running through the paint: Colorado scenes. There’s the Platte River and a Crested Butte alley from Cliff Austin, an oil and pastel painter from Aurora who paints landscape scenes with a slight abstract flair. Eagle County artist Andrea Roth-Moore has paintings of scenes Eagle County residents will likely recognize: Lake Creek during the fall, Vail Pass in the springtime and a derelict cabin up Mayflower Gulch.

Table-size versions of the bronze sculptures on display around Avon can be found at the gallery as well.

‘CHANCE OF A LIFETIME’

The gallery has a bit of a SoHo loft feel with exposed pipes and hand-stained cedar wood room dividers, which Torry made himself. It’s been open since early December.

“I’ve had nothing but incredibly positive comments about the gallery on a daily basis,” Torry said. “This is very gratifying since I’ve never managed a project of this scale before.”

While Torry called the learning curve “amazingly steep” for learning how to coordinate and manage a gallery after having spent the past 24 years working as a surveyor, it’s a process he’s enjoyed.

“It’s an incredibly wonderful opportunity,” he said.

Torry is a self-taught painter. He uses both acrylic and oil paint to create his very detailed landscape and wildlife paintings. The Michigan native spent time in the army before becoming a professional land surveyor. But his art was always his passion, and so when he got the chance to put down the level in favor of his paintbrush and run a gallery that features his work along with other talented Colorado artists, he couldn’t say no.

“This has truly been a chance of a lifetime I could not let slip by,” he said.

Visitors to Art of the Valley will have a chance to see Torry’s paintings unfold live from a dedicated space at the front of the gallery.

“I’ll be there in the gallery pretty much every day, and any chance I have to paint, I will,” Torry said.

An area in the back of the gallery will be used for private and small group painting lessons and fun events like apres ski gatherings, private cocktail parties and artist receptions, Torry said.

A LOVE FOR COLORADO

Along with Torry’s work, look for work by other Colorado artists, including Eagle-based photographer Mike Crabtree, who specializes in ranch and outdoor scenes.

Eagle County oil painter Mio Cirkovic is “inspired by the pristine landscapes of the American West,” he said. When not working as an architect, Cirkovic is often backpacking, painting en plein air or fly-fishing.

Littleton-based watercolorist Anita Winter has mostly landscape paintings on display; her painting of some snow-covered mountains, titled “Sugar and Spice,” is particularly captivating.

Salida artist Carl Bork was featured in Southwest Art Magazine’s annual emerging artist article about “21 under 31 emerging artists to collect now.” Bork’s oil paintings of hollyhocks and golden aspen trees have a fresh, contemporary feel.

Painter Marjory Wilson, a member of the Vail Valley Art Guild, is a third generation Colorado native who paints mostly botanicals and landscapes using acrylic paint. Her up-close views of flowers, like a pretty salmon-colored peony called “Jill’s Peony,” reveals her love of flora.

“Nature is my source for endless subjects, from simple forms to complex patterns, it is always compelling,” she writes on her website. “It is abstract and exotic, with repetition of shapes and patterns, the interplay of light and shadow along with the amazing range of colors.”