High Altitude Society column: Art on a Whim | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society column: Art on a Whim

Art on a Whim Gallery owner Dena Raitman stands with a "Phoenix Rising", a marble sculpture by Ellen Woodbury who was named as one of Disney’s most influential animators and has found her passion in sculpture.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

Ross Raitman and his mother, Dena, hosted gallery openings at their family’s newest venture Art on a Whim, Vail’s newest art gallery with two locations on Bridge Street by the Covered Bridge and around the corner on Gore Creek Drive. Displaying decidedly contemporary fine art from more than 20 artists primarily from Colorado, the spaces are an explosion of color and creativity.

“We opened Art on a Whim in Breckenridge in 2007 with the idea that art should be fun and accessible … something that is colorful and still high quality at the same time. We decided that it was time to open another location and thought that Vail would be a fantastic place to do that,” Ross Raitman said.

The family opened up two spaces in November; one serving as a showcase space where they have rotating artists, demonstrations and special works all winter.

“And then we have our main space near the Covered Bridge representing artists with anything from stone sculptures to photography, to mixed media, to wooden sculptures, to dogs hanging out of VW buses, to dogs skiing. We are definitely more of a fun gallery … a place where someone can come and have a good time and enjoy some beautiful artwork,” Ross Raitman said.

At the 286 Bridge Street Art on a Whim grand opening party, Dena Raitman discussed Ellen Woodbury’s marble sculptures, which were familiar because we see her work in animated Disney films (think Zazu, the bird from “The Lion King”).

“Ellen decided that when the digital world came around, she did not want to do that anymore. She took some classes in sculpture in the town of Marble and loved it, making it her new passion,” Dena Raitman said.

Woodbury now lives near Denver.

Brian Raitman described Woodbury as “quirky, intelligent and obviously accomplished. Her pieces take hundreds of hours to create; ‘Phoenix Rising’ took 630 hours to sculpt. We feel blessed to work with her.”

Only one gallery displays her art and that is Art on a Whim.

For more information, contact http://www.art onawhim.com or call 970-476-4883.

Betty Ann Woodland covers social events, fundraisers for nonprofits and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at highaltitudesociety@vaildaily.com.

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