Where the art flows like Streetwater | VailDaily.com

Where the art flows like Streetwater

Cassie Pence
Special to the Daily"Bike," Preston Utley.

When local Greg T. Spielberg was visiting Chile, he bought a painting from a street artist for $20. He fell in love with the painter’s bold, colorful expression. For all the money in the world, Spielberg said, he would never sell the piece. Money could never replace the satisfaction he feels from seeing original art hang on the walls of his home.Check it out at http://www.streetwatergallery.com.

This appreciation of untapped artistry parlayed into Streetwater, an online art house launched April 1 by Spielberg and his partner David Dean, also a valley local. Streetwatergallery.com currently hosts 10 artists and 180 pieces with an indefinite amount of room in cyberspace for even more unique creations. What you won’t find on the site is prints of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or other mass produced recreations of the classics. Dean and Spielberg wish to see all those Bob Marley posters replaced by original and affordable creations. Streetwater, in its essence, is a response to the dorm rooms, apartments and homes decorated with such cliches.”Streetwater was created out of necessity,” Spielberg said. “We want to give people more options when it comes to buying art.”The public is responding. During Streetwater’s first day, two paintings sold. “It’s an art gallery open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and can be accessed from anywhere around the world,” Dean said.

For the artists, Streetwater acts as an agent, promoting and giving exposure to works that otherwise would have no public venue. There is no fee to join the Streetwater community. When the art sells, Dean and Spielberg collect 30 percent after shipping and handling. “It’s for people who can’t market their own pieces, but who are still legitimate artists, musicians and writers,” Spielberg said.Streetwater artist Jay Murphy, who paints bold abstracts but doesn’t earn his living through his art, is a perfect example, Dean said.

“Painting isn’t his primary job, and, he’s only been doing it for 19 months,” Dean said.Photographers, painters, mix-media artists are all represented on Streetwater, with plans of showcasing jewelry and clothing designers and sculptors. Dean and Spielberg’s goal is to house an eclectic variety, attracting different kinds of people to the site.But not every artist meets Streetwater standards. The art and its creator must be passionate, hip, and most importantly, original.”We want the type of artist who creates art for art’s sake,” Dean said. “Someone who creates art for themselves, not necessarily to make money.””Sometimes people put too much meaning into things,” Spielberg added. “Liking something for pure aesthetics can be great.”Increasing traffic

There is one section of the Web site – No. 2 Pencil – devoted to the exchange of ideas. Nothing is sold, but Spielberg and Dean hope the rotating mix of commentary, short stories, free verse, travel essays and poetry will pull hits to the site and in effect promote the artists even more.”We want No. 2 Pencil to be informative and provocative,” Spielberg said.Dean and Spielberg hope that Streetwater will eventually become a household name, similar to Google. To help spread the buzz, founders will be marketing Streetwater first locally in Colorado and then around the country, targeting artist communities, trendy hot spots and colleges to both sell art and sign artists.

Their first big event, a Streetwater fashion show, happens Thursday at Samana in Vail Village as part of Spring Back to Vail, a two-week long end of season bash. On the runway will be spring lines by Blitz, Golden Bear, Billabong, Roxy, P.E. 101 and Lacy’s. Streetwater artists’ work will also be available for purchase.

“So many forms of creativity together in one spot. It’s beautiful,” Dean said.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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