Featured Event | Trailside Galleries: 50th Anniversary Show

Jackson, WY, August 19-31

Jenness Cortez, Vanished Reality, acrylic, 15 x 20.

Jenness Cortez, Vanished Reality, acrylic, 15 x 20.

This story was featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art August 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art August 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

In 1963, Trailside Galleries opened its doors in Jackson, WY, and Scottsdale, AZ, with about 35 artists on its roster. Today the gallery represents some of the most talented representational artists in the country, including painters and sculptors of western, wildlife, figurative, and landscape art. This month, the gallery celebrates its 50th anniversary with a group show featuring new works by its nearly 100 artists, as well as guest artists Ken Carlson, Carl Brenders, and Francois Koch. The show runs from August 19 through 31 at the gallery’s Jackson location. A gala event, which many of the artists are attending, is on Friday, August 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. All works in the show are sold by draw during the reception.

Veryl Goodnight, Wild Haven, oil, 18 x 24.

Veryl Goodnight, Wild Haven, oil, 18 x 24.

Maryvonne Leshe started working at the gallery in 1977. “In the beginning, our emphasis was on [traditional] western art,” she says. But as the years passed, the gallery added more artists working in a variety of genres and styles. Each decade brought a new wave of artistic talent. “In the 1970s, we went from strictly ‘cowboys and Indians’ to having several impressionist landscape painters as well,” Leshe says. “Then in the 1980s, we started promoting more wildlife art. In the 1990s, we had a large crop of young artists coming in, followed by several talented Chinese painters in the 2000s.”

Today Leshe is seeing a whole new generation of collectors who are looking for more contemporary representational art. “I definitely see that’s the road we’re going to be traveling down, to find new artists with a more modern style,” she says. In that vein, the gallery has recently added Logan Maxwell Hagege to its roster of artists and is introducing his work to the gallery at the anniversary show.

Ken Carlson, Tender Touch, oil, 23 x 24.

Ken Carlson, Tender Touch, oil, 23 x 24.

Still-life painter Jenness Cortez is also new to the gallery. One of her paintings in the show, titled VANISHED REALITY, is a piece that pays homage to Frederic Remington, Albert Bierstadt, and George Catlin. “Recently I’ve been influenced by the great 19th-century painters who captured the grandeur and romance of the Old West and made it a part of our heritage,” Cortez says.

Another painting in the show is WILD HAVEN by Veryl Goodnight, a renowned sculptor who recently returned to painting after moving from Santa Fe, NM, to Colorado. Goodnight has been showing at the gallery since the early 1970s—longer than any other artist still represented there today. “Trailside has always been a leader in the world of western art and has never failed to support me in spite of many changes in my focus,” says Goodnight, who has formed deep friendships with the gallery staff over the years.

In fact, Leshe says the gallery’s success is largely due to the history of people involved—including Ginger Renner and Christine Mollring—and their dedication to quality, service, and building relationships with both clients and artists. Reflecting on her own years at the gallery, Leshe says that while the business has become more demanding, she truly enjoys what she does. “It has to still be fun, or it’s not worth it,” she says, “and it’s still fun for me.” —Lindsay Mitchell

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Featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2013 digital download
Southwest Art August 2013 print issue
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