July 15-28, 2013
This story was featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art July 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art July 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
For the third summer in a row, Trailside Galleries presents a miniatures show featuring new works by both gallery and guest artists. Hosted at the gallery’s location in Jackson, WY, Masters in Miniature is quickly becoming a popular annual event among collectors. The show runs July 15-28 and features about 200 paintings by about 130 artists. All works are sold by draw at an artists’ reception on Thursday, July 18, from 5 to 8 p.m.
About 90 gallery artists are participating this year, including Z.S. Liang, Sue-ellen Ross, Morgan Weistling, Mian Situ, Kyle Sims, and Gordon Snidow. The pieces in the show range from realism to impressionism in style and feature a variety of subject matter. “People will see a lot of wildlife art, as well as landscapes, figures, western-themed works, and more,” the gallery’s Maryvonne Leshe says. The mediums are as diverse as the subject matter, with paintings in oil, watercolor, gouache, and mixed media, as well as drawings and even pyrography. “There really is something for everyone,” Leshe adds.
For Leshe, one of the most exciting aspects of the miniatures show is that it provides the opportunity for both the gallery and collectors to discover new artists. “We’re always looking for artists of interest that we’d like to invite to participate in the show,” she says, adding, “It’s like a treasure hunt all year long.” Bringing in guest artists allows the gallery to offer something new to clients while gauging the public’s response to the artists’ work. “It’s like an appetizer for artists,” Leshe says. Sometimes this “appetizer” leads the gallery to order the full “entrée” from an artist and represent their work on an ongoing basis. In fact, two of the gallery’s newest artists—oil painter Dustin Van Wechel and pyrographer Julie Bender—were first introduced as guest artists in the miniatures show. This year’s show features more than 30 guest artists, including animal and wildlife painters Beth Carlson, Pip McGarry, and Guy Coheleach.
While many galleries host miniatures shows around the holidays, a summer show made more sense for Trailside’s Jackson location. “The reason we do [a miniatures show] in July is because many of our clients and collectors aren’t here during the winter months and holidays,” Leshe explains. Other than the timing aspect, Leshe attributes the show’s success to several things. For one, many of the gallery’s major clients have rather full collections, but they are still looking to purchase smaller pieces by their favorite artists. But perhaps the show’s biggest draw is the variety of works available at across-the-board prices. “The price range for these works starts around just $500,” Leshe says. Smaller, lower-priced works are often very appealing to collectors who are just starting out. “I still remember the first small piece I purchased,” Leshe reminisces. “Once I got that painting into my home, it started me on the road to collecting original fine art. There’s nothing like finding that piece that speaks to you and bringing it home,” she says, adding, “To me, it’s as important as breathing.” —Lindsay Mitchell
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