The Wild Eye Gallery in downtown Evergreen has a new vision and is trying some innovative ideas.
Over the years, the gallery has taken on several forms, including a high-end gallery with Western-themed art, a custom framing service center, and a retail shop with a mixture of art, home furnishings, jewelry and clothing. This month, Wild Eye turned its gaze in a new direction. Owner Dennis Dunn’s brainchild has morphed into a tasteful art gallery with a twist.
Dunn has signed up 18 artists who rent gallery space on a monthly or annual basis. The twist? The gallery is still overseen and curated by Dunn. In this way, the Wild Eye differs from a traditional artists co-op. Dunn is the ultimate decision maker, monitoring the arrangement and quality of the art. He also takes an active interest in the careers of each of his artists is available on-site six days a week to answer questions about the work or technique of each individual artist.
Dunn took the cue from many galleries throughout the U.S. that have altered their format to a similar rental situation.
“The idea is becoming popular in New York and on the West Coast,” Dunn says. “Some of the galleries in the Santa Fe District of Denver are doing it also. During these challenging economic times, this gallery model provides artists with a way to take an active role in marketing themselves and directing their own careers.”
For a monthly fee, artists receive a 6-by-8-foot space. Dunn encourages his artists to change their artwork monthly to provide new pieces of interest throughout the year. This also allows regular visitors to become familiar with the artists’ full bodies of work rather than viewing the same select pieces on consecutive visits.
The diversity of the artwork has grown as well. At its inception, the gallery was dominated by images of the West. Although Dunn’s love of Western landscapes and wildlife still shines through, the artworks’ theme has broadened, with some pieces being more representational than literal. The recently announced list of artists includes potters, oil painters, iron workers, photographers and more.
The 18 artists currently represented feature local and regional talent. The artists are: Donna Cox, Mary Judy, Curt and Robyn Elliott, Marylyn Hogan, Ron Hogan, Denise Lomax, Gregg Lumm, Carol Newsom, Philip Newsom, Pat Perry, Leigh Springer, Matt Swinden, Marlis Wadleigh, Ron White, Janet Williamson, Lee Wolff and Barbara Wright. Dunn also displays his own work — paintings and drawings — as well as a collection of refurbished Mexican furniture that adds not only to the gallery’s display space but also its inviting ambience.
“We’re very excited about all of our artists’ talent, as well as their enthusiasm. Some of our artists will be offering master classes in their areas of expertise, and we’ll be promoting a different featured artist at each Last Friday Gallery Walk event,” Dunn says.
The Wild Eye still has its full selection of custom framing options for artwork purchased at the gallery or pieces brought in by customers. Dunn was recently honored by the Professional Picture Framers Association for his excellence in framing technique. The Wild Eye even has a bin filled with art prints free to customers who have them framed at the gallery.
For more information or to find out about upcoming events at the Wild Eye, visit www.thewildeye.com or call 303-670-9252.
Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.