Photo by Kathi Cheyenne Jensen
Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Art is important in both our culture and our communities. When someone connects with a certain piece of art it can speak to an individual’s heart and soul. One way to observe the value of art is to visit a gallery; they offer the public a place to enjoy art and realize the value of creative work.
If you are located near Idaho Falls, Eagle Rock Gallery Fine Art offers a place for nationally and internationally recognized artists to showcase their art to the general public. By visiting this gallery you can develop a love for art as well as support the fine arts within the east Idaho community.
Eagle Rock Art Gallery Fine Art is a 2000+ square-foot venue located on the Snake River Greenbelt in Idaho Falls. They are a collective of multiple very talented artists, many are local to the area. To better appeal to the general public, their gallery includes a variety of mediums such as bronzes and photography, watercolor and oil painting, and much more. When people think of fine art it is often associated with high prices and difficulty to obtain. The owners of Eagle Rock Art Gallery were aware of these issues and wanted to open a gallery that would give artists a venue to showcase their art in an environment where it could be sold at a reasonable price.
It is not commonly known that in a traditional gallery, the gallery can take between 40%-60% commission on the sale of artwork. This practice makes it crucial for artists to continue to raise their prices so they can afford to pay the gallery and make a profit for themselves. This helps explain the stigma of fine art being unaffordable. At Eagle Rock Art Gallery, artists invest in their desired space within the gallery but receive 100% of the sales for their work. This allows the gallery to sell top-quality art at a reasonable price directly to the public. This practice also helps patrons who enjoy their pieces to be able to find the artist again and again.
The art sold within Eagle Rock Art Gallery is not mass-produced but is made individually by each artist. This type of art is made of high-quality materials that can be passed down through many generations. Though they pride themselves in offering affordable art, the goal of the gallery is to build an emotional connection between the pieces and the purchaser. When a piece is mass-produced the painting will likely fade and degenerate quickly, as the materials used to make the piece were not of high quality. Art speaks to most people when they see it, so as the piece is passed down it will increase not only in monetary value but also in emotional value.
One of the many talented artists featured at the Eagle Rock Art Gallery is Mary Ann Cherry. Cherry is the president of Women Artists of the West (2019-2020), has received the Bronze Medal at the Western Regional Oil Painters of America show, the Best of the Master’s award from the Women Artists of the West, and has been included in the permanent collection of several art museums.
Cherry was raised in rural Montana near the Yellowstone River. Her family was a fan of the late American artist Charlie Russell, which led to her interest in art at a very early age. Her mother put a paintbrush in her hand at the age of eight and her dad would give her sketches of horses, broncs, and rattlesnakes that he drew.
Now Cherry has a home studio near Idaho Falls, Idaho, where she lives near the Snake River— not far from Jackson, Wyoming, and the Teton Mountain range where wildlife and birds are plentiful (and make great subject matter). She also has a downtown Idaho Falls art studio above the Willard Art Council, one of the area’s historic buildings. To view her pieces, along with many other artists’ creations, visit Eagle Rock Gallery Fine Art.
One way you can support the gallery is through attending events. Eagle Rock Gallery Fine Art, along with other local galleries, participates in a monthly event called the Idaho Falls Gallery Walk. This takes place on the first Thursday of each month, May-October from 5:00-8:00 pm. It is meant to be both a social and cultural event that offers a visual buffet by a variety of artists, along with free admission. The participating galleries offer a diverse look at contemporary, emerging, and established artists working in a variety of mediums.
This event offers the community an opportunity to enjoy works done by artists from around the region and the globe at a variety of community galleries and museums. The exhibits being showcased at the galleries are all unique based on the gallery’s artists and displays. This allows patrons to enjoy a large variety of mediums and pieces as they attend the different galleries.
Due to the recent social distancing restrictions, a few galleries have chosen to do a live gallery walk through their social media platforms. You can find participating venues and contact them to learn if you can attend their exhibit in person or virtually through the Gallery Walk’s website.
Just like any other business, galleries need the community to purchase their product to allow both the artists and venues to stay in business. Art can be purchased for your office space, home, or as a gift to a loved one or friend. Fine art is a gift by its very nature and endures throughout time. Many people don’t consider an art gallery the place for buying gifts, but Eagle Rock Gallery offers a variety of products across many price ranges for customers to choose from. They have art in a variety of sizes, illustrated children’s books, handcrafted jewelry, glass, wood pieces, and stone. With such a large variety of products to choose from, you are sure to find something unique and wonderful for your own home or a unique gift for a friend or loved one.
By supporting art galleries, you will also have the chance to grow an appreciation of art within your home. Having a few pieces of art in the home allows you to talk with your children about the value of art; you could discuss a particular artist and what makes their art special with them. Since art is used to express a variety of topics such as spirituality, emotion, and tell stories it can be a valuable opportunity to expand your child’s appreciation of fine art.
Although you may not feel that you have a strong connection with the artists or pieces, go to the Eagle Rock Gallery or take an art class to expand your knowledge. Many people find out they have an attraction to art that they didn’t realize until after they surround themselves with beautiful pieces. Art speaks to most people when they see it. See for yourself at Eagle Rock Gallery Fine Art or by attending the monthly gallery walk in downtown Idaho Falls.