You don't have to hock your soul to get a museum-quality print of Taos art to hang on your wall these days.
Kimberly Webber and K.C. Tebbutt of Untitled Fine Art Gallery at 133 Kit Carson Road have teamed up with philanthropist Tom Eddington and the three are opening a new print studio for fine art editions, at 125 Kit Carson Road, just two doors west of their main art gallery located along the fashionably named "gallery row" east of Taos Plaza.
A grand opening party with live music by Pardeshi plus champagne and organic refreshments is planned Friday (June 21) from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free.
"We are opening a new atelier and fine art print gallery to help make the work inclusive and accessible to all - younger people, locals and visitors alike," Webber said in a group interview last week at the gallery. All three stress that it is specifically affordable artwork from $5 on up - small, medium or large - that will be made available.
According to their artist statements, Webber calls her figurative paintings "contemporary symbolist" work invoking archetypal and magical realism; while Tebbutt is a longtime abstract painter, working in "contemporary discoveries in the timeless tradition of the mandala."
Twenty-five of both of Webber's and Tebbutt's most popular contemporary works will be offered initially, then gradually the other artists they represent will be added, including Antonio Arellanes, Randall LaGro, Nicolas Gadbois, Bob Gotschall, J. Chester Armstrong, Xaverio and Norval Morrisseau.
"The whole intention is to feed the whole infrastructure," Eddington said about the print editions' ultimate impact on the arts. In addition to being sold here in Taos and online, various nonprofits will be able to purchase imagery at cost and reap income generated through dedicated edition print sales to support their philanthropic missions. "Creating a whole ecosystem that financially supports art here and around the world, compared to the way it's not being supported now," Eddington said.
As an example, Eddington presupposed a print run of 1,000 of Webber's baby humpback whale painting, "Ocean's Call," a 15-foot work on view at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco. Except for paying the print edition's cost to the Untitled Editions gallery, a save-the-whales nonprofit could sell each print for $1,000 and make $1 million to put toward their cause. Thus, not only is the nonprofit's goal and mission benefited, but so too are the artists involved in creation of the original painting, creation of the original print and the run of museum-quality reproductions.
Webber and Tebbutt, as well as many Taos artists, have used Barry Norris Studio of Taos for fine art giclée reproductions and digital scanning services for over two decades. Norris will continue to create the initial scanned images of Untitled Editions work, cards and various paper promotional items, plus larger five-by-seven-foot prints on archival paper or canvas as required.
"We have created this gallery to provide super-affordable prints for everyone," Tebbutt said, "but especially we're aiming at 18- to 24-year-olds, to get them started collecting fine art that they can afford. We've been here long enough for people to recognize our name and style. Now we're providing different price points for different people."
He notes too that quite often pieces sell before locals even get to see them. "And in most cases Kimberly has somebody in mind when she makes something and knows who would be interested." So this way, the gallery will have a "history" of work. Even if it was never on view in the gallery, people will be able to appreciate what the artists have been up to.
The new gallery is an atelier (French for "studio") because the prints are made under the artists' supervision, creating photo-mechanical prints on their large-format, 44-inch-wide, 12-head inkjet Epsom giclée printer located in the back of the print gallery.
Tebbutt emphasizes paper over canvas, despite the fact most people opt for canvas.
"Canvas really doesn't look as well to me," Tebbutt said. "Some canvas can sag, some can crack. But printed on paper, it has a sort of classic look."
All of Webber and Tebbutt's work is "bio-photonic," or light responsive. Visitors and buyers can enjoy this aspect in both the "Meditation Room" of the main gallery, or the "Illumination Room" in the edition studio. Various lights on dimmers highlight the different colors' luminescence under different light settings, utterly changing perception of the subject or content of an initially viewed image or painting.
For a demonstration, or for more information about Untitled Editions, see untitlededitions.com or call (575) 758-3936.