Colorado artists heighten the state’s exquisite, natural beauty through their creative perspectives, and there’s no better place to explore Colorado art than at Breckenridge galleries.
Breckenridge’s oldest gallery, aptly named Breckenridge Gallery, has been in business for 50 years. In fact, it’s one of the oldest galleries on the Western Slope.
For decades, former owners Gary and Janet Freese developed lasting relationships with their clients. They focused on fine art from elite Colorado artists, which is a tradition the current owners, Tina Rossi and Alex Kendall, have carried on.
When Tina and Alex took over the gallery in 2017, they remodeled it, brightening and opening it up to highlight everything from their Western landscapes to the more contemporary mountain modern art.
Breckenridge Gallery’s best-selling artists from Summit County are Kate Kiesler and Chris Veeneman. Kate paints realistic Colorado scenes, from rivers and mountains to aspen trees, which juxtapose value and color. Chris’ abstracts, which use Plexiglas, brushed stainless steel and Corian, are also inspired by nature.
Another Colorado native, Gordon Brown, paints his Western wildernesses to help transport people into spacious, awe-inspired landscapes.
Raitman Art Galleries
Raitman Art Galleries sit on both ends of Main Street. After Brian Raitman’s parents bought a home in Breckenridge, he left his planned career in advertising and opened Art on a Whim (which later changed its name to Raitman Art Galleries) a month after he graduated college, in 2007. After his brother, Ross Raitman, graduated from University of Colorado, he joined his brother.
The Raitman’s focus on art that elevates people’s spirits. They curate colorful, bright and joyful pieces — and any subdued art they might carry conveys a sense of contentment.
Sculptor Marty Goldstein epitomizes one of Colorado residents’ loves — dogs — in an incredibly playful way. Meanwhile, Andy Baird, a fifth-generation Colorado native, presents the most amazing portraits without ever picking up a paintbrush. Instead, he literally drips 30 to 40 colors onto a canvas until a dynamic face of a legend or supermodel emerges. The process takes about a month, and the result is unbelievable. Summit County resident David Gonzales excels at showing the speed and motion of outdoor sports like cycling and skiing into his paintings, which blend bold color and textures that draw people into his scenes.
Gary Soles Gallery
Gary Soles has lived in Summit County well over 30 years, which has given him plenty of opportunities to perfect the way he captures the mountains’ splendor. He often skies into the backcountry to reach remote places to capture remarkable Colorado scenes, like a placid lake at sunset. His gallery features enormous photos printed on metal, canvas and photo paper — all of which give his landscapes a wonderful sense of light.
“My photos remind people of a place they’ve scene or had a very close connection with,” he said about his work.
Nick Selway Photography
While Gary has been in Breckenridge for decades, Nick Selway is a newcomer to the Breckenridge art scene. He grew up in Washington’s Northern Cascade Mountains, so he has that Colorado adventure woven into his spirit. He captures nature with a unique eye for light and composition.
After living on the Big Island of Hawaii for 14 years, Nick decided to move back to the mountains — this time in Breckenridge. Last year, he opened his photography gallery, which showcases Colorado’s colorful trees, mountains and rivers, as well as Hawaii’s volcanoes, rainforests and oceans. His photos, ranging from 12×18” to 50×100”, are ink-infused into metal or printed on high-gloss acrylic, the latter of which really illuminates the photos.
Portfolio Gallery is another newcomer to Breckenridge. The gallery, housed in a historic, 1898 building on Breckenridge Main Street, makes art collecting simple and portable. The gallery presents the work of Colorado artists in four simple square sizes, ranging from 7×7” to 16×16”. Each is priced according to size, rather than by who the artist is.
Carol and Alan Kelly opened the gallery specifically to support Colorado artists like Julie Leidel, who captures the essence of wood, stained glass, ceramic tile, mica and oil-rubbed bronze in her acrylic and gouache paintings. She also carries on the century-old traditions of Roycroft Renaissance artisans.
Other Colorado artists, like Katie Maher, use geometric shapes to produce a vibration of color and lines, which mimic movement.
In addition to its rooms featuring square pieces of art, Portfolio Gallery also has a room it dedicates to exhibitions by Colorado artists; the exhibitions allow the artists to show their work in larger sizes, once a month.
If you want a taste of the real residents of Summit County,who produce art, check out Arts Alive! The gallery features works by members of Summit County Arts Council. One of the members is always on hand to talk about Summit County artists and answer questions.
Inside, you’ll find everything from jewelry, wildlife photography and dramatically photographed landscapes to painted snowboards, metal works and more.
So many talented artists live in Colorado — and Breckenridge’s Main Street is like a treasure trove for Colorado art. So make sure you take time to stroll through Breckenridge’s art galleries; they show the state through a whole new lens.
Be sure to save time for a stroll through Breckenridge Arts District and check out local workshops, public art and art festivals in Breckenridge!