Close Encounters David Frederick Riley’s emotionally charged paintings at Horton Fine Art

One of the most powerful elements of David Frederick Riley’s monochromatic portraits is how the eyes follow you around the room. “You have this other being that’s looking at you … a shared emotional experience between the painting and the viewer, an emotional quality that the viewer can relate to,” Riley says. It’s this connection to authentic expression that sets his wildlife and human portraits apart. While wildlife has traditionally been depicted from an observational, or removed, viewpoint, Riley captures the soul of an animal. “I’m forcing a direct experience — it almost becomes a spiritual experience where you get to interact with something that’s more of an essence than looking at it from afar,” he says. For Riley, a 3-by-3-foot canvas is small. His enormous paintings employ mineral spirits and three primary colors: transparent red oxide, ultramarine blue and white. His 15-year professional career as a magazine and book […]


Redistributing Art Collections With the experts at Claggett/Rey Gallery

For over 30 years, Claggett/Rey gallery has represented some of the finest artists in North America, and these days, it’s also specializing in estate art consultations. As many younger people opt for smaller homes and simpler lifestyles, they’ve been showing less interest in inheriting “stuff,” even if it is valuable fine art. “The kids and grandkids don’t want the burden of things, especially if they have no emotional connection to them,” says Claggett/Rey Gallery owner Bill Rey, who literally grew up in the fine art business. He says that in the next couple of decades, volumes of art will be “heirlooms without heirs” throughout the world. Meanwhile, many collectors haven’t made plans for their fine art to find a new home once they’re gone — or when they decide to downsize. “The art and the collections are so personal to them — they really are their visual diary so they are […]



We each look at a piece of art differently. Some are attracted to the subject matter, others the colors. While some wonder what the artists were thinking as they worked on the piece. The bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter. The viewer simply likes the work. Outwardly, there’s no rhyme or reason. However, inwardly, the viewer was moved, attracted in some unspoken way. And that’s exactly how gallery owners choose an artist: They are moved by what they see.  At the same time, it’s important for artists who seek representation to do the research to see if a gallery is a good match for their work. Gallery owners have clear interests and aesthetics. They represent creative visions no matter what the genre. And, once committed, galleries are willing to support their artists in every way.  “It’s pretty evident to me when an artist has something to say,” remarks Marc […]



An artist and creative thinker, Dan Telleen’s wearable artwork is dynamic and thought-provoking. Fifty years ago, dan telleen introduced his bold, organic jewelry to Vail. Since then, he has developed a unique style and strong following. Known for his custom designs, his impeccable craftsmanship  and his one-of-a-kind way of linking people with time, history and their common humanity, Telleen incorporates such things as ancient coins, fossils, arrowheads, meteorites and even sand into his pieces. After college, Telleen taught elementary school art in Michigan and spent summers selling his art in Colorado, his jewelry always selling best. Initially, he concentrated on ceramics in art school and, for that reason,  treats the wax like clay, allowing designs to emerge “I try to find out what my materials can do and then use the spontaneity of the materials to create the jewelry,” Telleen shares.   For example, as Telleen works with the shape of a meteorite, he […]

Culture in the Vail Valley, FINE ARTS

Walking Among The Art

Head toward the covered bridge in Vail Village and you inevitably pass a white-clad soldier, frozen mid-step with skis over one shoulder and goggles covering his eyes. The 13-feet-tall bronze statue with his Army-issued gear honors those 10th Mountain Division ski soldiers, both alive and dead, who trained at Camp Hale, south of Vail, during World War II. Created by Scott Stearman and Victor Issa, 10th Mountain Division Memorial is just one of almost 50 carefully curated pieces of Vail’s public art from East Vail to West Vail’s Vail Ridge. The Town of Vail’s Art In Public Places (AIPP) program was officially adopted in 1992 to “promote and encourage the development and public awareness of fine arts.” Pieces range from murals to bronze figures to more modern work — even playgrounds. And while it’s easy to stumble upon some of Vail’s public art, the best way to explore is with […]



Vail International Gallery hosted an opening for renowned artist, Ron Hicks, known for depicting realistic scenes and snapshots of everyday life. Recently however, Hicks has taken another direction. “I’m trying to sort of play with abstract, non-objective worlds of realism, to strike a harmonious balance between disciplines and place them on canvas or boards I paint on,” he says. “I am really letting them be the path, which is very different from some of my earlier work. I’m responding to what is set before me. It’s pure emotion. Whatever comes out, I allow it to be. And I’m not afraid to leave an area unfinished.” 1 Gallery Co-owner Marc Levarn with Artist Ron Hicks. 2 Master Jeweler Bo Joe with Lauren Logan from Claggett/Rey Gallery. 3 Sharon Hicks with Trisha and Lonny Donovan. 4 Rebecca Robinson. 5 Tom Fenstermacher and Dean Edwards. 6 Bob Will looking at “Aurora.”

FINE ARTS, Focus Vail Valley

Art in public places celebrates winter

The Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places lantern walk and exhibits consistently bring joy to locals and visitors, as well. And this year’s projects continue to celebrate our glorious winters. To share in the holiday spirit, Vail’s Paper Lantern Project invites residents and guests to make paper lanterns. The first workshop, presented by the Alpine Arts Center, will be held on December 20, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Lionshead Welcome Center. A fee of $10 includes complimentary light snacks, wine and beer available for purchase and a festive ambiance while creating your unique lantern. The Vail Public Library’s free workshop, on December 22, with local paper artist Helen Hiebert takes place from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. preceding the Winter Solstice Lantern Walk. “We wanted to create a hands-on and interactive art event which would gather both guests and residents to celebrate the holidays,” says Molly […]