Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Wilde Meyer!


Fire Passage mixed media on canvas 36"x48"
by Charles Davison
November marks Wilde Meyer Gallery's 28th anniversary! In 1983, when Scottsdale was known as “the West’s most western town,” Betty Wilde and Mark Meyer moved here from Tulsa, Oklahoma. “We had a gallery in Tulsa, but we wanted to move, and Scottsdale had a good art market, both from tourists and year-round residents,” Betty said.

They opened their gallery just across from the current site on Marshall Way. At the time, the other galleries were located on Main Street, and they were the first to have an art venue on this part of Marshall Way, aside from Elaine Horwitz, at the other end. A few years after they opened, Jonathan Henderson joined Betty and Mark as a partner in the gallery.

View from the Rim
oil on canvas 48"x60"
by Barbara Gurwitz

The Present oil on canvas, 41"x41"
Jacqueline Rochester
At first, they brought in artists they represented in Tulsa, but soon after, artists from the area came to the gallery. Some of the early artists are still represented by Wilde Meyer today, including Linda Carter Holman, Charles Davison and Barbara Gurwitz.  I’ve been with the gallery since 2005, and it still thrills me to be included with the wonderful artists who show here.

In the early years, Wilde Meyer consulted with many corporations in the area, assisting them in purchasing art for their offices. First Interstate Bank was a large client, and hung original art in its executive offices, bank branches and operations center. Business gradually evolved into residential clients – both designers and private collectors.
Virgin of Love  36"x36"
by Linda Carter Holman

Garden Wall, (1984)
By Linda Carter Holman
Another Wilde Meyer gallery opened in Tucson in 2000, in the beautiful Foothills area at Skyline Drive and Campbell. And, if you’re lucky enough to spend time at the nearby Canyon Ranch Spa, you’ll see many Wilde Meyer artists’ work displayed on the walls there, available for purchase.


Wilde Meyer Gallery, Tucson
Colores, located on Main Street, is the gallery’s third space, and features art, as well as jewelry and clothing

When you enter a Wilde Meyer gallery, your first impression is usually “Wow! What amazing colors!”  We are a collection of artists who love to paint and use strong color whenever possible. Some of the work is figurative; some abstract - but, for the most part, color plays a major role in every piece of art. Most of us are animal lovers, too, so you’ll see anything from dogs to horses, cats, monkeys and even elephants in paintings and sculptures.

Ranchero (2007) 72"x36"
by Sherri Belassen

Species From the Undiscovered Continent
48"x72" acyrlic on canvas
by Timothy Chapman
It’s fun to hang out at a Wilde Meyer gallery. Betty furnishes them with interesting pieces from China, and other accessories to make the gallery feel more like a home. The bright colors and creative art make people want to linger. The artwork is moved around from one gallery to another, so you’ll always see something different when you return.

As a way of giving back to the communities that support them, Wilde Meyer has always been involved in charitable endeavors. The gallery helps the Arizona Cancer Center select a painting each year, donated by the artist, as the key piece in their fundraiser’s live auction. I was honored to be selected by the organization last year, and attended their wonderful event at the Phoenician Resort. Since Betty and Mark both love animals, they have worked with such charities as Equine Voices in Tucson and Southwest Wildlife, among others, donating art, furniture and jewelry for fundraisers.