Gallery Spotlights | Visual Arts

HORNE Fine Art to Close Its Doors as Karen Horne Embarks on a New Stage in Her Career

For more than 20 years, HORNE Fine Art has been a staple of Salt Lake City’s Gallery Stroll.

After more than 20 years on 800 South, just off State Street, and after having hosted more than 200 Gallery Stroll receptions and championed some terrific emerging artists, HORNE Fine Art is closing its doors. “We will not be opening another gallery,” says Karen Horne. “I don’t want that worry at this stage of our life,” she says. “I’m choosing to move to a lovely home studio, where I have control and ownership of my workspace. Less stress. Also flexibility to participate in festivals, travel, sell online, and work with other galleries in and out of state.”

“I have an abundance of inventory. It’s going to take a while to make the transition and we are doing it over a couple of months,” Horne says. Many works will be on sale beginning Friday, July 21 for Gallery Stroll and continuing through September. And the opportunity to purchase work by Phyllis Horne, now in her late 80s, will end with the gallery’s closing.

Karen Horne at work in her studio, which is located at the rear of the gallery.

Karen Horne says the gallery “has offered me the ability to paint in natural light (after some of the studios I had in New York City) — but the real estate market forces made the space much more stressful. The old landlord was a big appreciator of culture and valued us and we upgraded his building quite a bit — but with all the apartment buildings going up nearby, property values have gone through the roof. And with IHC taking over the Sears block soon …” Horne is anticipating substantial increases in her lease and adds that the building is for sale “so we aren’t even sure what the intentions are by a new owner. Michael and I are not 35 anymore and don’t need the additional overhead, pressure, and stress – even our liability insurance has gone through the roof. It’s sad to witness the unhoused and I try to bring water and gloves and snacks but it’s an added layer of stress that has accelerated over the past few years. There have been times when I have been concerned for my safety. We even have to have the door on a buzzer.”

But as she prepares to close her doors, Horne is remembering the positives of the gallery as well. “What a great experience working with artist colleagues, designing  and mounting theme shows and meeting local art lovers and collectors,” she says. “And  carrying work right from my easel to the exhibition wall!” In addition to exhibiting her own work and that of her mother, Horne has used the space to champion emerging artists. “I remember Clayton Williams telling me, ‘There’s no money in emerging artists.'” One can hear the smile in her voice.

Post-pandemic, Horne says, there is less visitation to brick and mortar. “We have fewer visitors.” Now, she will be able to show at other venues and at festivals. “Because I was always manning the gallery, I was less free to participate elsewhere. I will have a very lovely workspace to create in in our own home. It’s a new era, we are adjusting to that and being hopeful. And no more snow shoveling on this corner building!”

Rather than transport all the works in the gallery/studio to her home, Karen Horne will be selling the works at a discount as part of her Moving Sale.

HORNE Fine Art will be open during Salt Lake City’s July Gallery Stroll, Friday, July 21, 6-9 pm, with a MOVING SALE to help with the transition to her new studio.

Check out our profile of Karen Horne from 2014.

All Images courtesy HORNE Fine Art

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