Arriving early for my appointment with Cynthia Stott, owner of the Two Sisters Fine Art Gallery in Heber, I pull into the gallery’s parking lot just off Highway 113. The buildings in the area look like a Western town from the 1800s with sidewalks made of wood planks. The gallery occupies two buildings next to the Snake Creek Grill. The main gallery is a charming red-sided building complete with delicate railing and French doors beckoning people to enter.
As I make my way along the sidewalk toward the French doors, Cynthia Stott eagerly strides towards me, telling me she has just come from the movie set of “Dark Matter,” a film starring Meryl Streep and Aidan Quinn, due out this fall or next spring. She had loaned art and furniture to the film for two set dressings,
As Stott shows me the different set pieces, I glance around at the art displayed on the walls of the main gallery. The open one-room space has an elegant Southwestern feel. The floors are a worn wood mixed with marbled tile. Stott is meticulous in arranging the art so that the natural light from the windows attracts the eye to each piece.
Walking next door to the gallery’s second building, Stott opens the French doors, allowing the evening breeze to carry in the aroma of fresh grilled steak from the Snake Creek Grill next door. As we walk to the next building, I notice two paintings hanging on the outside walls; they complement the building and greet the visitors. This building is also a single room and displays Asian-style furniture, bronze sculptures, oil paintings, and a striking digital image created by Alison Armstrong. Stott delights in talking about every artist she represents and has a strong relationship with each. She firmly believes in nurturing and encouraging artists in their work. Stott found most of the artists in her gallery by going to various art shows, including the Spring Salon at the Springville Museum of Art, and art festivals and by artists introducing other artists to her. She currently shows work from Karrie Penney, Jack Morford, Joyce Baron, Jason Christensen, and Sophie Soprano, to name a few. She also supports her sister, Lynn Farrar, a mid-career Utah artist, by showing some of her work.
“Two Sisters” came into being when Stott left her home in San Diego and her job as a butterfly biologist, and traveled to Utah to visit with her three older daughters who were attending college. While here she stopped into Edelweiss, a gallery in Midway, and came upon the idea to open one of her own. She figured it would be a way to make a living in Utah, and also support her sister, and so the gallery was christened “Two Sisters Fine Art.”
Stott found the actual store location while dinning at the Snake Creek Grill. She noticed an old run-down building and immediately saw a vision of a gallery with a unique style and the opportunity to become a destination spot by combining fine food from the Snake Creek Grill with art. Stott transformed the building by rebuilding the sagging floors, replacing the gloomy blue siding with a warm red, and adding a few other finishing touches.
Because of her love for art and living by her tag line of “Fresh. Organic. Traditional.” Stott has made the gallery a destination for her clients from Park City and around the country for almost three years now. Stott believes that the clients appreciate her dedication to exclusively showing original art from local Utah artists. She credits the success of her business to her philosophy of showing only art she loves herself and by showing only quality pieces, making the room simple yet interesting, so the customer can concentrate on each piece.
Two Sisters Fine Art Gallery is currently showing new work by Anne Gregerson, a ceramic clay sculptor, for the month of September. Gregerson, an Idaho native, grew up the daughter of an avid outdoorsman. She followed her father over mountain trails, and floated the South Fork of the Snake River with him in an old yellow rubber raft. This early connection to nature, she says, is her touchstone, her anchor. Though she has been interested in art her whole life, she did not begin her academic training until the age of 40. In 1997 she graduated from Brigham Young University with a BFA in fine art with an emphasis in sculpture. Most of Gregerson’s works are hand built in clay and examine interpersonal relationships or the solitary figure in moments of contemplation.
The gallery has recently added the work of digital photographer Alison Armstrong, voted one of Ten Artists to Watch in this month’s issue of Salt Lake Magazine. A creative portrait photographer by day, and co-owner, with husband Tom Taylor, of www.picturesandstories.com Alison does her digital collage photography for fun stating: “My inner child still wants to play with paper-dolls. . . only now she plays with very expensive equipment, which is why my inner grown-up must offer for sale the results of her indulgence.”
Besides exhibitions, Two Sisters Fine Art Gallery features artists by having them create their art while in the gallery – an unusual attraction, but one sure to attract visitors.
Emily Chaney, after graduating in 2002 from the University of Utah with a Fine Arts degree, began writing for 15 Bytes as a way to stay connected to the Utah arts community. She is now the Gallery Manager for the Terzian Galleries on Park City’s Main Street.