DEPENDING ON WHEN YOU VISIT THIS SUMMER, YOUR EXPERIENCE AT JULIE NESTER GALLERY WILL BE CENTERED ON ONE OF TWO VERY DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ART. IN JULY, VISITORS WILL BE TRANSPORTED INTO IMAGINARY SCENES FEATURING TOY FIGURINES THAT DEPICT MYTHS, HISTORY, AND ICONIC CHARACTERS IN LARGE-FORMAT (20 INCH BY 24 INCH) POLAROIDS. WITH SERIES TITLES LIKE “WILD WEST” AND “BASEBALL,” THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE BY RENOWNED, NEW YORK-BASED ARTIST DAVID LEVINTHAL WHOSE WORK IS IN THE COLLECTIONS OF OVER 35 MUSEUMS WORLDWIDE.
In August, the gallery will be filled with abstract paintings by Sunny Taylor, a Utah native whose award-winning work is frequently shown locally and across the country. Taylor explores geometric patterns with a meticulous, sculptural approach that is heavily influenced by architec-ture. The minimalist aesthetic of the finished works belies the careful layering and attention to color and form that goes into each piece.
While these two bodies of work bear little resemblance to each other, both artists fit Gallery Director Julie Nester’s philosophy for choosing art: they incorporate unique processes and ideas that reveal depth beyond the surface. For Julie, that depth helps her deliver work with longevity, making collectors happy for years to come.
Julie and her husband, Doug, co-founded Julie Nester Gallery in 2004, when they moved to Park City from San Francisco. Julie had worked in the Bay Area contemporary art scene for years, and the time felt right to bring that experience to a new venture. “We had noticed that the second-home community was starting to take off in Park City,” explains Julie, “and we made the assumption that these transplants from other urban, diverse locales would have a desire to place contemporary, less-traditional artwork in their homes. This assumption was the basis for the launch of Julie Nester Gallery.”
Their theory proved correct, but it took time to get the idea off the ground. Julie focused on build-ing an initial roster of about 15 artists, but it would be nearly a year before they found their ideal space—one with “cement floors, tall white walls, and wide-open rooms”—in Park City’s Iron Horse District. That was an unusual choice, as most galleries were located amongst the popular boutiques and restaurants of Historic Main Street. “There was definitely a risk starting the gallery ‘off-Main,’” says Julie, “but I guess we were brave enough to think that we could make it work.” And, they did make it work, eventually moving to a larger location nearby in the former site of a commercial paint store. At 3,200 square feet, the industrial space is perfect for showcasing art and hosting events.
Today, the gallery represents 40 artists from around the U.S. and Canada, who work in a variety of mediums and styles. Julie does a fair amount of business with hotels and corporate clients, which gives artists extra visibility. But, after 15 years of cultivating relationships, the gallery’s core business is still with individual collectors—people from all walks of life who bring their own tastes and histories into the discussion. “About half of the art we sell stays in Utah and the rest is shipped out of state,” says Julie, noting that she and Doug are, “always amazed about how much art we ship to homes in major art markets like New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We believe that is a great testament to the art we represent.”