Standard exhibit pushes Western art forward
The best piece of advice that Dustin Posiak-Trider ever received was this: “Buy art you love from people you love.“
He’s remembered that through the years and when he opened the doors of Standard Western Art + Drink, it became one of the gallery’s core values.
“We’re about relationships more than just slinging art,” he said. “That quote represents everything we value.”
This weekend, Standard Western Art + Drink will host two artists, Cyrus Walker and Jeff Weir, for a three-day exhibition of their work.
Both are contemporary Western artists creating the theme of the show, which Posiak-Trider describes as “new Western energy.“
Posiak-Trider first discovered Weir on social media, and once the two connected, they spent hours talking. Weir’s first show at Standard Western Art + Drink was planned just a few weeks after the gallery’s opening and the entire show sold out.
This is Weir’s third time in Steamboat this year and he’s proving to be popular with the community. His work — mostly oil-on-canvas paintings of wildlife, landscapes and a few people — consistently sells out.
Growing up in Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene-based artist always wanted to paint. He is influenced by the history and culture of the area, as well as the surrounding wildlife.
“I paint from a longing of a more explorative time before everything was settled,” Weir said. “Sometimes, I wish I could have lived back in a wilder time, and in making art, I’m able to imagine that within the subject matter.”
He is known in particular for his bear paintings, which began in a sketchbook but are now done from memory.
“A lot of what I’m doing could be seen as the same painting over and over again, but it’s like a portrait artist, just for wildlife. They’re all different and they all have their own personalities,” he said.
The self-trained artist had wanted to go to art school to learn more, but in the end, he said, he’s glad that he didn’t.
“After painting a million paintings, I figured out what I was doing and I came up with something that was more mine and less traditional,” he said. “I was glad to find something uniquely me. My work is more focused on a feeling of a thing rather than reiterating a photograph exactly.”
This weekend Weir’s paintings will hang alongside 10 of Cyrus Walker’s.
“Aesthetically, Cyrus’ work is very modern and Western but with a narrative that underpins his work,” said Posiak-Trider. “Jeff’s work really helps counterweight that with quiet compositions in more of a classic oil painter aesthetic.”
At the end of the day, just as Posiak-Trider envisioned for the gallery, the art is about more than just the painting.
“People aren’t just buying a painting,” explained Posiak-Trider. “They’re buying into that person. Both artists this weekend have so many friends and clients in Steamboat — people just want to hang out with them. The commercial aspect of this whole show is secondary; it’s more about catching up with a friend.”
The exhibit will be on display beginning Friday, Feb. 18, through the weekend with a reception to celebrate the artists beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. The reception will feature live music, specialty cocktails and a very special, very surprising guest.
What: Jeff Weir and Cyrus Walker show
When: Beginning Friday, Feb. 18, with the reception at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19.
Where: Standard Western Art + Drink, 907 Lincoln Ave.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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The Steamboat Art Museum is bringing back the National Exhibition of Oil Painters of America.