September 10, 2018
It’s long been said that Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine every year, and while Coloradans love outdoor adventures and relaxing on sunny patios, the one thing they don’t often expect to do outside is enjoy fine art. With its impressive collection of sculptures, Masters Gallery is looking to change that.
“In Europe, it’s not unusual for people to have sculptures on their patio or in their garden,” says Bonnie Zueger, who co-owns Masters Gallery with her husband Paul. “It’s almost a little foreign for us in the United States, but once you actually have an outdoor bronze within a garden, it becomes visually spectacular!”
One of Zueger’s favorite pieces on display at the gallery is “Hearts as One” by sculptor Bob Wilfong. “Years ago, the first sculpture he created was acquired by a couple who placed it in their master bedroom,” Zueger says. “As they have the most beautiful garden, we talked them into putting it outdoors and the result, with the flowers around it in the sunshine, was stunning!”
With three showstopping bronze sculptures standing outside the 3rd and Columbine location in Cherry Creek North, the gallery is not to be missed. The Zuegers brought their warm and inviting artistic perspective to the area a year and a half ago after they decided to move from their Greenwood Village location of 16 years.
“There’s a lot going on in Cherry Creek, all the development and the new hotels make this a very exciting time to be in the neighborhood,” Zueger says.
Art consultant Sarah Parker agrees and said the move to CCN has helped boost walk-in traffic and exposure to a variety of new clientele, from younger first-time buyers to world-traveling art collectors and longtime clients.
“Cherry Creek North has been excellent for increasing our daily walk-ins and visibility,” Parker says. “The walkability makes the area so accessible, we’ve had people that are staying downtown get recommendations to come to Cherry Creek to dine and shop. Now we’re seeing people from all over the world enjoying our gallery, it’s exciting.”
Alongside the bronze sculptures, the gallery also offers figurative ceramics and art glass as well as traditional and contemporary original artwork, with several of the relationships with artists they partner with spanning decades.
Cultivating those longtime relationships and partnerships with artists allows Masters Gallery to offer personalized experiences for their clientele.
“One of the things that we really enjoy doing for our clients is introducing the idea of an artist creating commissioned pieces for the client,” Zueger says. “The artists love to have the opportunity to create something personalized for art collectors. They like the challenge.”
“Many of our artists are international, though some are local and Colorado-based,” Zueger says. “Many are classically trained which means the artist knows how to work with techniques and color and design in their own unique ways,” Zueger says.
It’s these relationships with renowned artists and their openness to work creatively with clients that adds to the level of service the gallery offers.
“I’ve got clients that live in the area who had purchased one original painting by a Denver based artist and when I mentioned (the artist) would be happy to come over to discuss a second painting...” Parker says.
“They loved it!” Zueger gently adds.
“They told all their friends,” Parker continues. “It takes that whole experience and brings it full circle. That’s why we do shows with different artists throughout the year, because collectors who have previously bought or are thinking about buying get inspired once they meet the artist and discuss their inspirations and techniques.”
While Masters Gallery maintains many long-term partnerships, the gallery occasionally seeks out new artists to add to the mix. Every time they get a new body of work, Zueger and Parker put in a lot of effort and research into figuring out what inspired the artist, the technique, and what makes each piece exceptional.
“We have to be creative at our jobs to help connect people to the art,” Parker says.
One of their latest additions to the gallery is sculptor Estella Fransbergen, whose artistic process behind her elegant torso sculptures is heavily inspired by her South African upbringing. Each of her hand-sculpted clay, bronze or glass sculptures is “dressed” with a different natural material, like crocheted metal skirts or semi-precious stones.
Parker says the addition of Fransbergen’s work to the gallery was a natural fit. “She’s just one of those extremely creative forces. Even when you meet her, you get that energy from her.”
Though they deal in high end artwork, both Zueger and Parker say their goal is to help people discover the absolute joy of fine art collecting. They love welcoming children into the gallery and have dog biscuits to offer furry friends. They pride themselves in making art approachable, and love introducing fine art to new audiences.
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