New gallery offers ‘visual language’ to area
December 1, 2004
utside the Davis Gallery of Fine Art is the icy main street of the rural town of Genoa. The branches of the cottonwoods are heavy with snow. Light breaks through the clouds.
Inside the gallery is an oil painting by Greg Drinkwine of an autumn-clad cottonwood located just a “quarter of a mile down the road, off Foothill Road.” The 24-by-36 plein air is in a gilded frame, which was constructed by the artist.
If you can’t hold the memory of Genoa’s cottonwoods, you could spend $4,320 and hang it in your boudoir.
“Painting is a visual language and, as such, I use my skill to translate that which I would like to express of some wordless experience I’ve had,” Drinkwine said while standing in front of “Cottonwood” and “Carson Pass.”
His work transcends copying nature, he said, yet it maintains fidelity to the scene. Drinkwine, of Gardnerville, paints from life, not a photograph.
The four owners of the Davis Gallery, 2285 Main St., are well aware that they own the only gallery in Genoa. And to fit that distinction they pledged to sell only original work, no prints, no giclee. Work in the gallery ranges in price from $350 pastels of Lake Tahoe by Bonita Paulis, to a $6,000 Armand Cabrera oil painting.
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Gale Davis, a former vice president of risk management for UPS, said their goal is to make $300,000 in the first year. They started the gallery with about $50,000.
The 1,200-square-foot gallery beside the Tahoe Ridge Winery was baptized with Perrier-Jouet champagne and hot hors d’oeuvres at its grand opening celebration Saturday. Cynthia Davis, an artist and part owner of the gallery with her husband, Gale, brimmed with enthusiasm about the grand opening, and the five artists whose work graces the cream-colored walls under halogen lights.
She is one of those artists. Her oil and pastel artwork will be on the walls soon, they are still being framed. Cynthia and Drinkwine both attended the Art Students League of New York. Drinkwine and his wife, Stacy Ann, are also partners in the gallery.
Not only do the owners have sophisticated tastes, they are also consumers of the craft.
“We totally love art,” said Cynthia, 54. She steps lightly over the forest green carpeting in black fur snow boots that really aren’t as warm as they look, she said. Cynthia and Gale live in Zephyr Cove.
“And Cindy and I travel a lot,” said Gale, 64.
Gale said painting workshops beginning in spring 2005 will supplement the gallery’s income. He said Genoa can support this business and “there’s a resurgence of art appreciation in this whole area.”
The Davis Gallery of Fine Art is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.