Elk Horn Art Gallery closing its doors | SkyHiNews.com

Elk Horn Art Gallery closing its doors

Tom and Gary Coblentz stand in from of the Ek Horn Art Gallery in February. They will be going out of business at the end of March.

The Elk Horn Art Gallery started by Tom and Gary Coblentz was a real estate office first. In 1990 they moved to their current location in Winter Park and turned it into a one of the most popular art galleries in the county.

Tom started collecting art while in the military, inspired by his grandmother who was an artist. In 1960 he began collecting western art and landscapes.

"That is what I specialized in and what I enjoy," he said.

Tom retired from the Air Force in 1985 as a pilot and he and his wife, Virginia moved to Winter Park with their two sons.

Gary graduated from Middle Park High School in Granby in 1988 and left the county for college at the Colorado School of Mines. Glen, the oldest son went to college at CU just as they moved into their home in Winter Park.

In 2001 Gary, left the corporate world to come back to Winter Park and created a corporation around the gallery and grew the business with his dad through advertising in western art in magazines such as Southwest Art. "The risk paid off and we sold a lot of good art," Gary said.

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While it was more of hobby for his dad, it was Gary's livelihood. The gallery continued to prosper and they purchased more space and expanded to 3,500 square feet.

During the gallery's heyday, they held national plein air shows, numerous artist show and big events to highlight the artists.

The years 2008 and 2009, the hardest years for art galleries and selling luxury items in resort towns, took a toll on their business but we did okay, Tom said.

In 2011, Gary left the gallery for a full-time job in Longmont. While business came back a little, "the gallery business changed," Tom said.

"It's a generational change. People are just not collecting fine art," Gary said.

"People are not in the same buying mood."

After 26 years at the same location, Elk Horn Art Gallery is going out of business and will be closing its doors at the end of March.

The closing of this gallery will leave the Winter Park Fraser Valley without a fine art gallery.

"Ten years ago I bought 83 acres of land in Park County," said Tom. "I built a nice house and I want to spend more time there."

He's not leaving forever, though.

Tom is one of the oldest Lions Club members. He started the fishing derby at the Fraser ponds and Virginia is a well-known former, substitute teacher.

They plan to keep their home in Winter Park.

"We had a lot of good things happen in this gallery," Tom said. "We have had people from all over the world come into this gallery. At 79, I'm ready to finally retire."

"The best thing to do is to sell," said Gary.

"Artists have been really kind [knowing that we are closing]. It justifies my thoughts that we provided a lot of fine art to families and an avenue for a lot of artists to make a living."

Thank You Elk horn Gallery

From Jake Gaedtke, landscape artist:

It’s with sad regret that I have to announce that one of my galleries, Elkhorn Art Gallery in Winter Park, Colorado, has shut its doors after 26 years of selling and dealing art. Elk Horn Gallery was my very first gallery and I have been with them since. Tom Coblentz started the gallery and sold hundreds, if not thousands, of paintings. I can’t say enough about these guys. They were there and helped me when times were tough and always encouraging. Always! They never changed their fair commission rate when everyone else was raising theirs. They were sincerely happy when the gallery artists found success in other shows and events. It’s been a great run and so sad to see them go. Thank you Gary and Tom and Virginia for all you’ve done! It’s been a sincere pleasure.

More thanks and appreciation

From Clive Tyler, American landscape painter:

What can I say, you guys discovered me at the art a fair, and have helped me become who and what i I am, we have had so so many good times, great shows, great sales. I personally must say out of all the galleries and connection I have made along my journey nothing compares to our friendship and kindness that you have all bestowed on me, the wisdom, the guidance, and the moral support. Wow, I will treasure all my memories and good times we have had along the way.

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You made my wildest dreams of being a full time artist come true. If possible I would like to ask for a copy of the mailing list as it would help my career and income, I will be losing a lot of money With the closing. Plus I like so many of my collectors, there are like fiends. Thanks so much.

Best of wishes.

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