One of the best kept secrets in the world of art investment is located on Bridge Street in historic New Hope, PA.
In its Golden years, New Hope was a Mecca for talented artists of notable repute. It was also the place where numerous art investments were procured. Many were recognized for their considerable contribution to the world of art and their work has stood the test of time.
Today, New Hope has gone through a metamorphosis. Here you enter a Bronze Age of where an underworld of gifted artists is everywhere. These works are being invested in by prestigious museums even before the artist has met his full potential. Artists whose work now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art once were hung on walls of Bucks County galleries. The same is true today.
Meet art investor and dealer Howard Cooperman of Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art in New Hope who states " People who bought art from me several years ago simply because it was pleasing to them now find themselves with an art investment on their hands. Some of today's artists are galloping toward those spots on museum walls."
Cooperman purposely collects what others do not. The influential gallery reflects this individualistic image. It is quiet, relaxed and a contemplative gallery. It invites an art lover to "sit a spell" and get to know the artist through his work.
A fireplace with comfortable seating replicates a tasteful living room setting. Here one can place the painting of his choice over the mantel, recline with a glass of wine, and assess the impact of the art through a natural ambience.
There is a great diversity of art in the gallery. You will experience paintings and sculptures in an eclectic collection of contemporary, abstract, realistic, impressionistic, traditional and fantasy art. The collection is produced by nationally and internationally proclaimed artist as well as talented Bucks County artists of today.
When questioned about "Art investing" and "who are tomorrow's masters?" Cooperman disappears from the room and returns with a Dot Bunn landscape entitled "Spring Sensation." Bunn, a professional for more than 30 years is a life long resident of Bucks County.
Dot Bunn has been featured in solo shows and exhibited at many juried shows, galleries, and museums both locally and in New York City. Yet she is for the most part "under the radar" as a world known artist since she is not widely promoted.
Her oil paintings are considered by collectors to be among the most enduring of art. She is guided by the highest standards of excellence. Her technical understanding of light, atmosphere, and color leads to the creation of classic timeless paintings.
"Spring Sensation" portrays Bunn at her best. The large oil on board depicts the perfect spring day in a garden with gigantic tree Viburnum in profuse bloom of creamy white lace-capped flowers. The atmosphere is sleepy from the warmth of the sun and the cool of the shade. The attitude of the painting is one of old world grace. It will transport you into a timeless reverie of lazy days gone by.
Situated to the left of the room, appropriately next to the bar, is a Berc Ketchian oil on canvas. "My Western Heroes" depicts a cowboy barroom scene. There is a tension in the crowded barroom in which one might expect a fight to break out momentarily. Painted in deep saturated jewel tone moody colors, it is uncharacteristic of southwest genera. Closer inspection reveals the barroom is atypical as well, in fact, it is a barroom in Istanbul.
The play on color, theme, and subject is ingenious and made more exceptional by a frame that was designed by the artist for the painting. Ketchian's greatness lies in his ability to create a mood in his paintings and play with emotion in an uncanny way that makes it hard to walk away from his art, "one simply cannot mentally leave it behind" stated one observer.
In the center of the Bucks County Gallery is Barry Wood Johnston's sculpture "Ballerina." It is a half life-size bronze ballerina in a fully extended lunge. It is the personification of Johnston's unmatched ability to capture energized form and anatomy in motion with robust, gravity-defying images. The life-size image of this piece was awarded "Best in Show" at the 1990 National Arts Club Award.
Cooperman states, "Physicians, physical therapist's, and gym instructors have remarked without exception that every muscle, tendon, and joint is captured in its truest form" in this remarkable piece. Johnston's exhibits and awards are too numerous to list. He is indisputably one of today's most gifted artists and an art investment that goes beyond the monetary value.
For those serious about whimsical art there can be no other artist than Richard Summons. His imagination is boundless.
He uses realistic, detailed, finely executed bronze sculptures to represent madcap scenes designed specifically to lighten the heart. Summons states, "When I sit back, look at a new composition and laugh out loud, I know I've brought a bit of myself into existence."
His bronze 3-D sculpture "Another Level" illustrates a pair of free floating hands maneuvering the strings of a life-like tortoise marionette that is maneuvering the strings of a life-like frog marionette – a bizarre theme executed in perfection artistry.
These are but a few of the inspiring works of investment art on display at Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art that took root in 1980 and has developed into one of the most "must see' galleries in New Hope PA. Those of us lucky enough to remember the old New Hope of yesteryear are equally fortunate to be able to experience a new dimension of the old town in which the rich tradition of imaginative and innovative art continues its upward spiral. Collectors and those who procure art investment today are purchasing tomorrow's history.
Sandy Askey Adams, Larry Chestnut, Rene Dickerson,, Christine Drewyer, Michael Fratrich, Griff Jones, Katharine Krieg, Berc Ketchian, Victor Mordasov, Nancy Peach, Matthew Savaiko, and Richard Yeager are just a few more of the contemporary artists that Bucks County Gallery proudly represents.
Come in a feel the magic of today's wonderful masters, while they're still affordable.