Sandy Carson announced this morning that she has sold her namesake gallery, building and all. It would be an understatement to call this a surprise since it's actually more of a shock. "It’s time,” Carson explains. “I’m 68 years old, and I’ve been in the art business for 33 years.”
The whole thing came out of the blue last week when Jan and Bill van Straaten, owners of the van Straaten Gallery and Riverhouse Editions, a fine art print maker in Steamboat Springs, walked in and asked what it would take to purchase the place, lock, stock and barrel. Within days, a price was agreed on, and the sale moved forward. Word is, the van Straatens, who started their art business in Chicago before moving to Steamboat twenty years ago, wanted to live in a city again.
Carson will stay on at least until June, and afterward will likely serve as a consultant. Gallery director William Biety, who is traveling with the van Straatens on a buying trip right now, is also planning to stay. The exhibition schedule already in place will be carried out. There’s no word on whether the gallery will take a new direction, but presumably printmaking will be increasingly showcased.
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“It happened so fast, I feel like I’m on another planet,” says Carson with a laugh. And she believes the decision is good news all around. She’s going to kick back a little after a long career, and one of the city’s great galleries will remain up and running for the foreseeable future. -- Michael Paglia