1 of 2
"Stanley Park Series"
Tom Gale, "Stanley Park Series," 4' x 5', oil on canvas.
2 of 2
Tom Gale, "Aspens," 30''x140'', oil on canvas.
Born: 1946, Medicine Hat
Price Range: $800 - $15,000
Gregorie Barber, owner of the Front Gallery in Edmonton, sees a trend among collectors toward more contemporary work: younger people are looking for “…edgy work, with fresh, bold colours, making strong statements, not what they grew up with, ...while their elders may be downsizing, but are nonetheless putting big, strong paintings on big walls.” She says, “landscapes are popular in Alberta and sales remain steady.” But adds she’s selling more abstract art, perhaps because there’s more choice from outstanding artists.
An artist Barber often recommends is Tom Gale who has been painting for 35 years, the last 20 in Edmonton. His work is in the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, in corporate collections such as Canadian Utilities Ltd, Toronto Dominion Art Collection and ATCO Electric, as well as in many private collections. Gale was described by the late Edmonton reviewer/critic Gilbert Bouchard as ‘probably Alberta’s finest landscape painter’. Barber points out that Gale is not a ‘formula’ painter doing the same thing in different sizes and palettes. His work “…reflects the struggle, the challenge of the problem being solved…. He puts something of himself into every painting.”
Asked about memorable experiences in the gallery business, Barber describes receiving a phone call several years ago regarding a nude painting by Edmonton figure painter Doug Jamha, displayed in her gallery window. The caller asked a number of serious questions about the painting leading her to believe he was interested in purchase. However the call ended with him asking if he could “just have her (the model’s) phone number.”