By Angela Romeo
There is a new kid in town – sort of. Artist Chris Hoffman and Valerie Hoffman are set to open Fusion Art. Originally conceived as an online gallery that hosts international juried art competitions and exhibitions, Fusion Art has now grown to include a brick and mortar space at the Backstreet Art District in Palm Springs. It joins a diverse collection of original, contemporary art galleries and artist studios.
“The gallery was envisioned and formed out of a passion for art and the artists who create it, said Chris. “I have been painting my whole life. There were gaps – starts and stops – as other things came into my life, but it has always been my dream to open a gallery and I’m fortunate to now be at a point in my life to make it a reality.”
“I know how difficult it is for an artist to receive wall space in any gallery. A gallery has economics attached to it and is in the business of selling art. But Val and I also know that exposure is key to sales. So we launched Fusion Art, initially, on the web,” continued Chris.
“The goal,” noted Valerie, “when the website was launched in mid-2015, was to give emerging and established artists the opportunity to gain experience and exposure as well as promote and connect artists with collectors and art enthusiasts.”
The website currently hosts monthly, themed, international online juried art competitions and exhibitions. The gallery gives monetary awards to the top three winners in each category and the Best in Show winners receive an invitation to participate in a group exhibition to be held annually in Palm Springs. The first group exhibition will be held at the gallery in November 2016.
“Many artists dream of owning a gallery. For over 20 years Chris has had that dream. He wanted a gallery for his own work and to showcase the work of other artists. Fusion Art was the opportunity for me to help Chris realize his dream,” continued Valerie.
Since arriving in Palm Springs in 2010 Chris has immersed himself in the local art community. His work was shown at Heath Gallery Annex, Studio D (a former Backstreet Gallery) and most recently in Artize Gallery, also located in the Backstreet Art District. “We saw Backstreet as the right fit for Fusion Art. The decision was made and the gallery is set to open May 4th, which is the monthly First Wednesday Art Walk at Backstreet,” beamed Valerie. “We are very proud to be a part of this art-centric area of Palm Springs.”
The portraits and scenes of everyday life by master artists such as John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet and August Renoir always have inspired Chris. He is known for his use of rich, vibrant watercolors. Chris has captured the beauty of nature in his abstract landscapes. He cleverly blended landscapes with Hollywood Glam (always a Palm Springs favorite) in his Legend and Landmarks series. He combined Hollywood Icons with legendary Palm Springs landmarks. Chris explained, “Fusion Art will also be my working studio, so I expect the pull of the gallery and visitors will have a positive impact on my upcoming work.”
The gallery will showcase Chris’s art as well at the artwork of several other very talented artists including Chicago based abstract artist, Michael Goldzweig; Cleveland based Op Art artist, Evie Zimmer; Colorado based palette knife artist, Jeanie Gebhart; and Los Angeles based, Argentinean artist and figurative bronze sculptor, Alicia Savio.
“I am honored and pleased to have such talented artists as Michael, Evie, Jeanie and Alicia joining me on this journey.”
Fusion Art Gallery (www.fusionartps.com) is located at 2658 South Cherokee Way, Palm Springs, in the heart of the Back Street Art District. This gallery is the newest gem in the art necklace that continues to make the Coachella Valley an Art destination.