photos courtesy ARTé Gallery
On occasion our adventures land us upon a particular café, a hide-away restaurant, or an unexplored trail that exhilarates the senses, elevates the mood, and moves us in a unique way. One such treasure worth the find is ARTé Gallery in St. George, Utah. Located minutes off I-15 by Sunbrook Golf Course is an ancient business warehouse, ARTé, which, over a period of almost nine years, has evolved into an eclectic urban style gallery of over 400 artworks. Decorated in wall murals, original art, photography, sculptures, stained glass, and collectibles, ARTé is a great place to visit. ARTé also offers custom picture framing.
“We stay very busy in our framing facility,” owner Philip Moulton explains, himself being a very accomplished artist and framer. “Our 18 years of framing, coupled with 3,000 ft of in-stock moulding, and over 500 full sized mats allows us to be the fastest and best priced framing option I’m aware of.”
He and his wife Brenda have been active in the art and framing scene for many years. Their first venture in art and framing was Art Visions Mobile Picture Framing in Las Vegas, in 1996. A New York entrepreneur purchased Art Visions in 2001 and it is still a very busy shop. Moving to Mesquite that same year, Philip and Brenda opened Mesquite Art and Frame inside the historic Abbott Hotel on the corner of Mesquite and Sandhill Boulevards. “We were quite shocked when we began experiencing the presence of several spirits that frequented that old house,” Brenda explains. “The mysterious little quirks became common. One year, we opened up the gallery a couple nights as a Halloween haunted house. It scared a lot of kids, and adults commented that they sensed an unusual presence there.”
The Mesquite Gallery had large bronzes decorating both the inside and outside of the gallery. The gallery hosted several events such as semi-annual art fairs, a Navajo Pow-wow, Children’s Arts events, and a week long African cultural event with African foods, artworks, and dances. “The economy was booming, so in 2006, we opened our second gallery, Galleria ARTe, across from the hospital,” states Moulton. “This gallery was small, but very beautiful, hosting private get-togethers, and offering an elevated collection of artworks.” In 2007, the economic slide began. Galleria ARTe was forced to close, and sell-out its eclectic inventory.
The Moultons’ daughter was selected to attend Tuacahn High School, and commuted there with a friend the first year. They chose to move to Ivins, Utah, close to the school, and Mesquite Art and Frame closed its doors after its seven year run, leaving behind great memories, great friends, and the invisible residents of the Abbott Hotel. ARTé Gallery and Frame was born in a 100 sq. ft. office at the Sunbrook Ranch complex. Since that meager beginning, ARTé has grown to over 7,000 sq. ft.
“We couldn’t help it,” Philip explains. “Art is just in our hearts.” This passion for art and design, coupled with the entrepreneurial drive they both possess, during a deflating economy, ARTé thrived, battled, and survived.
“We’ve seen over 10 galleries these eight years just vanish in our area,” explains Moulton. “We owe our success, meager as it is, to God first, to each other, and of course, to the wonderful individuals who are drawn to support the depleting mom and pop enterprises.”
Brenda adds, “We offer the ARTé location for gatherings of many sorts. There have been art groups, wine clubs, business groups, recitals, birthday
parties, concerts, and lots of other fun games and art related events. It is a perfect location for up to 75 people to enjoy any type of gathering.”
While corporations and the internet gobble up so much of the American pie of commerce, there still exist some pioneers that eke out a meager slice. They gratefully, and persistently, are driven to serve and provide uniqueness to the public – hopefully at a profit. To keep the community thriving, seek out such enterprises on your own adventures, and you just may stumble upon a special treasure like ARTé.
For more information, visit ARTé Gallery and Frame, located at
415 S. Dixie Dr. in St George, Utah, their website at
www.artegalleryandframe.com, or call (435) 862-0303.