Breckenridge Phone: 970-547-8399
Vail Phone: 970-476-4883
Art on a Whim. It is a triple entendre. Our first gallery opened in 2007. On a whim. With a passion for collecting fine art, a foundation in business and a love for the mountains we headed for the beautiful town of Breckenridge. Four years later we doubled the size of our gallery. In 2013 we opened our second location in the world class Vail Village.
So often, art collecting decisions are made on a whim. Artists spend countless hours creating works in their studios. Making that perfect piece. We see dozens of people every day. Many have no idea that they are about to fall in love when they walk through our doors. Once you find that painting, that sculpture, that just speaks to you, striking an emotional and visceral chord, it becomes a part of you. It becomes an experience that is worth re-living every day. And on a whim, it becomes a treasured heirloom worthy of being passed on for generations.
Many of our artists have a decidedly whimsical approach to their work. DD LaRue's dog in VW Door sculptures, Tracy Felix's marshmallow clouds, Talia Swartz' undulating cities and landscapes all share a common approach. Art should be fun. They create worlds where we can get lost in imagination.
Our name is distinctive and so are our galleries. We are rooted in the age-old American tradition of small, family-run businesses. We really like our economy so all of our art is handmade in America and most of it is created right here in Colorado.
We focus on carrying work that is unique, uplifting and well executed. The art we show is original and contemporary. It is created by living, working, professional American artists or American artists who altered the art world during their time on this planet. We prefer representational works that capture the beauty of the mountains we call home, as well as abstracts that push creativity to new heights. We only represent artists who have mastered their unique mediums, techniques and styles. Through this, they have earned well regarded national and international reputations. We love color and art that makes us smile. This is always immediately apparent upon entering our galleries.
Years of observing and collecting art for our own homes and our galleries means our taste is sophisticated and highly educated. A great deal of thought is put into every piece that we choose to show to the world. Our artists are selected based on the quality and originality of their work, as well as on who they are as people. Our artists are like family to us. They often spend the weekend in our home when they come to demonstrate in our galleries. We love talking about each of our artists and believe that this passion for their personalities and their work is what makes our galleries special places to visit.
Visitors to our galleries are always impressed by our knowledge of the materials, workmanship and time that goes into each piece we show. Educating viewers is an integral part of the art world and we enjoy it thoroughly. Part of working with artists that we love means that every new piece comes with a wonderful, personal story. We take our clients art needs seriously, never pressure our visitors and find great joy in placing our art in good homes. Visitors are always encouraged to ask questions about the artists we represent, art in general and the beautiful places known as Vail and Breckenridge.
The oldest of the Raitman sons, Brian started his first business at the age of fifteen. He founded a music promotion company, turned it into a record label and quickly gained international acclaim for his label and his bands. Marketing and art seem to have always been in his blood. He graduated from Temple University in 2007 with a degree in Advertising and a minor in Business with a focus on Entrepreneurship. He "bought" his first painting at the age of seven, a piece he convinced his parents to commission of him walking down a boat dock with their dog Coco. He has traveled the entirety of the United States to look at art and loves calling Colorado home. When he's not in the galleries you can find him on a trail or a river, skiing, hiking or rafting.
The middle of the Raitman sons, Ross graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2008 with a degree in Architectural Engineering. Upon realizing that living in Breckenridge (and more recently Vail) and meeting our amazing clients is way more fun than working as an engineer, Ross became a partner in the galleries in 2009. His engineering degree serves our clients well, as he ensures that no shipment is too challenging to pack, lighting in the galleries is always perfect and logistics are a breeze. His studious nature means that he can explain every intricate detail in every piece in our galleries, from the materials used to the process the piece was created with. Ross loves skiing, hiking, playing soccer, rafting, and golfing. Ross grew up ski racing, so living in the mountains is an obvious fit!
Dena is affectionately called "Mom" for obvious reasons by Ross and Brian, as well as many of our clients who meet Brian and Ross before Dena. Dena is
also a Temple University alumnus and spent the majority of her working life with special needs students. Prior to that, she sold art through auction houses in the Philadelphia area and was quite the accomplished artist herself. She is an avid art collector and was the driving force behind the inception of Art on a Whim. She currently works a few days a month in the galleries and golfs quite a bit, trying to drag her husband Mike with her when he's not working. Dena also loves to hike and travel, which her sons are quick to encourage her to do.
Christine is our Director of Galleries. She graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Art History and a minor in Business. Her immersion in the art world is a perfect fit for her, given her appreciation for everything it takes to run an art business both from the artist's and the gallery's side. She is quite the talented artist herself too. She thoroughly understands client relations and is loved by all of our visitors, both old and new. Christine bounces between the Breckenridge and Vail gallery so you never know where she will turn up.
Michael is one of the founding members of the galleries. He has a bachelor's degree from Drexel University and a master's from Villanova University in Electrical/Software Engineering. An avid art collector like Dena (though they don't need each others permission to purchase a piece!), Mike appreciates frequent updates on the galleries while he works in his engineering field. You might find him in either gallery on the weekends and there is a good chance that he packed your shipment or is heading your way to install a large piece for you. Mike loves to golf and ski. Mostly golf. He's probably on the course right now, trading putts with Dena.
Bailey was our eldest pup. He was born in April of 2001 and passed in January of 2015. He was a Penn-Marydel American Foxhound often mistaken for a giant beagle (which is funny because Beagles are Foxhounds bred to be smaller). Bailey loved sacking out on his beds in the galleries. He'd follow our clients around providing kisses, especially if you had lotion on!
Ginger is our middle pup. We rescued her in 2006 and believe she was born in late 2005. Ginger is a Trigg American Foxhound. Ginger is an absolute sweetheart who likes to get into trouble. She loves having her belly rubbed and taking long hikes.
Booker is still our puppy. Born on March 26th, 2013, he is also an American Foxhound. He has bundles of energy and loves attention. His older brother and sister taught him how to behave in the galleries and have shown him that selling a big painting calls for a big treat!