Exploring Carmel Art Galleries | Chris Winfield Gallery
Welcome to our final segment of exploring Carmel art galleries. For our last piece, we chose Winfield Gallery on Dolores between Ocean and 7th, and had the pleasure of interviewing owner, Chris Winfield.
Background | Winfield Gallery
Art was always an important part of Chris’s life. His father was an artist, and growing up, Chris worked in his studio. Chris went to Washington University and developed a lifelong passion for art. He paints, and had a show at Tribe Museum a couple years ago featuring his work.
Naming the Gallery and the Team | Winfield Gallery
Chris opened Viewpoint Gallery, his first gallery, in 1989 in the Carmel Crossroads. He changed the name to Winfield Gallery after concluding, “Whose viewpoint is it? It’s mine!” Winfield Gallery developed over time from being craft-oriented to having more of a focus in art – primarily painting and sculpture. Chris explained that not many galleries feature sculpture, but it fits very well with his gallery and he enjoys selling it. Chris is client-oriented, he focuses on arranging museum shows for his painters along with features in local restaurants and spec houses in Pebble Beach. He carries detailed brochures for all of his artists, which are available to gallery visitors.
Running the Business | Winfield Gallery
Chris’s business is a well oiled machine. His part time assistant, Molly Cybuck, keeps the business running and is known by Chris as the “brains of the outfit.” Stephanie Worthman is his designer, and Elaine Glick writes the essays. Chris’s wife Andrea Johnson is also a painter, and Chris is a honorary member of the Board of Photography. Needless to say, Chris is a busy guy, and after spending just a few minutes with him it is easy to tell he is enjoying life!
Chris’s Favorite Kind of Art | Winfield Gallery
This is my favorite question to ask artists and gallery owners. Chris’s answer was pleasantly thorough. He tells me that good art has a dialogue between the piece and the viewer. He poses the quandary of craft vs. art. “Is craft art? Is art craft?” His answer – Good craft, if it has a number of ideas, becomes art. If art doesn’t have any ideas, it’s just well crafted. Chris says you see a lot of well-crafted art that has no ideas. He stresses the importance that artists need to study art and maintain their education.
“We are bankrupt for creative thinking in our country across the board. Given our current leadership roles, we need more creativity. Artists are creative problem solvers. How do you take paint and canvas and create a vision so that other people can respond to that? How well-crafted is it so people can see and understand the vision? Chris loves great abstraction, realism, and all kinds of art.
The Wine Bar | Winfield Gallery
I asked Chris about the captivating wine bar and tasting room associates offering a welcoming hello as I walked inside his gallery. In 2008 the owner of Figgy’s wine suggested that Chris have a wine bar in his gallery. To Chris’s fortune, they were grandfathered in by the city to have a wine bar. Now, tasting rooms are required to have standalone locations. As a visitor, it is the perfect addition to complement an already stunning gallery. Say hello to Chris at Winfield Gallery next time you are perusing Carmel art!
For more of Chris’s art, find his gallery here.