Founded in 2019, owner, Corey Milligan, envisioned and opened New West Fine Art Gallery along side a longtime friend and local Jackson artist, Connor Liljestrom.
Specializing in the creation and sale of contemporary art, New West's array of Liljestrom's featured artwork references the American West through an upbeat and 'thought-provoking' manner. While the gallery operates right off of Jackson's famous town square, New West collaborates with domestic and international private collectors, design groups, and corporations to provide exceptional experiences to buyers throughout the entirety of the acquisition process.
As for New West's featured gallery artist since '19, Liljestrom was born and raised creating art in the Tetons. Graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2019 with a BA in Fine Arts, Connor's collections have sold out year after year. With a focus on using oil and mixed media oil, Liljestrom's work innuendos and blends western-centric art history, mythologies, pop-culture, history, and colonialism.
For Connor, his work holds a deeper meaning to him than just the career path he chose. Striving to inspire people to decide on their interpretations and the value they see in his abstract works, Liljestrom feels it's "important for [him] to have a thing, without an explanation, be objectively high quality and worthwhile that you can walk by even if you don't have the language for or any prior education in art and to be able to say 'oh that's dope, I like that."
While Connor's work tries to be aware of what he experiences and notices, "not all of it has a deep meaning, it's just an honest exploration" of life around him. An example he gave us is something as simple as bringing to life the feeling of jumping in the Snake to cool off on a hot summer day.
Returning for another year in the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival QuickDraw, Liljestrom "enjoys the sense of competition the QuickDraw brings." With a collegiate background in art and athletics, Connor isn't one to shy away from a challenge. He likes when he gets opportunities, like the QuickDraw, to work outside of his traditional setting and comfort zone. One of Connor's favorite parts of the QuickDraw event is the opportunity it gives him to show viewers an accurate representation of how he begins a piece, starting with nothing but a blank canvas.
Last year, Liljestrom arrived at the QuickDraw wanting to leave it all on the line. With only an idea of what he wanted to create and an untouched 6x4 foot canvas, the final product of the masterpiece ended up being a one-of-a-kind oil on canvas that he had never created before. This kind of artistry makes for an incredible experience for the viewers and contributes to the thrilling atmosphere the QuickDraw creates, as only a select number of artists can do this kind of work.
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