New Age Fine Art and Gems: The Crown Collection
Scott Rowland • May 17, 2016 • Art •
Ryan Rehbock’s Private Gallery in Boulder, CO
Like weathered and eroded carbon-based sediment-formed kimberlite, The Crown Collection has matured into a captivating gem faceted in the heart of Boulder. Morphing from its molten pool of hand-made jewelry and raw gems into a crystallized display of elegance.
With the advent of a well-refined niche, founder of The Crown Collection, Ryan Rehbock, is blurring the dichotomy between traditional, sophisticated fine art and the new-wave hype over gems, jewelry and visionary art (paintings, sculptures and clothing included in the mix). His private gallery which opened in January 2016 is a fascinating collection built on ingenuity and artist inspired opportunities.
As a testament of loyalty, Rehbock sincerely credits his friends and associates for “changing [his] mind to take advantage of opportunities…. They would go to workshops or engraving classes, and they come back so much better!”
For The Crown Collection to mature completely, Rehbock melded the role of a savvy entrepreneur with his knowledge about art and gems. CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business finance program facilitated an education fraught with learning the importance of business management and cultivating fiscal awareness. Besides the responsibilities of being a student, maintaining a display case full of pendants remained his first priority. According to Rehbock, appreciation for this emerging art form quickly became his passion.
“My part of the whole art world is getting my degree and being an art dealer for all these people. They need one.”
Friends, artists and true craftsmen like Dan Hampe, Christopher Ser and Graham Bandt-Law have grown with The Crown Collection over the years. Their interdependent relationship has developed into an understanding amongst their followers for the time and skills required to make “one of these masterpieces.”
“As an art collector I am inspired every day when I wake up by these artists who are dedicating their life to doing this,” Rehbock explains. “They are stabbing their fingers making jewelry…Glass blowers are holding hot rods… It’s way more intense than people think. Being an artist is a physical thing.”
These creatives must get their hands dirty in dedication as diligence and enthusiasm progresses their craft through the learning curve and into the hands of collectors. Hence the importance of Rehbock’s vision to provide a means for expanding their public reception.
The internet has been an essential tool in brand development, networking, and building a following as the enticing progression of The Crown Collection became evident of success. Even though Rehbock recently opened a private gallery, he claims it doesn’t hinder public exposure because he still “focuses on blowing up the art on the internet.”
But with his gallery, a new dynamic has formed. Rehbock can extend the opportunity for more artists to grow within his structure. Face to face interactions and forgone shipping costs make it reasonable to carry a selection of affordable gems, clothing and pendants. The gallery has shown to be a more effective way “to satisfy the needs of lower-end collectors who want cheap amethyst and smoky quartz. Now people can come in and get a gift or something for themselves.”
Rehbock cites a passion for community as a notable characteristic of his private gallery as opposed to the dissociative effect of a public display. It allows him to regulate the flow of visitors and maintain full control over his collection, while always having the option of exclusivity when necessary. His personable approach to business lends to connection and establishing friendships that honor the integrity of everyone involved, especially the artists.
The creativity worth discovering at The Crown Collection is palpable and endlessly refreshing. Boulder-local, Ignacio Lopez, makes Huichol-inspired art covered in vibrant glass beads. Wood carvings designed by Luke Brown reflect empowering symbols of indigenous cultures. There is an impeccable collection of rare gems, mostly raw, but some carved, by Denver’s Chris Lawrie and the master gem cutter Dalan Hargrave. The extravagant, otherworldly paintings by David Chong Lee, Brian Scott Hampton and Seth McMahon are commonly featured. And my personal favorite, a set of sculptures from the Mars Molecule Collection by Mario Martinez (Mars-1), influenced by sacred geometry and Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Some of these artists began their collaboration with Rehbock having unsold work, and now book commissions over a year in advance. Some are recognized as purveyors of the visionary art movement. For all of the artists, patience, perseverance and an endless amount of support are essential ingredients.
As the imbued aesthetic of the Crown Collection shines with an unprecedented glow, the mutual benefits of association trickle through the community. On the surface, Rehbock’s eye for ingenuity pulls this crystalline structure together. But inside, an enthralling collection is progressing visionary art curation by highlighting a plethora of awe-inspiring pieces.