Read this article online at The Park Record Newspaper: http://www.parkrecord.com/ci_17196219
The crowd outside Terzian Galleries at a little before 8 p.m. on Saturday was not as interested in the art on display as it was in who might be buying the works.
Oprah Winfrey was inside the Main Street gallery perusing the artwork, and a crowd quickly gathered, spilling off the sidewalk and into the street as people jockeyed for a glimpse of perhaps the most famous person in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival.
The crowd became bigger within minutes as word spread that Winfrey was inside. The people were pressed together just outside the gallery, looking through the windows to try to see Winfrey as she browsed.
Francine Valline, who was working at the gallery at the time, said afterward Winfrey was interested in several paintings. Valline said Winfrey indicated a painting in the window by Marketa Sivek drew her into the gallery. Winfrey was inside for between 15 and 20 minutes.
“Oh, cool. It’s Oprah,” Valline said about her reaction when she realized it was Winfrey who was in the gallery. “I admire her so much.” Valline said Winfrey was “very charming, very elegant.”
“I heard all the little girls screaming,” Valline said about the crowd outside. “It was like the Beatles.”
At about 8:15 p.m., Winfrey and her group left the gallery and made their way through the crowd. Flashes popped and people screamed as Winfrey stepped out of the gallery.
Karen Terzian, who owns the gallery, said Winfrey is preparing to purchase several paintings. One is a piece by Sivek and another was made by an artist named Rebecca Kinkead, Terzian said. She declined to discuss the price Winfrey agreed to pay for the pieces.
“It’s wonderful for their careers . . . they get to put that on their resumes,” Terzian said, adding, “I truly am very happy for my artists.”
Sivek was born in Czechoslovakia and now lives in Chicago while Kinkead lives in Vermont.
Terzian, a veteran of the Park City gallery scene, said people stopped into the gallery, which is situated on the upper reaches of Main Street, on Sunday asking what Winfrey was interested in when she was inside the night before.
“The intrigue (is) ‘I want to see what Oprah was looking at’,” Terzian said about the people who came in the next day.
Celebrity watching is a Sundance Film Festival tradition, particularly during the opening weekend, with fans and the paparazzi lapping Main Street looking for the stars. The celebrities are sometimes seen heading in and out of the invitation-only events in rented Main Street space. Once they are spotted, the fans might crowd the doorway and sidewalk outside for a chance to take a photo or get an autograph.