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Equatorial Arts Gallery
Santa Clara University
Primarily Art is a cooperative effort of the Equatorial Arts Gallery and a number of artists, artisan-craft vendors, and who-knows-what, who have been selected by its founders, Steve Chiaramonte and Angela Keeney."In my experience" said Chiaramonte, "sometimes the best artists cannot be seen in traditional high-overhead galleries because they choose not to pay the requisite 40%-60% commissions on their sales.So we hope to fix that; no rent and only a 5% commission to cover direct costs.In an ideal world this will even lower costs to the buyer". Chiaramonte is a California Native who is settling in Fiddletown after a seventeen-year hiatus in Salt Lake City and elsewhere.A self-described, reformed corporate executive, he now oversees a large collection of mostly sculptural art of the Asmat people of southwest New Guinea.Chiaramonte has curated several exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and has provided varied assistance as a Trustee and otherwise to the American Museum of Asmat Art in Saint Paul, MN, The Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress in Agats, West Papua, and The Bowers Cultural Museum in Santa Ana, CA. At present, Chiaramonte is guest curator for an exhibition showing in the Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah entitled 'Spellbound Vision - viewing Asmat art through the eyes of the western contemporary artist'.Chiaramonte is joined in his relocation to Fiddletown by Angela Keeney, an ethnographic photographer who is similarly dedicated to the success of Primarily Art. According to Chiaramonte, "Beverly and Mike already have their outdoor kitchen up and running and I expect they will really have their hands full once we get underway and plan our first of many gallery parties for the local community.We anticipate setting aside one Friday evening each month in order to showcase a particular art or artist, and invite the community to join us.Perhaps we will even be able to feature a winery and add music or films to these monthly get-togethers one day." Learn more about the Equatorial Arts Gallery and Primarily Arts at www.equatorialarts.com or call Steve or Angela at (209) 304 7828 and come see what's going on.
Biography on Steven Chiaramonte
Equatorial Arts Gallery - Steven Chiaramonte Biography Steven C. Chiaramonte was born in San Jose, California and for the most recent thirteen years has lived in the Salt Lake valley. Early in 1992 Chiaramonte was among the first unofficial westerners to visit the Asmat area of Irian Jaya on the island of New Guinea. His visit followed closely the 1991 removal of a thirty year restriction on visitation by outsiders. Returning to the area of alluvial swamp and thick jungle in 1993, 1995 and twice in 1998, he has traveled extensively by canoe along jungle rivers and on foot where possible to visit with the people and understand their art. Having no formal training in either art or anthropology, Chiaramonte has developed a deep admiration for the indigenous people of Irian Jaya and their union with the natural world in which they live. Chiaramonte and his S.O. Angela Keeney made two trips to Asmat in 1998, and returned in the fall of 1999 and again in spring 2000.
Equatorial Arts Gallery was founded by Steven C. Chiaramonte as a means to share his knowledge and extensive private collection of Asmat art and ethnographic objects with others.
Through the years, the collection has grown, the library has expanded and is now ready to be shared more broadly with visitors to this web site. The Chiaramonte Collection of Asmat Art is among the largest private collections in North America. Chiaramonte has studied and traveled among the Asmat people extensively and has curated several exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Numerous objects from recent exhibitions remain on exhibit at the Museum, several of which have joined the Museum's permanent collection. The majority of The Chiaramonte Collection is maintained in his home and gallery where he responds eagerly to interested parties wishing to discuss the art and people of Asmat.
by Steve Chiaramonte, Asmat Collector
by Steve Chiaramonte, Asmat Collector
Art of the Asmat From the Collection of Steven C. Chiaramonte | The Art of the Asmat | Art of the Asmat From the Collection of Steven C. Chiaramonte
Art of the Asmat From the Collection of Steven C. Chiaramonte | The Art of the Asmat | Art of the Asmat From the Collection of Steven C. Chiaramonte Mr. Chiaramonte undertook expeditions into the Asmat region of Irian Jaya during the spring of 1992 and again in the autumn of 1993 for the purposes of building his collection of tribal art and to study and learn from the indigenous peoples of this region. Previously a corporate executive and business advisor, Mr. Chiaramonte maintains long-term interests in environmental advocacy and the values of ethnic traditions. Mr. Chiaramonte has been long fascinated by the Asmat. These are a people whose geography, culture and tradition are among the most remote in the world. Leaving behind the comfort of Salt Lake City, an arduous journey took Mr. Chiaramonte to several of the villages visited by Michael Rockefeller in the early 1960s. Mr. Chiaramonte found a thriving culture of hunter-gathers largely isolated from the curiosity and technology of western civilization. Opened to casual visitation from the West for only one year at that time, Mr. Chiaramonte found in Asmat a people living in a splendid natural environment. However, he returned to the United States with tremendous concern for the Asmat, doubting that the people of the region could resist change, as they had for decades, for even a few years longer. His second visit to Asmat, which followed a river journey into the restricted and very primitive areas inhabited by Korowai and Kombai tribal peoples, proved out his concern, as a comparative flood of Western influences seemed to be driving Asmat culture. Most of Mr. Chiaramonte's collection was developed during his initial visit, at which time he found a strong adherence to traditional art forms, materials and techniques. In 1993 he found souvenir art to be plentiful and traditional objects much more difficult to locate. Not yet on the circuit for adventure travelers, Mr. Chiaramonte became fearful of the fact that Asmat will soon be opened broadly to all who wish to visit. Evidence of spoilage may unfortunately be observed throughout New Guinea, particularly in areas where travel and economic inroads are made more easily than in the difficult swamps of Asmat. The representative bis pole in figure three (see photos available in hard-copy of monograph) was donated to the Museum by Steven Chiaramonte in 1993. Steven C. Chiaramonte April 1994 (Edited 1999)