Owner of Shaman’s Den set to retire from a wonderland of unique art

One-of-a-kind works of art are created and showcased at Shaman's Den, St. George, Utah, Oct. 4, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Entering the Shaman’s Den, an art gallery hidden in a nondescript suite between a tattoo shop and a vacation rental office, is similar to entering a mystical world of fascinating art that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

Green table made out of tree trunks displaying artworks at gallery in Shaman’s Den, St. George, Utah, Oct. 4, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

They say that artists create out of a basic desire to communicate, and if that is true then Emmett Gibson, owner of  Shaman’s Den, located at 551 N. 1400 East, Suite 2, in St. George, has turned his gallery into a place of wonder.

The collection has been a huge undertaking for Gibson and has taken more than six years to create, he said, and at the age of 70, he’d like to retire.

The art gallery includes “Shaman’s Stonz,” a rock and stone collection showcased throughout the gallery.

Gibson has spent years scouring the landscape for items and materials that most people would discard, which he adds to his collection of materials to design and create artistic designs based on earth art, but with his own personal touch.

Thanks to his creative process, what began as a misshapen rock became a vase of dried flowers and a dying tree trunk becomes a table with the legs of a tree trunk, roots and all.

Gibson was raised in Miami during the 1960s, he said, “which was a great time to live in Florida, or anywhere for that matter.”

The artist then lived in several other states before moving to Southern Utah in 1990 after visiting the area numerous times. The move was inspired by his love of the outdoors, he said, and by all of the open areas still waiting to be explored.

One-of-a-kind works of art are created and showcased at Shaman’s Den, St. George, Utah, Oct. 4, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

In 2011, Gibson leased the space where the gallery is now located and set up a workshop in the rear of the building first, he said. That provided storage space for all of the materials he collected while hiking in the region and gave him a large area to work in. When the shop was completed and functional he then started on the showroom in the front of the building.

Having no design plan in place, the showroom took on a life of its own, he said, and has continued to be a work in progress for the past six years as more handcrafted items were created and placed on display.

The gallery’s beginnings resulted from Gibson’s drive to explore uninhabited areas. He began gathering items he found during his travels that were added to his collection and later would make up the material for his designs.

“I love going out in the middle of nowhere and spending weeks at a time,” Gibson said, “and I enjoy being out there looking for stuff.”

Once the business opened, he would return to the workshop with items found in nature and then create something with it.

One-of-a-kind works of art are created and showcased at Shaman’s Den, St. George, Utah, Oct. 4, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

As time went on, he began seeing an artistic usefulness in many of the materials or items he discovered before he returned to the studio.

While searching, he also discovered that he had a “sharper eye for things,” as time went on, in addition to increasing his geographical knowledge of the area, which enhanced his focus.

He fine-tuned his artistic talent, which allowed him to create and design more intricate pieces as time went on, and the projects became larger and more daring.

The items and materials that make up his collection, including wood, stone, skulls and other items, originate from various states, including Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.

“But I have found and collected each and every item individually, and then created one-of-a-kind art using those hand-picked materials,” Gibson said.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • mmsandie October 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

    What an interesting place,, what s going to happen to everything??? This guy should have moved t9 a better location andtourists would have bought Half of his stuff..

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