Before deciding to open a photography gallery on Main Avenue, Scott Bracken was the general sales manager for a car dealership in Midland, Texas.
While he spent almost 21 years in car sales, he started selling his photographs in 2005, and he has been thinking about opening a gallery since 2007.
To make his dream happen, he sold his house, Corvette and Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“I’m 44, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life just dreaming about it. I would rather spend the rest of my life just doing it,” he said.
Bracken focuses on landscapes and he prints them on crystal archive paper, mounted to acrylic.
“The closest thing to it, is something that is printed on metal,” he said.
Many of his photographs feature Yosemite National Park, but there are also scenes from Grand Canyon National Park, Ridgway, Aspen and Antelope Canyon among other places.
He is largely self-taught and shoots both digital and large-format film photographs.
He considered opening a gallery in Midland, but real estate was twice as expensive there, and he was drawn to the historic district of Durango two years ago when he visited to photograph the aspens.
“I love being centered in the mountains,” he said.
It was also a tourist destination and much closer to his family in Midland than other cities he considered.
With the closing of Open Shutter, Bracken’s will keep the number of galleries along Main Avenue at 12, which is good for the art scene, said KK Patton, president of the Durango Gallery Association.
“I really think that the amount of variety that Durango showcases is excellent. We have a lot to offer for people who are seeking original art,” she said.
Durango’s galleries are also less expensive than those in other towns with strong art scenes, such as Santa Fe or Taos, New Mexico.
She would like to see Bracken’s gallery draw more people farther down Main Avenue.
In general, galleries are an important piece of the downtown economy and help differentiate Durango from other towns.
“I think it adds strength to our downtown shopping district, which is shrinking a little bit,” she said.