Arlie Regier passed last week at the age of 83. With his passing we lost a great artist and a very kind man who touched many lives–and who I helped get into a lot of major collections–including Warner Brothers, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and H&R Block.
I first met Arlie in 1994, when my gallery was just three years old. A friend told me I had to go see this amazing guy at a local art fair. So I went, not expecting much, and sure enough I was amazed—by the vision of the work, the high level of craft, and its uniqueness. He got all his stainless steel from scrapyards. Though he was unknown at the time, I knew I had found another regional artist who could succeed on a national level.
17 years later, I accompanied Arlie to a reception at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, since they had acquired one of his pieces for their permanent collection. Further, Arlie’s work and his son Dave’s had sold to collectors all over the world over the years: in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Austin, Santa Fe, and all over KC. They had a dedicated following of 100s of collectors. During those years Arlie taught me much—about humility, dedication, and self-discipline. Oh yes, and fun. He truly had fun sculpting, and never lost his capacity for joy in the moment. He never really grew old.
I feel honored that he was such a big part of my life, and that of my family’s. It was quite a journey. Wherever he is now, I hope to someday bump into him in that Great Gallery in the Sky. We’ll get joe and shoot the breeze.