Altamira Fine Art: A Legacy of Creativity Continues Under New Ownership

Altamira Fine Art: A Legacy of Creativity Continues Under New Ownership

Altamira, a name synonymous with creativity and artistic heritage, resonates on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, it recalls the prehistoric cave in northern Spain, celebrated for its ancient wildlife paintings, some of the earliest known. In the American West, Altamira signifies the acclaimed gallery of contemporary Western art founded by Mark Tarrant 15 years ago. Both the cave and the gallery stand as enduring symbols of unfiltered creativity, expressed with profound authenticity.

Under the stewardship of new owners Carrie Wild and Jason Williams, founders of Gallery Wild in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Altamira Fine Art will continue to flourish as a leader in contemporary western art. The couple is committed to preserving the legacy established by Tarrant across its two locations in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Scottsdale, Arizona. “Continuing Altamira’s legacy is a dream come true for us,” said Williams. “We see our role as the custodians of Altamira 2.0.”

Wild shares this sentiment, highlighting Altamira’s significance to both artists and collectors. “Altamira is one of the premier galleries in the West, showcasing some of the finest contemporary Western art,” she said. “Our goal is to uphold that legacy and mission. Mark has cultivated an impressive roster of artists whose work is sophisticated yet fun and a bit funky. Altamira has inspired countless artists, myself included.”

Wild and Williams are dedicated to maintaining Altamira’s unique identity and artist roster. “We intend to keep Altamira’s carefully curated focus” Williams stated. “We will respect the distinct identities of both galleries while ensuring they complement each other well.”

As artists and long time Jackson residents —Wild is a contemporary wildlife painter and Williams, a wildlife photographer—the duo deeply respects the creative process. “As artists, we understand the journey of building a creative career,” Wild noted. “As gallery owners, we derive joy from nurturing talent and sharing artists’ stories, allowing them to focus on their passion.”

The couple brings entrepreneurial expertise to Altamira. They opened Gallery Wild in downtown Jackson Hole in 2018, with a vision of showcasing “contemporary fine art inspired by wildlife and wild places.” Their concept thrived, leading to a second location in Santa Fe in 2022. Prior to Gallery Wild, Williams founded Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris and briefly owned and operated Yellowstone Safari Company before selling both to new local owners in 2021. “Building a strong team has been the cornerstone of our success in both the gallery and the safari business,” Williams said. “We focus on hospitality and service to both our artists and art collectors, ensuring their needs are met with warmth and care often missing in fine art circles.”

In addition to managing the four galleries, Wild and Williams curate art for the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, blending works from Altamira and Gallery Wild for hotel guests.

Their journey with Altamira began as up and coming artists and then collectors of Altamira art. Williams and Tarrant each admired the others entrepreneurial acumen and shared philosophy. These discussions revealed Tarrant’s desire to slow down and find the right stewards for his galleries. “When I sold my safari business, I filtered through many potential buyers to find the right partner who shared my philosophy,” Williams explained. “It’s the same with Mark. He wanted to ensure his legacy continued with the right people.”

Tarrant is confident in his choice. “I’m very happy with Jason and Carrie taking over. They are outstanding business people —honest and ethical. The transition will be seamless; if you’re not on the inside, you won’t notice any change.”

Tarrant will remain connected to the Jackson art world, potentially in an advisory role, working with select clients and artists. “Less volume, more enjoyment,” he said, planning to continue part-time at Altamira on Center Street in Jackson Hole through the summer.