Business Happenings - June 2002
HOGAN TRADING COMPANY -
a very cool shopping experience
words are so overused they lose meaning. While cool may be one of
them, at the Hogan Trading Company cool applies, in every sense
of the word. Located at the southwest corner of Main Street and
100 South, the Hogan Trading Company may be the first or the last
Moab gift shop Main Street strollers meander through;
it certainly makes its mark of distinction at either end of a spree.
Ample space applies visually and literally, inviting even casual
shoppers to spend enough time to get familiar with everything from
high-end fine art to unreasonably reasonable-priced souvenirs. Although
hailed as a Gallery of Fine Indian Art, its layout is more like
home, either yours or the one you dream of.
Although the artwork is not necessarily displayed in clusters, three
floors divide the Hogan Trading Company into pseudo-departments.
The ground floor entrance is the invitation to explore further.
Cool, oversized fountains molded by potters and sculpted by copper
artists dance and sing in accompaniment to traditional Navajo flute
music in the background. Sales people are smiling, and owner Vern
Erb is usually nearby. Its an instant hit of relaxation.
visits Zuni, Hopi and Navajo reservations to purchase his inventory,
as well as several pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona. Among the
more famed artists with pieces available at the Hogan is Lyman Whitaker,
whose copper wind sculptures can be seen on the sidewalk as well
as throughout the store. Hopi jeweler Watson Honanie and Navajo
jeweler Leo Yazzie are among those featured in a huge display of
fine jewelry on the first floor. Local artists include David and
James Eggling with their hand-painted gourds and photography; Gail
Houston, ceramic artist; and a relative newcomer to Moab, John Foster,
whose copper sculptures are adorned with patinas. Simply
put for the lay artist, patinas are chemically produced recipes
for color, which John says are always a surprise, even
to him. The downstairs gallery is where the home furnishings are
dominant, with hand milled, carved and built furniture arranged
and decorated with functional and display pottery, painting and
lighting. An aroma of scented candles greets the visitor on descent;
again home furnishings run the gamut from showcase trophy home to
rustic mountain cabin.
notably smaller room upstairs feels like an art gallery. This is
where lighting is dominant, with a few simple furnishings - mostly
end tables and display pieces. Photography and fine art adorn the
walls. Here it is quiet, with subdued lighting. A good place, and
perhaps time to sit for a while and gaze.
I learned something about myself on my excursion, initiated by the
prospect of writing this article. I found myself attracted to certain
pieces throughout the store - first, second and third floors. Inevitably
I was attracted to pieces produced by the same two or three artists.
In other words, I found favorites, preferences. I learned what I
liked by following my senses.
In a culture where shopping is nearly always driven by sensory overload,
the Hogan Trading Company offers a different experience. Vern says
that the home furnishings and local artwork attract many local and
repeat customers. Many Navajo, Hopi and Zuni artists and craftsmen
make their living by offering a reliable, consistent and quality
inventory of original pieces.
extensive shipping department accommodates travelers from all over
The Hogan Trading Company is located at 100 South Main Street in
Moab, and is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. A pictorial website is
located at www. hogantrading.com. But hey, get inside the front
door. I can only imagine in this case that if a picture tells a
thousand words, your own sensibilities will give you millions.