JACKSON, Wyo. \u2014 A new gallery on Town Square is now open! The New West Fine Art Gallery\u00a0welcomes both potential buyers and appreciators of art to enjoy featured artist Connor Liljestrom\u2019s large format, abstract scenes of the West. The gallery recently opened in June with a solo exhibition of Liljestrom\u2019s work, \u201cThe Last of the Old West.\u201d The same rugged yet refined aesthetic you\u2019ve come to expect from New West KnifeWorks and Mountain Man Toy Shop will be reflected by the gallery\u2019s artwork in its laid back, uniquely Wyoming attitude. \u201cIt is my belief that Connor (Liljestrom) will be the most renowned western Contemporary artist in the United States, and our gallery will support that,\u201d says New West KnifeWorks owner and founder Corey Milligan. \u201cThe gallery will feature Connor\u2019s art alongside custom knives and hand carved rock blocks. Of course, we are paying attention to what other galleries do and have done, but our main goal is to focus on doing things that other people aren\u2019t doing yet.\u201d Liljestrom almost never became an artist at all. The Jackson Hole native began as a history major at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and didn\u2019t switch his major to fine art until his third year of school. Art had always been Liljestrom\u2019s inclination and passion, but the prospect of building a career as an artist was married to an overwhelming fear of failure. \u201cI was met with success early on in high school through scholarships and awards,\u201d Liljestrom explains. \u201cBut there was some sense of being a big fish in a pretty small pond. I reasoned that if I didn\u2019t try at the next level, I wouldn\u2019t fail at the next level. Ego-wise, I had a level of fear about that. That fear was a wonderful thing to confront and overcome because you will most definitely fail if you don\u2019t try.\u201d As soon as he made the initial leap \u201cto the big leagues\u201d by switching his major to fine art, Liljestrom realized he wanted to fully commit to making a living as a studio artist. His professors encouraged him to figure out what exactly he wanted to add to the fine art conversation. \u201cI thought about what it meant to be raised in Jackson, and the many formative experiences I\u2019ve had, and how I could express that through things I find beautiful, moving and relevant,\u201d said Liljestrom. Liljestrom\u2019s current exhibition, \u201cThe Last of the Old West,\u201d reflects this narrative: it opens a dialogue between the lore of the West and the Hollywood portrayal of that mythology, combined with Liljestrom\u2019s own experience of growing up in Jackson \u2014 \u201ca space that sees both\u2026 the authentic and the not so much.\u201d While Liljestom\u2019s subject matter currently centers around Western themes, he is always committed to honesty in his art, whatever the subject matter. \u201cMy job as an artist,\u201d Liljestrom explains, \u201cisn\u2019t just to paint. It is to think about the dialogue I\u2019m having through my work.\u201d In a recent interview, Liljestrom and Milligan described their vision for the New West Fine Art Gallery and how they brought together an unorthodox collaboration between fine art and knives. A sampling of Liljestrom\u2019s work can be found on the New West Fine Art Gallery website. To view Liljestrom\u2019s pieces at the New West Fine Art Gallery, stop by in person at 98 Center St., Unit C on the Town Square or make an appointment for a private showing by contacting: (307) 201-5029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.