April Challenge — Wendee Cloutier

Photographer Wendee Cloutier is perhaps best known for capturing nature and exotic travel locations, but as this photo shows she is also adept at capturing personal relationships. She calls this one “Family Package.”

What would you like to enter in the April Challenge?

wendeesart@gmail.com

April Challenge 2014

Ajo is an interesting art community — a blend of artists who live here full time and artists who spend the winter months here as snowbirds. Many of those winter visitors have headed home and others are getting ready to depart.

How do you keep members of such a community in touch with each other?

Last year, artist Marilyn Jackson started a virtual art group to encourage artists to produce and share their work over the summer months. She’s kicking it off again this year.

Marilyn writes: “The April challenge is ‘Family.’ Of course this could mean anything from pets to a family of colors — artists are encouraged to think outside of the normal response. After all, we are artists!”

This challenge is open to all artists, in any medium. You don’t have to belong to the Desert Artist Guild, or even live in Ajo. We’d like to see what you’re working on.

I’ll start it off with a “family” of mammilaria cacti. These cacti are quite small and usually hidden beneath other plants — but their bright red fruit is an eye-catcher.

IMG_7098

Use the Contact Form for info on how to submit your entry. Deadline for this month is April 30. Let us see what you’re creating! :-)

Redrawing Borders in Ajo

Redrawing Borders generated much interest and attention when it opened March 18.

This is one of the pieces that caught my eye as I entered the Plaza Gallery. It tells the ongoing story of a backpack (mochila) found by a hiker on the desert near Organ Pipe National Monument. (Click photo for a larger view.)

George Strasburger, Carlos Encinas and Diane Kahlo are among the artists featured in this show which runs into April.

Studio Tours

Several artists opened their homes and studios March 22 during the Sonoran Shindig. I really enjoy seeing artists in their work spaces — you can almost feel the creativity and color in the air.

I visited Claire Bistline and Terry Gonzales during the tour. They are currently having a sale on their collective works — kind of like spring cleaning to make way for the new work they are beginning. :-)

 

Redrawing Borders Exhibition Opens Next Week

Redrawing Borders — Art Activist, Humanitarian and Ecological Solutions opens at the Ajo Plaza Gallery on Tuesday March 18 in Ajo, Arizona. The reception is from 5:30 to 7:30. A discussion panel on the exhibit’s theme will take place at 6 pm.

Artists Appearing in the Exhibit

Carlos Encinas  ~  Giannina Coppiano Dwin  ~  Jewel Clearwater Fraser
Sonia Baez-Hernandez  ~  Diana Kahlo  ~  Rex Koningsor
Fabio Rodriguez  ~  Michael B. Schwartz  ~  George Strasburger
Karen Sucharski  ~  Marla von Ettenberg  ~  Morgana Wallace-Cooper

Fabio Rodriguez

An exciting aspect of this exhibit is the Virtual Gallery Exchange — The Border Project. This traveling art exhibit, originally created in Ajo, will be installed in Sonoyta, Sonora, México for simultaneous exhibition with Redrawing  Borders at the Ajo Plaza Gallery.

Redrawaing Borders was made possible by the generous support of the Tri-National Symposium – Celebrating the Sonoran Desert, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC).

The Lizards are Loose

If you’ve driven Highway 85 through Ajo in the last couple of days, you’ll have noticed a pair of colorful lizards gracing a newly painted building.

These critters — created and painted by local artists Sherry and John Fritschle — are part of a program to add eye-catching art to the town. They unveiled their work at a recent meeting of the Desert Artist Guild. You’ll spot the brown lizard as you’re heading north. The turquoise version is visible in both directions.

This is part of the Ajo Rocks! beautification project spearheaded by director Freeman Fry. Rumor has it that more art will be highlighting a wall near you soon. :-)

Local artist Pilar Hanson designed these great new signs and fellow artist Mike (Lonewolf) Baker painted them. A great way to promote stores and events in the Ajo Plaza.

New signs

Thanks to all who are lending their talents to make Ajo so bright and colorful!