Art at the Ajo Library

Have you been to see the results of the Desert Artist Guild’s recent plein air paintout? Better hurry. The Gibson Artists’ Exhibition is set to open on February 1st so you only have a few days to see the work.

This oil painting, titled “Water Tanks,” is by Terry Gonzales.

You’ll also see work by Claire Bistline, Denny Carriere, Marlene Dixon, Marilyn Jackson, Jolene Northup and Sandy Schroeder.

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Second Saturday in the Plaza

The second Saturday of most months finds all sorts of things happening in Ajo. One of the most popular events takes place under the arches at the Plaza.

Shortly after 8 in the morning cars and trucks begin arriving near the Oasis Cafe. People start unloading tables and chairs, baskets and boxes, easels, paintings, crafts, fresh food from local gardens, fresh bread and buns, and more. It’s part Farmers’ Market, part Arts & Crafts Show and part Just Plain Fun.

By 9 o’clock, things are in full swing. The Oasis is open for business and people are sipping coffee or hot chocolate as they browse the tables and visit with friends and other early-morning shoppers.

You can buy fresh Ajo Sour Orange Marmalade (it’s scrumptious) made from oranges grown in Ajo. Or if you’re feeling playful buy a set of balls and learn to juggle. Perhaps a new pair of earrings or a shiny bracelet? How about a painting to hang on the wall?

There’s lots to see and enjoy. The next Second Saturday is February 11. See you there!

Plein Air

Thick hats and heavy coats. Brrr. Thursday morning was cool and overcast but that didn’t stop several keen artists from signing up for the two-day plein air.

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Today started cool but the sun is shining — that’s sure to please everyone who’s outside with paints and brushes and pencils.

Bring your finished work to the Ajo Library today between 3 and 4, ready to hang.

Calling All Shutterbugs

Hey, photo nuts! Here’s the scoop on the Sonoran Shindig’s annual Photo Show from exhibit organizer Lani Lockwood:

The Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association wants your entries for the annual Photo Show at the Sonoran Shindig.

Did you know the Shindig will be in February this year? It will be the final event of Ajo’s Arizona Centennial Celebration Week. The Centennial celebrates the 5 C’s of Arizona — copper, cotton, citrus, cattle and climate. Our Sonoran desert has all of these C’s and more, starting with critters and cacti!

So look through those photos you took yesterday,  last month, last year or way back when. Plan ahead! Don’t find yourself thinking come February11th ”Gosh, I wish I had put my coyote, cholla, cabin, clouds – whatever, in this show.”

The theme this year is “Our Sensational Sonoran Desert”.  Photos must have been taken in the Sonoran Desert. Remember, your Ajo backyard is also part of the Sonoran Desert.

Your photo(s) should fit into one of these 6 categories: People in the Desert, Desert Plants, Desert Animals, Desert Places, Desert Landscapes, and Desert Patterns.

Details on these categories, exhibit rules and entry forms are available at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, 1611 N. 2nd, in Ajo, on-line at www.cabezaprieta.org, and at the Cafeteria Gallery, 401 W. Esperanza.

The Shindig is only a few weeks away. Head on out into the desert soon and take your best shot. Share it at the Shindig Photo Show! Entering is easy and there is no entry fee.

The entry deadline is 1:30 pm, Thursday, February 9thth, by mail or in person, at the Cabeza Prieta Headquarters. For more information, contact exhibit organizers, Lani Lockwood (602-321-9042) or Joyce Morrison (603-533-1865).

What a Night!

More than 130 people showed up to kick off the 3rd Annual Desert Artist Guild Show & Sale on January 6. It was a great night, with friends & visitors, food, fun and sales! Can’t beat that combination.

Food with a view

Diane Carnright, Ajo artist and founder of Ajo’s first art club in 1985, graciously donated her painting Sunlit as a door prize. It was won by Carl Sikora.

Diane Carnright's "Sunlit"

Several awards were also presented. Wendee & Rene Cloutier presented two. Their first one went to Val Uschuk for her wood sculpture Mermaid, for Best Emerging Artist in that category. The second award, for Best Photography, went to Katie Kerr.

Val Uschuk's "Mermaid"

Katie Kerr's "Dragonfly"

This is a juried show which means that all work accepted into the show meets a high professional standard. Denny Carriere received the Juror’s Award for his watercolor “Moose”.

Denny Carriere's "Moose"

Everyone who came to the reception received a ballot for the People’s Choice Award. With the wonderful array of work to choose from it wasn’t an easy decision. Once the votes were counted the winner was Martin Vega, for his drawing Luzi.

Sally Morrow, president of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts, also presented Martin Vega (Luzi) with the President’s Award. He receives a scholarship to Scottsdale Artists’ School.

Martin Vega and his drawing "Luzi"

The Cafeteria Gallery is located at 401 Esperanza Ave in Ajo, AZ. The show runs through to February 4. Gallery Hours are 1 to 5 Monday to Saturday.

Cafeteria Gallery, Ajo, AZ

Finishing Touches

One more sleep and DAG’s 3rd Annual Art Show & Sale will open to the public. About 14 DAG members met this morning to go over the final details.

Everyone is invited to the opening tomorrow night — there will be refreshments and awards and time to visit with the artists. The fun starts at 5 pm and goes til 7. At the Cafeteria Gallery 401 W. Esperanza Ave, Ajo.

Getting Ready

Yesterday was a busy day at the Cafeteria Gallery as more than 2 dozen artists submitted art for jurying — paintings, watercolors, drawings, photographs, mixed media, jewelry, stained glass, weavings and woodwork. DAG’s Annual Show definitely brings out the best in Ajo.

The jurying takes place today, the show will be hung tomorrow. There’s a brief DAG meeting on Thursday at the Gallery to finalize plans for the opening.

The reception is this Friday from 5 to 7 pm. It’s gonna be great fun — meet the artists, visit with friends, enjoy refreshments. There are awards to be given out and prizes to be won. And of course, all the art is for sale 🙂

What a wonderful way to kickstart the new year!