Transformation: New from Old

Pat Fisher, owner of Ajo Resale, recently sponsored an unusual art show in her store — every entry was made from natural or recycled materials.

Artists submitted an intriguing array of work, all constructed from bits and pieces that no one saw any further use for. Rusted bottle caps, seed pods, discarded beads, scraps of cloth, old paper.

This first show was such a success that Pat is considering doing another show later this spring.


Random Laughter

The Ajo Community Players brought Random Acts of Comedy to the Dicus Auditorium last weekend.

ACP presented three short plays. The first, Here We Are, written by Dorothy Parker, shows two newlyweds on a train bound for the honeymoon sweet at New York City’s Biltmore Hotel.

In Anchorwoman, by Paul Dilella, sparks fly when the veteran anchorwoman is challenged by an eager newbie.

The last act, Check, Please, by Jonathan Rand, is a unfolding recipe for blind date disaster as a weird and wacky assortment of dates show up for the two lead characters.

Thanks to all — those on stage as well as those behind the scenes — who made the magic happen once again!


Sonoran Arts Network

Today’s guest post is by C.J. Shane who runs a site dedicated to the arts in the Sonoran Desert …

Greetings from the Old Pueblo!

Sonoran Arts NetworkMy name is Shane. I am a working artist, a writer, and publisher/editor of Sonoran Arts Network (SAN) based in Tucson.

Sonoran Arts Network is an on-line arts journal that provides in-depth coverage of the arts in all its many forms (visual arts, music, writing, theater, and more). Our territory is the Sonoran Desert bioregion of southern Arizona and northern Mexico (Casa Grande and south).

Our journal includes features on arts organizations and arts projects, interviews with artists, and reviews of current exhibitions. We also have a My Turn column where artists can comment on topics of importance to creative people including arts processes, the life of the artist, collaborative projects, arts education, etc., and also excerpts from literary just-published or works-in-progress, new poems, etc.

You can find out more about us by going to and systematically clicking on the tabs at the top, as well as reading the home page. We’ve been publishing since May 2013.

Sonoran Arts Network

Currently I am interested in expanding coverage of the arts outside of the Tucson metro area.  I will occasionally be contacting some of you for interviews in upcoming months or perhaps I’ll be writing a feature about your arts organizations.

Also I am looking for individuals who might be willing to write reviews of art events in your area. Examples are reviews of the comedy show presented by the Ajo Community Players (January 2015) or the “7th Annual Red Show.” (February 2015)  We are NOT looking for “art criticism” like you might see in a New York City art magazine. Instead, we take an “arts journalism” approach.

Our hope is that the community will read the informational review and be motivated to attend the performance or exhibit. The ultimate goal is that the public will want to support the arts.  Don’t worry about not having any experience. I am an experienced news reporter and editor, and I can help you.

Write for Sonoran Arts NetworkThe first and most important rule is to always get your facts right! Take a look at the Reviews tab on our website to read past reviews. This kind of writing is easier than you think, you learn a lot, you make friends (artists LOVE It when someone bothers to review their work), and most of all, writing about the arts is fun! Click on the Contributor Submissions for more information.

If you have suggestions or ideas, email me at  If you want to know more about me personally, check out my website at

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you. Contact me at

(Yes, everyone has called me by my last name since high school way back in the last century!)


DAG Annual Show 2015

The Annual Desert Artist Guild Show & Sale opened last week and runs to February 9, in the Plaza Gallery, Ajo.

Those at the opening had an opportunity to vote on People’s Choice. The winner this year was Diane Carnright for “Mid Summer Night Dream.” Jacqueline Andes won second place and Terry Gonzales was third.

Mid Summer Night Dream by Diane Carnright

Red Show — Call to Artists

It’s that time again! The 7th annual Red Show is coming up next month, just in time for St. Valentine’s Day.

All 2-dimensional work (paintings, drawings, water colors, photographs) must have wire and be ready to hang. All other work must be display-ready.

There is no entry fee for this show. The commission on sales is 30%. All artists will have at least one piece in the show. Please note: Work not included needs to be picked up right away as there is no storage space at the Gallery.

Marilyn Jackson’s Show Opens

Marilyn Jackson, a member of Ajo’s Desert Artist Guild, gave a short talk about her art at the opening of her show in the Ajo Public Library this morning.

She described her “young and carefree decision” at 18 to become an art major. Her studies included a wide range of subjects, from painting and weaving to jewelry and sculpture. But painting was her love.

After completing her studies she became a teacher and spent 26 years sharing that love of art with her students. When she retired she decided to focus on her painting. This exhibit features some of the work she has done in the Sonoran Desert and is quite different from the colors and subjects she paints during her summers in Washington.

Unlike some painters who work directly on the canvas or board that will form the finished piece, Marilyn says she starts with a sketch so she can plan the composition. This is usually followed by a value study, done in black and white. Next is a little thumbnail painting to see if her ideas actually work. Finally, she develops the actual painting.

If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. She says she likes the challenge, the exploration of some aspect of the work, some technique or color.

“Changes can happen at each stage and some stages, even some parts of a stage may be repeated over several times,” she says.

You can view Marilyn’s work all this month during library hours.

Artful Intentions for 2015

The turning of the clock and the calendar brings us another new year, full of promise.

And procrastination.

Where will the next year find you on your artful journey? The next month? The next week? How about just today?

Leave a comment here and share what you’re hoping to accomplish in the next while. (“Next while” can be any time frame you want. Okay, maybe something longer than an hour. But you choose.)

If you don’t wanna go public, write yourself a letter. State your intention, give a date when you hope to achieve your goal, then seal the letter. Mark the “end” date on the calendar. When that day rolls around open the note. Did you actually do what you said you’d do?

Maybe you have a lump of clay waiting. Perhaps you need to clean out your digital photo file. Is there a water color that you just never got around to finishing?

My intention is to clean up my work space by Sunday. That gives me about 3 days to do what I haven’t done for the last month. I’ve got lots of good reasons (okay, let’s call ’em what they are — excuses) why I haven’t done it.

I’d be more likely to use those tools if it wasn’t such a mess. To produce something artful. Or not. One can’t always choose what will evolve once you set finger to keyboard, brush to paper, spin the potter’s wheel, peer through the lens.

But it’s gotta be more than if you Did Nothing.

Now I’ve made my intention known. Hold my feet to the fire.