Ajo’s 20th Annual Quilt Show

Curley School Auditorium hosted the 20th Annual Ajo Piecemakers Quilt Show Friday and Saturday.

Titled Quilting in the Sonoran Desert, it was a busy — and colorful — time.

In addition to the dozens of quilts on display, the event also included quilting demos, antique bed turning, an array of vendors and lovely door prizes.

Look Who’s Talking About Us!

Sonoran Arts Network is an online arts journal connecting artists of all kinds and art lovers in the Sonoran Desert bioregion of southern Arizona and northern Mexico. It featured a full-length article about Art Under the Arches in its most recent issue:

Ajo has taken another step toward becoming an Arizona arts destination when Art Under the Arches Gallery opened in late November, 2015.  Art Under the Arches Gallery is a cooperative gallery which features more than twenty Ajo artists.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Andes, director of the new gallery and an artist-member, explains how the gallery idea developed:

“Early last summer I started thinking about the possibility of an artist’s gallery in Ajo. Tracy Taft, Executive Director of the International Sonoran Desert Alliance approached me asking if I would be interested in renting a store in the Ajo Plaza, knowing that I was thinking about a gallery. After looking at one of the available stores, Ms. Taft then suggested that I consider the space that was the Art Stop/Print Shop. This was a prime location in the Ajo Plaza. It was at that time the idea became a very serious one. “ …

Read the rest of the story in the latest issue of Sonoran Arts Network.

Gallery Fundraiser

Art Under the Arches Gallery is humming along — art work is selling, new artists are joining this amazing artists’ co-operative and interest is growing in the work both here and away.

As with any business, bills are coming in. And so are the ideas for improvements to the gallery. What if we … Maybe we could … Wouldn’t it be great to …

So! The artists and gallery friends are holding a fundraiser in January. Pick up a ticket at the gallery, put on your dancing shoes and join the bidding on some great items.

Chu Chu silent auction

Weaving Demo — Jolene Northup

It’s not often you get to watch a weaver spin magic on her loom. This Saturday, beginning at 9:30 at Art Under the Arches Gallery, you can see Jolene Northup do just that.

Oops! The typo gremlins hit the poster … the weaving demo is actually Dec 12, not the 5th. But you figured that out  🙂

Weaving DemoJolene has been an active part of the art scene in Ajo for several years. Whenever she brings out her loom or her spinning wheel, she attracts a lot of interest.

There will be lots of other things to see and do this Saturday as well — it’s Second Saturday and the Farmers’ Market, along with local artists and crafters, will also be at the Plaza.

Opening Nights at the Galleries

Imagine two galleries opening back to back. Imagine art-filled walls, music outdoors and inside, BBQ and petit-fours, blue jeans and long dresses.

That was just some of the fun as Ajo celebrated the arts last week — Low Brow at the Copper News and High Brow at Art Under the Arches.

Here are some moments from the events …

Call for Artists — Heat Wave

Looking for ideas for the upcoming fall season? Check out Heat Wave —a celebration of the art and culture of the Sonoran Desert.

For more information and an application form, contact Jill Forenzini. (Look for “Heat Wave Helpful Links” in the righthand column.)

Click on the images below for a larger view.

Heat Wave page 1A

Heat Wave page 2

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.

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!