DAG Juried Show & Sale

The Desert Artist Guild’s 5th Annual Show & Sale opened last Friday evening to a full house — and what an evening it was!

Planning for the show began last October and the work definitely paid off. Artists entered more than 40 pieces of work. This year we invited two jurors to evaluate the work, Leia Maahs from the Tucson Pima Arts Council and Marla Ettenberg, from Ajo. They did a wonderful job and provided artists with written feedback on their submissions.

Several artists volunteered to lay out the show. Show chairperson Jolene Northup and husband Ed hung the pieces. Wendee Cloutier and one of her granddaughters handed out invitations to people at IGA on Friday afternoon.

The opening drew a huge crowd and the Plaza Gallery was filled to capacity. Lots of fun for all!

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the awards. Jim Reiman, President of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts, presented the President’s Award to Jolene Northup for her fiber/acrylic piece “Pink Cliffs on Spruce Sound”.

People’s Choice, chosen by people at the opening, went to Val Uschuk for her piece “Sunbather.” Jurors’ Honorable mention went to two artists, Jacqueline Andes, for her painting “Buck Jones” and Robert Sorrels, for his photograph “Forgotten Dead.” Best of Show, chosen by the jurors, went to Jovita Wallace for her painting “Base Vibration.”

Door prizes, also won that evening, were donated by Rich Davis (an oil painting titled “Hat Mountain”) and a hand-dyed, handwoven scarf by Jolene Northup. The Ajo Council for the Fine Arts also donated 2 tickets to the upcoming performance by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in Ajo on February 19.

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DAG Meet & Eat — and Learn!

The monthly meeting of the Desert Artist Guild is a great place to meet other artists, find out what’s happening in the arts in Ajo, and share tips and techniques about all things “art”.

We meet at the Ajo Country Club at 10 AM on the first Tuesday of the month. Today’s gathering was a lively get-together — we had updates on the Federated Church Art Show & Sale last December and on the Juried Show & Sale that opens this Friday.

We also talked about the upcoming Art Under the Arches on February 8, the ACFA member potluck on January 26, developing an inventory of DAG supplies, another open studio this spring — and more! This is a busy group.

After the meeting adjourned, lunch was served and the show-and-share portion got started. Shirley Fritschle described how she uses clamps to hold her work in the frame. She and John Fritschle also shared a tip (via Diane Carnright) for matching colors from a photograph to what you want to appear on the canvas.

Fabric artist Regina Browne described how she uses pigment dyes and duct tape (yup, the handyman’s best friend) to produce some of her gorgeous work. Diane Carnright talked about plein air and how to create outdoors.

If you’d like to join us, the next meeting is Tuesday, February 4 at 10 AM at the Ajo Country Club.

People’s Choice Award

The annual Federated Church Art Show sponsored by ACFA/DAG was held on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the La Mina entrance to the Federated Church just off the Plaza.

Diane Carnright won the “People’s Choice” award for her painting titled ”Desert Home”. Yolanda Aguilar, one of our newest members, was the most successful artist selling three pieces.

                                             Diane Carnright

Paul Chadell and Larry Huff were the lucky winners of the door prizes donated by Diane Carnright and Marilyn Jackson, respectively.

Marilyn Jackson

                                        Marilyn Jackson

The art was beautiful. The heavy local turnout made the artists feel appreciated. The 2014 show will be on Dec 6, next year.

Submitted by Pat Rigdon

Art Show at the Federated Church

Members of the Desert Artist Guild once again put on a fine show at the Federated Church. Here are some of the pieces featured at this year’s event.

DAG’s next big event is the 5th annual Juried Show & Sale at the Plaza Gallery in Ajo. Intake is Saturday January 4th. The opening is Friday January 10 from 5:30 to 7:30. The show runs to February 10.

See What You Could Win!

Plans are well underway for the Desert Artist Guild’s (DAG) 5th Juried Show and Sale which opens January 10 at the Plaza Gallery in Ajo, AZ.

Each year three awards are presented at the opening reception —  Best of Show (determined by the jurors), People’s Choice Award (voted on by those attending the opening) and President’s Award, given by the president of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts (ACFA).

Money for these awards comes from several sources, including donations and door prize ticket sales. This year we have not one but two wonderful prizes. Artist and archeologist Rich Davis has donated one of his oil paintings, Hat Mountain, a well-known local landmark. Fiber artist Jolene Northup has donated one of her richly colored hand dyed and handwoven scarves.

This year there’s no need to wait until the January opening to get your chance to win one of these special works of art. DAG members have been selling tickets in Ajo and Why. They’ll be on sale again this Saturday from 10 to 3 at the Federated Church Art Show & Sale.

P.S. If you have someone on your holiday shopping list who’s hard to buy for, why not stuff some tickets in their stocking Christmas Eve. 🙂

DAG Meeting

The December meeting of the Desert Artist Guild was held at the Ajo Country Club and there was a lot on the agenda. The two most important items were the Federated Church Art Show & Sale on December 14 and DAG’s 5th Annual Juried Show & Sale opening January 10.

Pat Rigdon is asking for volunteers to help staff the Federated show — she’d appreciate hearing from anyone who can offer to work a shift. (The show runs from 10 to 3.) Entry forms for the show can be downloaded here.

Jolene Northup gave an overview of the Juried show and is also looking for volunteers. Entry forms for that show will be posted soon.

Members who participated in last weekend’s Open Studio talked about their positive experiences — and sales! Congratulations everyone. There’s talk about doing another one in the spring.

Another event that caught everyone’s attention is a possible Art Festival in February during the annual Quilt Show — more info will follow on that.

Most members stayed after the meeting for lunch and to offer feedback on work presented by two of the artists, Pat Rigdon and DAG chair Sherry Fritschle.

The next meeting will be at the Country Club on Tuesday January 7 at 10 AM. Hope to see you there!

Ajo Artist Diane Carnright

Diane Carnright, one of Ajo’s most prolific artists, spent her younger years in upper New York State. She has since lived in California and Florida, moving to Ajo in 1972 where her studio, the Carnright Studio, is still located.

She began drawing while in grade school. Although she says she was very detail-oriented in her first works she now describes her artwork as realistic impressionism.

Diane credits a high school art teacher in New York and Loretta Musgrave with teaching her many painting skills. Loretta was an art teacher in Ajo in the ’80s and is now a successful artist. She taught art classes after school and Diane was her assistant.

IMG_0149Diane has been part of the art club in Ajo since its inception in 1986 when Phelps Dodge had homes for sale. The mine and smelter had just closed. PD suggested community clubs would make Ajo attractive to more buyers. The Desert Artist Guild was born.

When asked what inspires her to paint Diane says, “It is an urge, an urge within me”. In the past year her painting subjects have included a portrait, a landscape, a scene including people and an abstract.

She says the business side of being an artist takes time away from painting but she needs to sell to buy more supplies.

After painting for 35 years Diane says she can now paint what is in her head. In addition to Ajo shows, she has shown her art in Scottsdale, Tucson, Williams and Glendale.

For fun Diane sews, mostly clothes and quilts.

Diane advises new artists to show their work. “Take part in shows and always have  some backup work with you because you never know when what you show will sell out. It happens.”

The Federated Church show coming up on Dec. 14 will be featuring some of Diane’s newest work as well as many other local talented artists will be available for viewing and purchase.

Written by Ajo artist Pat Rigdon