Pima County Call for Artists

Pima County Library System has issued a Call for Artists for the 2016-2017 season. If you are an artist living and working in Pima County, you’re eligible to apply.

Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2015.

You can learn more about the Call To Artist process, best practices, how to write an artist statement, and what to expect when exhibiting at the Library by attending one of the free workshops at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Idea+Space on the 2nd floor.

Preparing Your Call to Artists Submission Workshop
Wed, Aug 12, 2015, 6-7 pm
Sat, Aug 22, 2015, 11-12 noon

For detailed information about the Call click here Call to Artists for Pima County Library

ACFA Parade Float Wins Again!

ACFA — Ajo Council for the Fine Arts — is a diverse and talented group. Once again they pooled their efforts to produce an award-winning float.

The theme for the 2015 4th of July parade was Founding Fathers and/or Youth Groups of America.  That was a tough one.

We decided on the Boston Tea Party as several of the Founding Fathers were involved and one could argue that The Sons of Liberty was a youth group. (OK, it’s a pretty loose argument).

We started with the model pictured and from there built a ship with tea crates, masts and rigging. The hull was built in Jim & Sherri’s shop then transported to Room 3 of the Sonoran Desert Conference Center.  The trick was building the ship so we could get it out a 3’ wide door.  Kind of like a ship in a bottle …

After the ship was assembled and painted we moved it out the door in sections and reassembled it on the trailer outside.

Once it was on the trailer, tied down and covered we headed for Carol’s garage which is just blocks away from the start of the parade.

There we touched up the paint and put on all the finishing touches.

 The morning of the 4th we pulled the ship out of the garage and put up the masts and rigging, attached the waves, which moved up and down, got into our costumes and hit the road.

At the end of the parade we waited in the beer garden for the announcement that we won first place.

This is the 6th year that the ACFA has had a float in the 4th of July Parade.  They have been awarding prizes for the last 3 years.  We have taken first place all three years!

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.  www.SonoranArtsNetwork.net

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 www.SonoranArtsNetwork.net 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 editor@SonoranArtsNetwork.net  If you want to know more about me personally, check out my website at www.cjshane.com

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you. Contact me at editor@SonoranArtsNetwork.net

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


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.

Ajo’s Outdoor Art

Ajo’s art community got a great boost with the release of a brochure describing some of the many pieces of outdoor art located around town.

The brochure was launched at Second Saturday on December 13 and included a bus tour to see some of the featured pieces. Local artist Jacqueline Andes was our tour guide and we were also joined at some of the locations by the artists who had produced the work.

The International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) produced the brochure. You can read more about this venture and see some of the work here.

Copies of the brochure and self-guided tour are available at places around town, including the Visitor Center in the Plaza.

May Challenge — Shadows

It’s a new month and a new theme for our online art challenge. Marilyn Jackson, who first suggested this idea in 2013, continues to encourage us to stretch our artistic wings.

She suggested “shadows” for this month’s theme.

I took this photo at our local farmers’ market last summer. All our booths are outdoors so it’s not unusual for some of the local wild life to visit. This lovely golden dragonfly paused on one of my beaded necklaces, casting shadows as it soaked up the early morning sun.
Beads & Dragonfly

If you’d like to submit something for our “shadows” theme, send me a note via our Contact page and I’ll tell you how to send in your entry.

April Challenge — Marlene Dixon

Yes, I know it’s May and I’m behind. (Blame it on the snow, cause there’s plenty of it where I am right now.)

Thanks to Marlene Dixon who submitted this pencil sketch as part of the “family” theme for the April challenge.

Lots of feathered critters are looking to nest near us — robins (who are shaking snow off their wings in our yard), Canada geese, mallards and assorted other waterfowl who are cruising the sloughs and ponds, and along the fence line bluebirds are checking out the wooden houses nailed to the posts.

Love this time of year. Thanks for capturing part of the excitement, Marlene!

Marlene Dixon Pencil sketch


We’ll launch the May theme tomorrow. 🙂