Call to Artists — Annual DAG Show & Sale

Yes, it’s that time of year! Plans are underway for the annual Desert Art Guild Show & Sale. This event is always a highlight of the winter season in Ajo — and a great opportunity for artists to strut their stuff.

If you’re not a member of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts, you’ll find membership information here.

A downloadable copy of the intake form will be available soon.

Annual art show 2015

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.

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

Check Out the Juried Show

The opening reception for DAG’s 4th Annual Juried Show & Sale was a real hit. More than a hundred people game to see the work, meet the artists and enjoy refreshments.

Showtime — Almost!

Wow! This has been a busy week as plans come together for the Desert Artist Guild’s 4th annual juried show and sale at the Plaza Gallery.

Monday and Tuesday volunteers handled the intake as artists brought their work in to be juried.

Wednesday the juror arrived from Tucson. Betina Fink is a visual artist with a MFA degree in Painting from the University of Arizona, and a BA in Fine Art/Art History from the University of Delaware. She is also Youth Program Director with The Drawing Studio in Tucson.

After the judging, the show committee worked on the display space, setting up and painting additional walls and pedestals, getting labels printed and finalizing the last details.

Thursday two more volunteer teams arrived — one to lay out the work and one to hang it. This went smoothly and by early afternoon almost everything was done.

So we’re almost done!

Hope you can attend the Opening Reception Friday January 11 from 5 to 7 pm. Join us for refreshments, meet the artists and enjoy some of the best work that the Desert Artist Guild has to offer.

Federated Church Art Show

The Desert Artist Guild held a successful show last week at the Federated Church in Ajo. (Click on a photo for a larger view.)

The show was well attended and several artists made sales. Pat Rigdon won the People’s Choice Award for her piece titled Picture Posies.

DAG artists are now busy preparing for the annual month-long show that opens early in January.

DAG Meeting

Diane Carnright hosted the recent Desert Artist Guild meeting on her patio. It was an enthusiastic gathering with lots of ideas to discuss for the upcoming season.

Joyce Chaney updated the group about the one-day Federated Church Show last weekend, the most successful show there in recent years. DAG also gained several new members.

Lots of news for artists

Lots of news for artists

DAG members discussed several options for the annual juried art show in January as well as an Artists’ Festival and Plein Air in the Plaza to be held in conjunction with the Fiddlers’ show and the Quilt show happening at the beginning of February. More news about all these events will follow.

All in all these are exciting times to be an artist in Ajo. 🙂

Back in the Swing

It was a long hot summer in Ajo. The desert is lush-looking after some amazing rainfalls and though the days are growing cooler and shorter other things are heating up, in particular the art scene.

You’ll find a listing of some of the upcoming events in the Calendar. The Ajo Community Players (ACP) have a potluck on November 18. And if you don’t get enough to eat there, the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts (ACFA) is having a welcome-back potluck November 30. If you’re interested in what’s happening in the art scene in Ajo, be sure to check these out.

The ACFA newsletter is back in business too. The first issue of the season will be out December 1. If you’re a paid-up member, it will appear in your computer’s inbox.

The Desert Artists Guild (DAG) is busy too. The Federated Church show is Saturday December 1. The next DAG meeting in early December will be at Diane Carnright’s studio. (More details to follow.)

If you have any arts-related news you’d like to share with others, please use the Contact Form here.

Virtual Art Week 1: What’s Cookin?

The art scene in Ajo is slowly winding down after a busy winter season. Those “from away” are packing up and leaving for northern climes. Those who live here year-round continue to enjoy warm days and cactus blooms. 🙂

Marilyn Jackson, past chair of the Desert Artist Guild, has started a virtual artists’ group as a way to continue to create and share ideas over the summer months.

“The virtual art group will be any member, any medium, weekly art theme,” writes Marilyn. “This week it’s a kitchen theme. I must have been hungry! Anyway, if those who wish to participate could email me with their names and email address we can make a list. We can send photos to each other and to the blog. Who knows, we could even try to have a group show in the fall.”

Photographer Wendee Cloutier is the first entry in the kitchen category.

“This was Karen and Greg’s kitchen in their wonderful house in Machias, ME. Not the best lighting for a photograph but loved all the things in it.”

A Maine Kitchen

Marilyn turned to acrylics for her project.

What creative things are happening in your kitchen?

This week’s challenge: cactus flowers. Lots of inspiration out there right now. Maybe I’ll enter a photograph. 🙂