Mike (DaWolf) Baker was working on small mural halfway down the alley, then stopped to help an artist mark off the wall for her piece. Several visitors wandered in off the street and were delighted to see the work taking shape — and to talk with the artists.
Running over the next 5 days or so, this is definitely a must-see event. Amble through the alley. Or bring a chair and watch for awhile. Everyone is welcome!
Terry Gonzales & Claire Bistline
Desert Artist Guild design
Mike (DaWolf) Baker
Michael B. Schwartz. Compare this to yesterday’s post
This month some of that history is being featured at the Ajo library. The display kicked off Monday with an opening reception. Guests got to browse through photo albums and scrap books that captured some of the fun from past performances. Several costumed actors were also on hand to meet visitors.
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.
Opening crowd of 2015 DAG show
Eternal Renewal by Marsha Lynn Knopf
Weavings by Jolene Northup
Door prize donated by Terry Gonzales
Los Santos Negros series by Susan Stone
Into the Canyon by Jacqueline Andes
Jim Reiman, President of the Ajo Council for the Fine Arts
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.
Painting by Marilyn Jackson
Marilyn explains the stories behind her work.
Several people stayed after the talk to ask questions.
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.
Ajo is an interesting art community — a blend of artists who live here full time and artists who spend the winter months here as snowbirds. Many of those winter visitors have headed home and others are getting ready to depart.
How do you keep members of such a community in touch with each other?
Last year, artist Marilyn Jackson started a virtual art group to encourage artists to produce and share their work over the summer months. She’s kicking it off again this year.
Marilyn writes: “The April challenge is ‘Family.’ Of course this could mean anything from pets to a family of colors — artists are encouraged to think outside of the normal response. After all, we are artists!”
This challenge is open to all artists, in any medium. You don’t have to belong to the Desert Artist Guild, or even live in Ajo. We’d like to see what you’re working on.
I’ll start it off with a “family” of mammilaria cacti. These cacti are quite small and usually hidden beneath other plants — but their bright red fruit is an eye-catcher.
Use the Contact Form for info on how to submit your entry. Deadline for this month is April 30. Let us see what you’re creating! 🙂
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.
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.
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.