Ajo Street Art Happening — Part 2

It’s amazing how much has changed in the alley since I stopped by yesterday afternoon.

After I left yesterday, Eileen Costuck arrived and painted in the letters for the Desert Artist Guild mural. This morning Claire Bistline and Terry Gonzales began adding bright colors to the design.

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!

20 Years and Counting

The Ajo Council of the Fine Arts — which includes the Ajo Community Players and the Desert Artist Guild — has a long and colorful history. Plays, musicals, fine arts — these and more have added to life in Ajo for many years.

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 show continues through the end of March.

DAG Annual Show 2015

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.

Mid Summer Night Dream by Diane Carnright

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.

Come to the Art Show Opening

Mark your calendar for this special evening!

Many thanks to Terry Gonzales and Freeman Fry for donating the two lovely door prizes. Buy a ticket at the reception for a chance to win these beautiful works of art.

DAG Show & Sale 2015

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

April Challenge 2014

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.

IMG_7098

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! 🙂

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.

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