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Prescott's oldest gallery celebrates 9th year<BR>

Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery, Prescott's oldest co-op art gallery, is celebrating their ninth year from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 31, with their annual Spring Party.

Meet the co-op's four new artists and enjoy refreshments to commemorate the gallery's ninth year.

Arts Prescott's new artists include jewelers Judith Skinner and MaryKaye O'Neill, and woodworkers Bill Ooms and Josh Pagliasotti.

Skinner creates jewelry and art objects by molding and sculpting polymer clay from which she developed a "Skinner Blend"- a technique for creating smooth color gradations in her designs.

Her jewelry is extremely lightweight and she designs her pieces to be both wearable and affordable.

O'Neill assembles stones, gems, bones and wood to make them part of her fun and whimsical jewelry.

Working primarily in silver and gold, using semi-precious and precious stones, she textures her metals with the natural elements such as fan coral, shells or beach stones.

"The discovery theme pervades my whole life," O'Neill said. "As a child, I was always looking for treasure. As an adult, I find searching beaches, or old hardware stores, equally exciting."

Ooms' hollow forms from wood are inspired by Native American pottery.

His most dramatic work utilizes the natural voids, bark edges and other anomalies in the wood as part of the artistic design.

He gathers much of his raw material from local sources, including storm- damaged trees, and trees which have been removed from residential areas, and often takes years to cure before final shaping.

Pagliasotti, a native Prescottonian, creates beautiful wood furniture, clocks, jewelry cases and more.

"I want to create furniture that is both beautiful and useful," Pagliasotti said. "I build deliberately and well. In an age of planned obsolescence, I want my pieces to be heirlooms that will endure and be treasured."

The Arts Prescott Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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