Courthouse plaza event will feature Western art in many styles
The courthouse plaza will turn into an open-air gallery over Memorial Day weekend for the Phippen Museum's 39th annual Western Art Show and Sale.
The museum expects the usual multitude of artists from across the country to set up their works and show them off Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Among the many who create images of the West and will exhibit at the show are Kathy Quick Anderson, Hyrum Joe, Robert Peters, Bill Cramer and Marless Fellows.
When Anderson, now a Chino Valley resident, left the working world, she was able to devote her life to her painting and says of her pieces, "I love landscapes and I love cowboys and horses. I go around the West and find beautiful landscapes and work cowboys and horses into them." She's enamored with stagecoaches and their history at the moment and will show a painting of one that has a stagecoach with a mountain in Colorado in the background.
Anderson draws her inspiration from observing "the beauty of the land. You know when it's right and when it's beautiful," she said. "And, you know that's what you want to paint."
And her choices of colors to work with come from what she sees. "When you look at the landscape, you see every color in the rainbow, and you bring them out so everybody can see them. That's why we all see art differently."
Joe, who now resides in Dewey, grew up on the Navajo Indian Reservation in a family of Native American artists. But, "I didn't know I wanted to be an artist," he said, until an instructor at Mesa Community College influenced his career. "He noticed some talent and some potential," he said, and this mentor encouraged him to pursue his talent.
Joe works in oil primarily but also in black and white charcoal. His subjects are figures, portraits and themes of the Native American lifestyle, particularly the Navajo people of the 1885 to 1950 era, but also Apache, Hopi and Pueblo.
And, his memories of childhood guide his hand and brush. "I remember these and bring them back to life on canvas. They serve as inspiration," he said.
Joe will exhibit 10 new paintings in the show, along with a clay piece for his first bronze to introduce visitors to his entrée into the art of sculpting.
Robert Peters of Prescott began his career as a freelance illustrator for book and magazine covers, as well as pieces for major national advertising campaigns. Although he studied art at both ASU and NAU, he believes his years as an illustrator gave him "the knowledge of painting that I needed for a successful fine art career."
That was in New York City, and now that he is in the West, he paints its landscapes, and still-life paintings of related objects are also some of his favorite subjects, Peters said. He describes his work as "representational painting."
"My paintings are also sometimes characterized as impressionist and realism," he said.
The natural landscape is what inspires Prescott artist Jim Cramer the most.
"I seem to gravitate toward the desert canyon scenery of the Southwest - the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Sedona, the Sonora desert and points in between," Cramer said.
This enchantment with the outdoors has been a part of his life since his youth. "I grew up hiking and rock climbing in the desert and mountains of the Southwest and have a deep connection with those places," he said. "I started painting landscapes a few years after moving to Arizona in 1993 when I heard about plein air painting and began going outside to paint. Painting on location is the best way to learn how to paint landscapes. Nature is the best teacher."
Cave Creek artist Marless Fellows, primarily a colorist, will also be a part of the Phippen show and sale. A particular achievement for her was creating a show called "Faces of the West," a collection of 24 local cowboys and cowgirls, with the story of each attached.
"It was a way to get to know people," she said of the community she moved to. For her, her work is a way for people to learn more about the West, cowboys and horses through her vision - "what I consider the West through my eyes."
The 10th annual Phippen Miniature Show and Sale, a sale-by-draw event, will continue at the museum until May 27. Interested persons have submitted an intent-to-purchase for the miniatures, and a drawing for successful submittals will be at 11 a.m. on May 27 at the museum.
A highlight of the show and sale on the courthouse plaza, which is free, is the Quick Draw, when 15 to 20 artists take up the challenge of creating a piece of work in 60 minutes in front of the crowd. These pieces are auctioned off to the onlookers. The Quick Draws take place at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the north steps of the courthouse.
The annual show and sale hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday. Admission to the museum, located at 4701 Highway 89 North, is free over the Memorial Day holiday. For more information, call the museum at 778-1385 or visit www.phippenartmuseum.org.