Thursday, August 2, 2018

Cool Cats & Hats Come to Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery

New works by hat maker and painter Michele Cokl Naylor benefit local shelters

“Cats are the wildest of the tame and the tamest of the wild.”
                                                            Mark Twain

It may be the dog days of summer but it will be cool cats in the spotlight when the new show opens at the Jerome Artists Cooperative on Saturday August 4. And they’ll be accompanied by some very hip hats.

Verde Valley artist Michele Cokl Naylor unveils her latest work in a one-woman exhibition, “Cool Cats & Hats.” An accomplished hat maker, Naylor uses old-school techniques, and then adds modern twists to create her always chic chapeaus. Toppers on sale during the show will include fedoras, bowlers, cloches and berets.

The rest of the show is dedicated to her love of—and the undeniable coolness of—cats. One-of-a-kind vests adorned with cats, and glasses cases made from cat fabric will be available. Dozens of original cat paintings of various sizes will line the walls. Working from a vibrant color palette, Naylor’s cats define the essence of cool.

Best of all, 10 percent of sales from the show will be donated to the Verde Valley Humane Society and the Jerome Humane Society.

“I have four rescue cats at home,” says Naylor. “So I understand the importance of the shelters and the work the Humane Society does. I want to be able to give something back for all the joy the little creatures have given me.”

Indeed, cats have been inspiring artists, writers and philosophers for centuries. Leonardo da Vinci said, “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” Jules Verne believed cats were spirits come to earth, Charles Dickens thought there was no greater gift than the love of a cat, and Edgar Allan Poe lamented that his writing lacked the mystery of a cat.

“As an artist, you never know where inspiration will come from,” says Naylor. “Fortunately, I have a household filled with it as I get to watch the elegance, grace, goofiness and humor that my cats exhibit daily.”

The August 4 opening of “Cool Cats & Hats will take place from 5-8 p.m. and is part of Art Walk in Jerome. Wine and chocolate will be served with donations going to the humane societies and the music will be from the 1930s and ‘40s to help set the very cool mood. It’s a chance to meet the artist and try on some hats or swap some cat stories. Maybe you can even expand your family as the Verde Valley Humane Society will have cats for adoption. 

For more information: Michele Cokl Naylor
The Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery is located at 502 Main Street. 
Open Daily 10-6.
For more information, call 928-639-4276


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

" Then and Now"

“Then and Now”
The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery presents their 22nd annual Summer Membership show entitled, “Then and Now: a celebration of how artists’ work changes over time” from July 7-July 31 at the Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, located on the ground floor of the historic Hotel Jerome.
It is said that the only constant is change. In “Then and Now,” gallery members consider how they and their work has changed over time. On a special wall, “Family Portraits” are displayed as a series of group photos taken over the years of the gallery’s membership. Within the featured artist room, members’ work is hung in pairs with a sampling of works that were done some time ago alongside works that are more recent. Comments from the artists about how or why their work has changed sheds light on their ongoing creative process.
Chris Ryback, known for her molded concrete garden leaves and wall pieces has taken her concrete art to the next level by creating an assemblage of her concrete leaves until a face emerges.
Ceramicist V. Norton points out how her interest in working both large and small has evolved over the years. An earlier work, “White Crackle,” measures 14” tall as compared to her current series of miniature “Spirit” masks, which are about 7” in height. In addition to the size variations, V. Norton chose, “White Crackle” to represent her “Then” piece because it was the means she used to explore a new glaze technique some years ago. “I used a low fire glaze at the time,” Norton recall, “and as I read the directions, I asked myself, ‘I wonder what would happen if I fired this differently?’ And so, I did,” she notes.  The result became a technique she began using from then on.” Another example of how V. Norton’s work has evolved over the years is her use of horse hair in her work. Previously, V. Norton used horse hair to create a visual/textural element on her pottery. Now, her use of horse hair has expanded to become a decorative element within her miniature spirit masks series. V. Norton likes this approach as it brings out the whimsical qualities of her spirit masks.
Joy Herhold, the Co-op’s newest member, realized that over the 49 plus years she has been creating art, the thread of continuity in her work is design and meaning. “When I was 16 years old, I carved a 6” x 60” wood relief panel, which I call, ‘No One Goes to Heaven Alone.’ My carving represents a hope of all people helping each other.” Her desire to help humanity by seeing the best in everything has been her life-long approach to everyday living.  Compositionally, Joy noticed that most of her artwork has been composed using a diagonal format. Her most recent work, “Hotel Jerome,” is no exception. The view of the hair-pin turn in Jerome’s Main Street is depicted in this new work as a loose, fun landscape done on paper using a sewing machine’s satin stitches as she would use a paint brush. The view from inside the gallery looking out was inspiration for yet another effective use of her “dynamic diagonal” composition. She mentions that this is how she perceives the Jerome Co-op: as a fun place to visit, meet artists, and be inspired by all kinds of artwork.  
Visitors will be inspired, too, as they peruse the diverse collection of works displayed in the members’ summer show, “Then and Now.” There will be a reception for the artists on Jerome’s First Saturday Art Walk on July 7 from 5-8 pm at the Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. Refreshments will be served. The show runs thru July 31.
Open Daily, 10-6.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Delving: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass and More

The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery kicks off a solo exhibition of new work by Jerome based glass artist, Mark Galen Lucas, on May 5. A reception for the artist is from 5-8 pm during Jerome’s First Saturday Art Walk at the Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery on the ground floor of the historic Hotel Jerome.
The show’s title, “Delving: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass and More,” aptly describes Mark Galen Lucas’ approach to art as well as life. “When I start a project,” Lucas confides, “I tend to obsess and dive in, allowing it to totally encompass my mind and my time.” With such deep dives, it’s inevitable that both the light and the dark sides of life are likely to surface. Lucas feels it’s important to examine all areas of life to better understand who we truly are.
Mark Galen Lucas works mostly with a torch and borosilicate glass. He has been working in glass for eighteen years having started his career when he was eighteen years old. One astonishing feature about Lucas’ glass art is that his figures are full scale life-size works of art. In “Delving: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass and More,” you will witness an intense cobalt blue glass female form standing upright. This figure alone has taken Lucas over four months to complete. The show runs May 5 to July 4. The Jerome Co-op is open daily from 10-6.

Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery               502 Main Street          928-639-4276