Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“Micro to Macro” Featured artist: Mark Lucas

Mark Lucas grew up around art. As far back as he can remember, his mother, also an artist, encouraged him to create. In fact, his mom relates that as a baby Mark would rather sculpt his food than eat it. He continues sculpting today—with glass!
Lucas began working with glass when he was 18. “The medium seemed interesting and challenging,” Lucas recalls. Lucas doesn’t stop with glass, although that is his primary medium sold at the Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. He has worked in many media including ceramics, pencil, ink, collage, silversmithing, stenciling and welding. His show “Micro to Macro” reflects his interests in glass, stencil work and sculpture.
Lucas was born in New Orleans, grew up in New York and Idaho, and moved to Prescott at the age of 16. After Lucas committed his life to art, his success grew. Eventually, he was able to move from Prescott to Jerome, and there, over the past 8 years, Lucas has built an art business that reflects his dedication to his work. Just this past year, he opened his own gallery in Jerome.
Regarding his new works, Lucas states, “Most of my new sculptures are based on biological forms like radiolarians, molds, and cells which I alter, evolve, and combine to create new forms.” Some of his glass sculptures can take over 100 hours to complete, being slowly built up using glass rods. All of his glass work is lampwork, in which the artist uses a torch.
Pieces created using stencils on wood is another form of expression that Lucas will be showing. These pieces are sure to engage the viewer with a “black on black” concept. Lucas states, “By using black on black, it brings people into the piece, as it is the interaction with the light that you see that is intriguing.”

Micro to Macro runs August 1 to September 25.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery
“Calizona--Where I Live” in Jerome!

With thirty-three members at the Jerome Artist's Cooperative Gallery, your senses will
be thrilled on your next visit. You'll find an array of unique items for your home, gifts, or
personal adornment created by talented local artists. From pottery, jewelry and clothing
to photography, mixed media and fine art, the Gallery is home to local works of art of all
Every two months our Featured Artist Room rotates it's display to host a unique show
featuring one of our member's latest creations. Our next show, entitled “Calizona—
Where I Live” opens Saturday, May 3, from 5-8 PM. You'll have an opportunity to
witness the talent, technique and humor of photographer Mark Foltz.
A transplant from Akron, Ohio to the Verde Valley in 2003, and with connections
through graphic design in California, Mark's sense of humor shines through. Mark
recalls the “Jollywood” idea came to him while driving to Jerome one afternoon for his
work-shift at the Co-op. Mark noticed that the Jerome mountains reminded him of the
Hollywood hills. As he drove closer, he saw the big white “J” etched on the Jerome
mountain (in real life). Next thing you know, he imagined “Jollywood” written there in
big, bold letters above the town and laughed out loud! “Jerome is indeed 'Jolly,!' he
laughed! “A lot of the pieces in my show were born that way,” Mark recalls. Mark's
flexible mind and imagination allow disparate elements to recombine in new ways.
You're in for a treat when you gift yourself a trip to Jerome this May or June to visit
“Calizona—Where I Live.”
“Calizona—Where I Live” runs May 3rd through July 2nd.
The Jerome Co-op Gallery is open daily from 10 AM-6 PM.
502 North Main Street, Jerome. 928-639-4276.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Yes, Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery cohorts,  Sally Stryker and Judy Yescalis are together again- teaming up for the 3rd time in a new Featured Artists’ exhibition, “Rust & Dye Again,” which will open in conjunction with First Friday Art Walk in Jerome on January 4th.  Opening night festivities will take place from 5-8 pm and will feature food, wine and lively conversation with visitors, locals and many of the Jerome Co-op’s artist/members who will be on hand for the evening. The exhibition will be in place for two months.
The two artist-friends have much in common, including English teaching careers, deep family roots in the state and- like their fellow artists- long-term love affairs with inspirational local landscapes and life-styles. Their respective arts, however, have little in common. Stryker’s often whimsical, always thought-provoking character ‘assemblages’ are built from ‘found’ materials –iron scraps, bits of old objects, rugs, fabrics, buttons- all collected from her own southwestern surroundings. The large family of co-mingled folk and critters and the tales she creates to give them life are based in rich family heritage handed down from her maternal grandparents and from her mother who was born and raised among the smart, practical and earth-loving Hopi people in northern Arizona.
Yescalis’s batiks, however, are based on the ancient eastern fine art process of wax resist on fabric which requires natural undyed fabrics, hot melted wax, powdered fabric dyes and a large collection of hair art brushes. Her completed works are a departure from more traditional batiks which often depicted designs of culture-specific gods, objects of nature, and more recently, geometrical patterns for quilt block designs. “Many people think my batiks are elaborate watercolor landscapes,” she says. “That’s ok – the wax has been removed from the finished product in the final step, but there is water and color in the heart and soul of every one of them!”
Both Stryker and Yescalis were born in Arizona- in Jerome and Prescott, respectively, but both spent much of their earlier lives in California. Sally worked in her adult years as an Art and English teacher before moving back to the Verde Valley in the late 80’s and taking up residence on her grandparents’ homesteaded acreage in Page Springs. Here, she lives in her mother’s rustic cozy ‘schoolhouse’ home on the edge of Oak Creek where she maintains an outdoor workshop /birthing hospital for her ‘found art’ creations and continues to write and tell her delightful stories. Sally is also an active member of several area art groups. Her welcome mat is always out for whatever family of locals might come through her neighborhood-  javelina, coyotes, fox-and of course, her 2 legged friends. There is also a friendly ‘found art’ dragon outside her door which is currently waiting for its very own story. About her transformative art, Sally declares, “I love the idea of finding something that’s been used for one thing and tossed in the dump. That relates to our lives: we can toss pieces of our lives away, but somehow, they’re still a part of us.”
Judy became a southern California resident at 5 years old, returning to her home state with her husband in the 70’s where she began a 28 yr career teaching English and Foreign Language. Though she currently lives in the Village of Oak Creek where she is also actively involved in the Village Gallery Cooperative, she is quick to attribute her artistic inspiration to her parents who gave her the gifts of travel and music at an early age. Though most of her current batiks showcase the colors and landscapes of the southwest, her years of living and traveling in France and Spain as well as her frequent trips to California and to the east coast to see friends and enjoy the music of a favorite Broadway entertainer continue to provide much subject matter (and boxes of personal photos) from which she draws subject matter for her art.