Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christine Ryback Exhibit, “Nature’s Own- Set in Stone”

Christine Ryback Exhibit, “Nature’s Own- Set in Stone” at Jerome Co-op Jan 7th

The opening night festivities at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery on Jan 7th First Saturday Art Walk will ring in the new year with an exhibition by artist-member Christine Ryback, “Nature’s Own-Set in Stone.” Her show will run through the end of February. Also featured at the Art Walk in January will be live music by the Bill Kamper Ensemble.
The artist’s inspiration springs from a deep love and life-long appreciation of nature: “I have always felt at home with the natural world- it is my refuge and where I find my spirituality. A walk in the woods can be the best diversion from negativity and bring peace of mind,” she reminds us.
Christine was an art major at Montclair State University in her home state of New Jersey and has been reproducing nature’s bounty in the form of cast concrete leaves since her days as a stay-at-home mom when she was able to ‘dabble‘ in a variety of creative projects. Surrounded by the lush forests of the east coast, she began to collect leaves of all kinds- carefully chosen and gathered from the forests and fields in her native state to Florida’s tropics. From the first rhubarb leaves, her beautiful cast concrete finished pieces now include a large variety from her leaf collection, including maple, cabbage, elephant ear and many more. Although she and her husband relocated to Prescott Valley, Arizona in 2012, she has retained her home state/east coast leaf source thanks to her daughter’s connections to an organic farm where she resides back home in New Jersey. At her own southwest home, the “avid gardener” also grows her own plants.
Christine has perfected the process of observing, studying and casting each chosen leaf in concrete. “The piece is then cured, painted and sealed,” she says of her process which is on display at the gallery in the form of colorful wall art as well as functional items (birdbaths, table decor and more).  “Each leaf is unique, as nature provides the artistry.”
In the exhibition, she will be showcasing newer pieces as well- ‘3D ‘mulleins’ (four separate layers combined into a single flower) as well as new pieces which appear more sculptured from her series, “The Woods,” in which she uses bark and other natural materials from the forest.
In addition, Christine, who was taught by her live-in Hungarian grandmother to sew at a very young age, made her own high school wardrobe and later worked for decorators, now has developed a line of fabric and leather handbags based on her nature designs which will also be displayed at the show. “My sewing machine never gets put away!”
In a totally different ‘vein,’ Christine is delighted to debut an entirely new medium, gicl√©√© prints on canvas of her original oil paintings. “I am excited to present these because I have not painted with oils since high school… a very long time ago.”
Please join Christine and the Jerome Co-op Artists at First Saturday Art Walk, 5-8 pm on January 7th at the Hotel Jerome, 502 Main Street, Jerome Az 86331.  Daily Hours: 10- 6pm
For info: call 928-639-4276

Friday, December 2, 2016


The talented clan of merrymaker-artists at the Jerome Cooperative Gallery will be decking the walls- and every other available spot in the old Hotel Jerome - floor spaces, windows, pillars and fitting room- in time for the opening of their annual Holiday Membership show on Saturday, Dec 3rd  from 5 – 8pm.
        The Opening is in conjunction with First Saturday Jerome Art Walk, and shuttle service will be available for visitors during afternoon and evening hours. The festive JAC evening will include impromptu singing and fa-la-la-ing by roving artist-members accompanied by guitars, ukes, maracas, tamborines and back-up vocals from everyone who comes in the door! Holiday cookies and hot mulled cider will be part of the evening’s menu.
   Membership shows at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery are always fun and enticing because the artists, who are required to stay within guidelines of presenting only juried work during the rest of the year, may exhibit any kind of art or craft at one of the two Membership shows held during the year.
   At this show, for example, Nancy Norman will exhibit a piece of work which is related to her very popular juried rolled- paper beaded jewelry but is uniquely different in format; she has completed a framed 18 x 30 Rolled-Paper Bead Mosaic which has been in progress for several months.  
 For more information about the December Holiday Show, the Jerome Artists       Cooperative Gallery, or individual artist-members:
(928) 639 4276 in Hotel Jerome, 502 Main Street, Jerome, Az 86331
Hours: 10- 6 DAILY 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Signatures: Lettering Art by Sid Freeman

“Signatures: Lettering Art by Sid Freeman”
Sid Freeman uses calligraphy to make art. As a simplified example, if she were to paint an image of a ball of yarn, it would look like a ball of yarn from a distance; yet when examined up close, one could see that the image is actually composed of tiny calligraphic words, written repeatedly, such as “knit, knit, knit,” until the image of a ball of yarn develops. From this start, experimentation led Ms. Freeman to using relevant words and symbols to create visual stories with calligraphy. Her most recent work, “Anchored Innocence,” depicts the story of Romeo & Juliet. To create it, Sid combined calligraphy, color, and historical references and symbols to achieve a masterful piece of artistic calligraphy. Ms. Freeman refers to her new work as “image poetry.”  
Sid's show kicks off with a reception for the artist on Oct. 1st from 5-8 pm, during Jerome’s Saturday art walk. Refreshments will be served. Music provided by Christy Fisher and Frenz. Show runs until Nov.30.
Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery        
 502 Main Street 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Soul Food- Through the Lens of Jerome Co-op Photographer Mike Koopsen

      The Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery will be celebrating the landscape photography of artist Mike Koopsen in a new exhibition, “Soul Food: Places and Spaces to Nourish the Spirit.” This exhibit opens on August 6th in conjunction with the Jerome First Saturday Art Walk and runs through Sept 28th. The public is invited to join Mike and his fellow Co-op artists from 5-8 pm for food, wine and the opportunity to hear first-hand what motivates the soft-spoken, inspirational artist to continue his photography career after 25 years.
In the beginning, there were horses; images initially captured on black and white film proved to be the launching pad to a successful career fueled by a passion not only for wildlife, but for landscapes encountered in the beauty of the natural world around him. Mike’s desire to capture ‘the spirit of the moment’ led him to seek out and photograph places where very few people ever venture. He traveled across continents and through 70 countries, but confesses that some of his most thrilling adventures occurred here in the American Southwest, which he now calls home. “It is in these places where I experience a deep sense of awe, excitement and inspiration which I try to capture and share for others to enjoy.”
As a ‘cultural’ photographer, Mike shares an awareness of the fragile and precious nature of our environment and the need to protect it so future generations can enjoy the wonders he has experienced. “I hope my images will inspire others to seek out a richer, more personal connection with the natural world.”
The artist’s award-winning images have been published in books, magazines and newspapers and used in brochures, videos and on the web.
Mike Koopsen: Trails Traveled Photography, Sedona Az.
Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery 502 Main St, Jerome, Az 86331 928-639-4276

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Jerome Coop Artists Have the Summer Blues- and Greens and Golds

The celebration continues for another month in the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery Annual Summer Membership show, “Local Color.” Unlike the rest of the year, artists are encouraged to showcase not only their juried art, but any other creative project they want to share with the public. During the two month exhibition, watercolorists become calligraphers, fabric artists show jewelry, ceramicists dip their brushes into oil palettes and photographers get down and dirty with their digital art. Many delightful surprises as well as new works from the members’ juried media fill the show room for two months, and the current show runs through July.
 While there are always some artist/members present at the gallery on a daily basis to ring up purchases, share tourist advice and give lessons on Jerome’s colorful history, the First Saturday Art Walk is always a crowd favorite that brings out the food and wine and many more artist- members to meet the public. The entire town opens its doors after-hours, from 5-8pm and live music in the galleries often contributes to the “Saturday Night in the City” party atmosphere.
The monthly Art Walk at the Jerome Coop also serves to highlight new items recently introduced by artist-members. Fashion designer, Susan Brackell- whose colorful fabric water bottle carriers are always a popular item, has a new line of Wine Totes- perfect carriers for a full bottle of Pinot Grigio to accompany all those healthy lettuce wraps on a summer creekside picnic.
Watercolor artist Judy Jaaskeleinen has created a new collection of decorative pillows which highlight her love for and interest in the role of historic women- a perfect and completely unique gift for all genders of friends.
Join us for First Saturday Art Walk on July 2nd from 5-8pm at The Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, 502 Main Street in the historic Hotel Jerome.
The gallery is open daily, 10 am – 6pm  For info: (928) 639-4276

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

“Celebrate with us!”

The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery kicks off its 20th Anniversary Celebration on May 7th, during Jerome’s First Saturday Art walk, from 5-8 pm. 
In 1996, a small group of local artists dreamed of having a place of their own to showcase their work. Through the concerted efforts of local artists and local business supporters, their dream quickly became a reality when the town of Jerome offered the newly forming Co-op, the ground floor of the historic Hotel Jerome as their storefront. The Co-op has been a resident tenant ever since; growing, expanding, and sharing colorful local art with the Jerome community and its visitors for the past 20 years.
Victoria Norton celebrates her own personal journey as a long-time member of the Jerome Co-op with her new tryptic in clay, entitled, “Abstract Celebration.”  Ms. Norton’s intention to stretch her limits demonstrates what is possible for a Co-op member. Stretching and growing is encouraged in the Co-op environment so that artists are kept engaged, and patrons enthralled.
Marjorie Claus celebrates her membership in the Co-op as a batik artist by referencing her Indonesian roots where she first learned batik. She chose to depict a Balinese Barong, a mythological character, which symbolizes the Force for Good. Marjorie comments, “The Co-op has endured many struggles over the years. Our members are resilient, and the Force for Good at the Co-op always win out!”
Sid Freeman, calligrapher, celebrates her participation in the Co-op with, “Together,” from her new series of “narrative paintings.” In “Together” Ms. Freeman explores the notion that the words “he, she and we,” written calligraphy-style in a painting can visually express their meanings.  In “Together,” Ms. Freeman uses a mix of spirals and other symbols that represent the Co-op’s 20 year history of growth and change as our members have worked together to make the Co-op what it is today.
“Celebrate with us!” is a diverse showing of artwork from 35 members. A reception for the artists will be held May 7 (Art Walk) from 5-8pm. Entertainment will be provided by the notorious John Ziegler and Sally Stricker Duo, who incorporate into their performances a wide variety of influences that range from standard and contemporary folk and pop to more obscure cabaret and ethnic stylings.  “Celebrate with us!” will be a festive event you won’t want to miss!
“Celebrate with us!” runs May 7-June 29.
Open Daily 10am – 6pm.
Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 502 Main St.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Works by Rex Peters and Bernie Lopez

Bernie Lopez, Rex Peters: New Works
Both Bernie Lopez and Rex Peters are master craftsmen. Many people are drawn to the warmth and charm of the natural, local wood-turned works of Rex Peters, while Bernie Lopez’s fine acrylic paintings are startling when one realizes that these meticulous artworks on canvas are not photographs!
 “As an artist, I enjoy rendering Nature in a way that introduces the viewer to a different perspective of my subject.” –Bernie Lopez 
While growing up in Escondido, California, Lopez was drawn to the natural world around him.   At an early age he started sketching his observations of Nature and discovered his passion for art. In his 20’s, Lopez traveled the western United States absorbing the beautiful scenery he witnessed. Inspired by his journeys, Lopez began painting realistic landscapes modeled after the photographs he had captured during his travels. As his painting explorations continued, Lopez began to include abstract elements in his work. Ultimately, he invented a unique painting style that merges his interest in both abstract and realistic elements. In “New Works,” Lopez dazzles viewers with his precise depictions of natural forms.
 “I design my work with simple lines, often inspired by classic shapes, to display the natural beauty of each piece of wood.” –Rex Peters
Peters began his journey with fine woodworking in 1988. After much practice, he taught himself to turn a bowl. Now, he frequently chooses local woods, often earmarked for the burn pile, as his medium. In them, he sees potential as works of fine art.
Peters’ first step in turning a block of wood into a bowl or box is to cut, using a chain saw and then a band saw, a chunk of wood the approximate size of his envisioned project. Peters then gradually changes the block of wood into a pleasing, refined shape. During each step Peters follows his intuition in response to the wood’s natural beauty. Besides being functional, his turned bowls and boxes are meant to give both visual and tactile pleasure to the viewer. His works highlight the natural grain, the color, and the textures inherent within each rough- cut piece of wood. Some of Peters’ works receive a decorative edge of inlaid turquoise; others display turquoise inlaid symbols; yet others are embellished with hand-twisted inlaid copper wire. All pieces receive a fine sanding and light rub of food safe walnut oil to further enhance and finish the piece.
Perhaps both of these fine craftsmen are motivated by the desire to share their unique artistic visions. “New Works” runs March 4-April 27, with an Art Walk reception for the artists on March 5 from 5-8pm. Refreshments will be served.
Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery            502 Main St.        928-639-4276

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dreams of the Carbon Base: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass and More

“Dreams of the Carbon Base: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass and More

Mark Galen Lucas creates works of art that are simultaneously delicate and complex.  His sculptures are intended to create an aesthetic that impacts feelings while encouraging contemplation.

Mr. Lucas is a self-taught artist who has always been interested in science, especially microbiology and anatomy. A display that he saw at the American Museum of Natural History in New York some years ago continues to inspire his work.  That display, featuring large glass recreations of organisms, propelled him to further explore different life forms in his own glass works.

Mr. Lucas is a lamp-worked glass artist, one who uses a table-mounted torch to melt and fuse glass to create his visions.  About this process he comments, “I often find myself day dreaming while working the glass rods with the torch. I am fascinated with the effects that heat, gravity and centrifugal forces have on the glass rods.” 

While forming sculptures, Mr. Lucas is continually thinking, even dreaming, of life and evolution and what the world will be like in the future. He considers the many ways that man is impacting nature now and questions the prudence of some of those actions.   He also references branching and repeating patterns in nature.   “These patterns,” he notes, “are always floating around in my head, changing and evolving, while I work.”   And while he works, he contemplates where life is headed and the effects of evolution.

“Dreams of the Carbon Base: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass and More”
Opens January 2 with an Art Walk reception from 5-8pm.
Show runs Jan.2-March 2.  Daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery
502 Main St. Jerome