Monday, July 12, 2021

The Color of Dreams


“The Color of Dreams” comes to Jerome Artists Cooperative

New work by Michele Cokl Naylor and Birgitta Lapides

For more than 20 years, they’ve been members of the Jerome Artists Cooperative. They’re also friends and neighbors residing on the same street in Cottonwood. But perhaps the connection that truly binds Michele Cokl Naylor and Birgitta Lapides is a shared passion for color. So it’s only natural the two artists have joined forces to create a post-pandemic show called “The Color of Dreams.” 

Bold yet soothing, intense yet uplifting, “The Color of Dreams” opens at the Jerome Artists Cooperative on July 30. After a long stressful year, this feels like the show we need right now, created by strong independent women artists.

“The Color of Dreams” is a celebration—a vibrant blending of mood and atmosphere. Suddenly, it feels good to be hopeful again. It feels good to dream. Naylor and Lapides light the way with each canvas forming a personal connection with viewers. The show serves as a reminder that dreams should be fearless, vivid and inspiring.     

Naylor, who is also known for her quirky line of greeting cards, specializes in mixed media abstracts for this show. She works with acrylic paints and also uses colored pencil, pastel sticks, charcoal, ink, paper, fabric, and photo transfer. She often prefers to create on small canvases. Many of her paintings are 6” x 10,” 8” x 8” and 4” x 12.” She likes the challenge involved in creating entire worlds in a limited space. It also makes her dreamlike work affordable and easy to place in home or office.    

“Strong colors draw the attention, but I also include plenty of details to hold a viewer’s interest. I add texture to give your eye something to dance around on,” says Naylor. “When someone hangs my art on their wall, I want them to be able to enjoy it on a daily basis, to always feel like the more they look at it, the more they will discover.”  

Lapides draws inspiration from the colors of the world. Born in Sweden, she’s lived in Belgium, the south of France, New York City, the green hills of Vermont, and finally Arizona. Each location has expanded her palette. She has studied art at esteemed institutions and worked as a full-time artist for decades creating highly sought after hand-woven garments. For this show Lapides uses hand painted papers to create a richness and depth in her Arizona-inspired collage paintings. She also does ink paintings and a few watercolors.  

“I’m an intuitive painter. I don’t work from photos or sketches, this is just how I see and feel our beautiful Arizona landscape,” says Lapides. “I like to work small in this format and want the art to provoke a reaction in others just like it does in me. That’s what color can do. I have a need for strong colors as elemental as a need for food.”  

In addition to the array of eye-catching paintings lining the gallery walls, the show will include some splashy jewelry. Look for hand-painted earrings created by Lapides and framed abstract art pins by Naylor. 

“The Color of Dreams” will run from July 30 through October 26. It can be viewed at the Jerome Artists Cooperative during regular operating hours.

The Jerome Co-op has been an anchor of the Verde Valley art scene since it opened in 1996. More than two-dozen local artists display their work and also operate the business, with each member handling shifts and serving on various committees. The multi-room gallery features a wide range of mediums from handcrafted and fine art, including jewelry, photography, painting, ceramics, glass, wood, and clothing.

The Jerome Artists Cooperative is located at 502 Main Street in downtown Jerome. For more information, call 928-639-4276, or visit

To learn more about the individual artists, visit or


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Matter or Not


Mark Galen Lucas:  Contemporary Sculpture in Glass

The glass work of Mark Galen Lucas expresses themes familiar to many, although they may be themes that most people have not chosen to explore. However, Mark Galen Lucas does not hesitate to explore the entire spectrum of human emotion in his Contemporary Sculpture in Glass. In this solo show, “Matter or Not” the viewer is presented with a variety of emotions to contemplate. Mark Galen Lucas, a member of the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, has been working with glass since the year 2000. He is self-taught. All his work is “lampworked glass,” which means it is made using a torch.

“My inspiration,” he explains, “comes from microbiology, nature, and observing human emotion. My piece entitled, ‘Poisoned Dreams’ is about exploring the darker side of ourselves. In this work, the figure holds her heart in one hand and a snake skeleton in the other while pushing the fangs of the snake into her heart to willingly experience the darkness.” This life size sculpture took four months to complete.

“The piece entitled, ‘Molecular Self-Destruction,’ Mark continues, “is about depression. One arm of the figure is transforming into branches and flowers, whereas the other hand is pulling off the petals from the flowers, which symbolizes those parts of herself that are not allowing her to change and evolve.” This piece took thirty days to complete.

“Matter or Not” dives deeply into the themes Mark Galen Lucas explores. The complexity of his ideas and techniques brings about an experience, while viewing his work, that is both astonishing and impressive at the same time. This is a show not to be missed! With its grace and design along with its both delicate and bold themes and techniques, Mark’s work is established as a presence to be felt. Mark Galen Lucas’ show will continue at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery thru April 28th.   

The Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery is in the old Hotel Jerome, ground level. It is Open Daily, except Tuesdays, from 10 AM – 6 PM. There will not be an art walk celebration at this time, so please visit the Co-op when you can in April. See and experience the amazing, imaginative work of Mark Galen Lucas thru April 28th.

502 Main Street   928-639-4276


Monday, March 1, 2021

Matter or Not

Gallery hours are random currently, so please call ahead to make sure the gallery is open.  928-639-4276   Like us on Facebook!  Accepting applications for new members in all media.

Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery 502 N. Main Street Jerome, AZ.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Celebrate 2021: Signs of Hope


In every culture throughout the world since primitive times, there have been ceremonies, celebrations, rituals, and beliefs about the calendar changing to a new year. Across the board, it has represented a time where humanity hopes, prays, dances, sings, makes resolutions, and stirs excitement for the hope that lies ahead. Modern times are no different. Certainly, after leaving our footprints and experiences of 2020 behind, many people are stepping forward into the new year with the hope that things will be better, and peace will reign across the globe. 

Members of the Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery have expressed these visions through artwork that will be on display for a month-long exhibition in the gallery from Jan 1 – Feb 3. 

The Co-op welcomes its newest member, Nora Graf, whose gourd art is impressive. Her work is colorful, delicate, and uplifting. “I started making gourd art some 25 years ago,” she said, “and I still love doing it! Perhaps, the reason I love making gourd art is because it is so versatile. Gourds can be painted, wood burned, carved, and drawn on. I am still trying new techniques and media, where each gourd is a new adventure!”

Mary Dempsey chooses to represent the new year through the telling of the story of the King and Queen of Cups in a collage. Old and new accents tell the story of good fortune to come. “Like most of us,” Mary points out, “I am awaiting the new year. I made this collage wishing the gypsy, with all her omens, spells and magic, along with the power of the tarot King and Queen of Cups will bring us all peace, abundance, and good fortune in 2021.”

Florence Flynn expresses themes of hope in her paintings.  “Keepers of the Hearts.” Flo says, “is inspired by all that is going on in our worldly journey, and I see it as a reminder that we are all a part of that journey and we are also part of the solution.”

Marjorie Claus enjoys figurative portraiture, “because,” she says, “the figure is so expressive. When seeing a person, we get a feeling about them, even if they say nothing. This is what I am expressing in my mixed media painting entitled, “Peaches.”

Judy Jaaskelainen describes her feelings by saying, “I took some time over the past few month in isolation to collect my thoughts and try to put words to my rather jumbled collection of feelings, (some of which, there are no words in my vocabulary to express…) I then decided to look for images in my art that might provide a ‘visual’ to go along with the words and thoughts, hopes and feelings. The result has become my 2021 Calendar. The coming new year is full of possibility and a renewed desire to be the best human I can be. I plan to create greeting cards also, from some of the images, and those will be available at the Jerome Co-op as well.”

Judy’s closing words sum it up for many members, as “We wish everyone a fresh New Year full of Joy, Hope, Healing, and Soulful Reflection.”

The “Celebrate 2021” show runs from January 1 – February 3. Gallery hours are random currently, so please call ahead to make sure the gallery is open.  928-639-4276   Like us on Facebook!  Accepting applications for new members in all media.

Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery 502 N. Main Street Jerome, AZ.