Monday, October 25, 2021

Roam in Jerome


Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery celebrates 25 Years!

The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery celebrates the Holiday Season and its 25th Anniversary on Saturday, Nov 6, during Jerome’s First Saturday art walk, now referred to as “Roam in Jerome.” Many shops, businesses, and of course restaurants will be open until 8 pm or later as patrons Roam in Jerome.

The Jerome Co-op presents a Holiday Show and interesting paraphernalia that scrapbooks earlier days at the Co-op. Members, past members and guests will explore photos and share stories of days gone by as a tribute to the dedication it took to establish and nurture the Co-op into the stable community of artists that it is today. From humble beginnings, the Co-op has developed into a contemporary fine art and craft gallery that is owned and operated by its members.

Judy Jaaskelainen recalls, “I became a member of the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery about 20 years ago. My niece, Lisa Whitacre, was a member along with David Soule, who created large, wonderful leaded-glass prisms that were filled with water and hung in the windows to caste rainbows everywhere. I was accepted as a member for my watercolor paintings. At that time, we had about 25-30 members.” She continues, “Anne Bassett, one of the founding members, trained me in how to do the paperwork, which was tedious, as we used hand-written sales receipts in triplicate for each purchase. We didn’t have a cash register then! Anne was a stickler for details, and the gallery meant everything to her. She made sure all the art was presented in a professional manner. Her standards were high, but her contributions throughout the years have added to the gallery’s success.  I feel honored being a member of the gallery. We have evolved over the years, but we’ve maintained our dedication to high standards and the purpose of being a place where new artists can establish themselves in a thriving, welcoming, professional gallery.”

Each year, the Holiday show features all members’ work including artists who have been members for some 20 odd years to others who have just recently joined the Co-op. One unique feature about an All-Member Show is that, as a co-op, artists are accepted to be members for a particular type or style of work they were juried in for by a jury committee. This ensures diversity for the gallery and variety for its patrons. However, in an All-Member Show, members can display any type of work they might be skilled in even if they have not been “juried in” for it. This creates an interesting mix of works that may not be immediately associated with a particular member as they may never have been shown before!

Jordan Ross, a newer member says, “My works in mixed media, acrylics and assemblage arise as my need for exploration of new ideas and techniques motivates me. Often when I use alternative art materials, unusual tools, and an adventurous attitude, each piece has a life of its own, and emerges intuitively in its own way and time. I refer to my process of art making as “spontaneous creative combustion!”  

Nora Graf, also a relatively new member, creates beautiful, colorful designs, patterns, and images on gourds. Featured in this show is her “Butterfly Gourd,” where she says, “All the butterflies on the gourd can be found in Arizona. They include the Queen butterfly, the Two-Tailed Swallowtail, Elf butterfly, Painted Ladies and Acmons Blue. The designs are wood burned onto the gourd. The cutouts are then made with a mini jigsaw. The gourd is painted, and wire antenna are attached. It is finished with a wood lacquer spray coat.”

Marjorie Claus’ love of horses and art are two interests she’s had since childhood. “’Timelines,’” she said, “is a series of acrylic paintings (not just layers!) on top of each other. Each underlying painting existed for a short time before it became a support for more layers. All of these layers and underpaintings combined have contributed to the final state of “Timelines,” as it evolved over time.”

Sid Freeman, a long-time member of the Co-op and best known for her calligraphic paintings, presents her piece called, “Moments of Coincidence.” Sid says, “This piece is 22” x 38” on stretcher bars. I used graphite and watercolor.” She continues, “‘Moments of Coincidence’ is a combination of pencil drawings, geometric shapes, and triangles that are edged with ‘chance’ hand-written words.” Sid is inspired by works of the masters from the past.

Judy Jaaskelainen’s watercolor painting, “Dressed for the Holidays,” reminds us of how the Co-op looked in its younger days.

Please join the Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary/Holiday Show during “Roam in Jerome,” Jerome’s First Saturday Art Walk on Nov. 6 from 5-8 pm with light snacks and drinks provided. The show runs until December 29th. The Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm except Tuesdays. Masks may be required. 





Jaaskelainen: Dressed for the Holidays Watercolor


Saturday, October 9, 2021

Roam in Jerome


The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery opens for Art Walk October 2

As a small, historic mountain town, there are plenty of reasons for Jerome to include all shops, galleries, businesses, and restaurants in their traditional monthly art walk on the First Saturday of each month. With a kick-off of re-opening due to being closed by Covid, Jerome’s First Saturday event will reappear as, “Roam in Jerome” where everyone is invited, and everyone is included.

The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery joins in the fun by highlighting their current featured two-member-artists show, “The Color of Dreams,” with new work by Michele Cokl Naylor and Birgitta Lapides. “The Color of Dreams” itself is a celebration of color, mood, and atmosphere, where suddenly it feels good to be hopeful again. It feels good to dream.

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. 

Located on the ground level of the old Hotel Jerome at 502 Main Street, The Jerome Artists’ Cooperative Gallery will be open for “Roam in Jerome” on the first Saturday, October 2, from 5 pm – 8 pm with light refreshments provided. Face masks may be required. “The Color of Dreams” will run until October 26.  To learn more about the individual featured artists, visit and To learn more about the Co-op, call 928-639-4276 or visit