Beat the heat on First Friday with an evening of poetry and fine art, starting at 4:00pm in the Sculpture Garden. After an hour of delightful poetry, move inside for the opening reception of the Arts Center’s new August Exhibit, Canyon Lands. The exhibit features four local artists who have captured the flavor and beauty of Northern Arizona: Susan Kliewer, sculptor and painter, David Haskell, plein-air oil painter, Mariann Leahy, clay artist, and Richard Daley, photographer. The show opens with the reception on Friday and runs through September 2nd. Open daily from 10am to 5pm.
At 6:00pm the winner of the People’s Choice Award from the 2009 Members Open Exhibition will be announced. Ballots were cast throughout the entire show, which ran from July 3 to August 5th. The winning piece will be on display through the month of August.
Susan Kliewer is a native of Southern California, but has made Arizona her home for almost 40 years. She spent five of those years at Marble Canyon Trading Post in a remote area of Northern Arizona, adjacent to the Navajo Reservation. A painter since the age of ten, Susan turned to sculpting in 1987, after working in an art casting foundry for ten years. Susan often uses her Native American friends and relatives as models to capture that special intimacy which is a hallmark of her work.
In 1993 Susan won a competition to create a monument of Sedona Schnebly. The ten-foot high sculpture was installed in front of the Sedona Library. Since then, many more monuments have been commissioned and installed in the United States and Europe. Susan is currently working on twelve two-thirds, life-sized sculptures for the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park on Kauai, Hawaii depicting a Navajo family settlement.
David Haskell, another California native who has made Sedona his home, began painting in oils at an early age. Although he worked his way through college as an illustrator, he chose a career in resource management with the National Park Service. He painted occasionally on commission until he retired from the NPS in 1999. Since then he has been painting full time.
Although best known for his dynamic paintings of the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Monument Valley, he takes frequent painting expeditions to other locations including the Rocky Mountains and the central California coast. He states, “My paintings are the result of experiences in the field that have inspired my sense of awe and appreciation for the incredible beauty of the Western landscape. I am particularly drawn to moving water and the power of vast open spaces.”
Mariann Leahy, was born in Chicago, but has lived in Sedona for 10 years. She is a talented clay artist who is inspired by myths and symbols that depict the emergence and mystery of life’s energy. Her works, a blend of human and animal motifs, combine artistic experience with profound respect for nature and images from the past. With clay as her medium of choice, she has a natural tactile connection with the earth.
After researching stories that have been influenced by the rich cultural traditions and ruins located throughout the Southwest, Mariann draws the stories in glaze on fired clay. Each piece is then painted with many additional coats of glaze, which bring alive the brilliant colors during the second firing process. Her hand-built pieces echo ancient motifs in a contemporary style.
Richard Daley is an award-wining fine art photographer living in Sedona, Arizona. His landscape and nature photography is strongly influenced by the elements of design using line and form, light and shadow, complementary and contrasting color. He uses the principles of Zen in much of his nature photography to capture the essence of the subject, celebrate the ordinary, and invite the viewer to a deeper relationship with nature.
The work of each of these fine artists will draw you into a different experience of the Canyon Lands – with a view of this corner of the world through their eyes that has been captured on canvas, on film, in bronze and in clay. The artists will be providing free demonstrations during the month of August. Call for dates and times.
The reception runs from 5:00 to 8:00pm – no admission. Everyone is invited to enjoy the art and to meet and mingle with the artists. It will be an evening well worth the effort. The Sedona Arts Center is located at the north end of Uptown Sedona, on the left just before entering Oak Creek Canyon. For more information, please call the Gallery at 928-282-3865, the Administrative Office 928-282-3809, or visit our Website at http://www.sedonaartscenter.com/