Loretta Alfonsi became interested in art in junior high school and started taking art classes after marrying and motherhood. She has taken many art classes over the years in adult education and at the junior college level.
She bought property in Rodeo in 1991 and joined the Chiricahua Gallery. She has been an active member for the past 21 years. She started a co-op gallery in Ramona, California twenty-four years ago. Loretta is still learning and loves to push the paint around and to experiment. She lives in Ramona.
All of Marlene Baska’s soap recipes and essential oil blends are original. She prefers to make natural soaps that are attractive as well as wonderful for the skin. All of her soaps are made from scratch. You will see the word "superfat" or "superfatted" in her descriptions. That means there are extra molecules of rich oils dispersed throughout the soap to give it an enhanced conditioning quality. Marlene tries to keep at least one type of soap available that has local ingredients or a Southwestern theme, such as Prickly Pear Margarita natural soap made with locally gathered Prickly Pears. She is featured in a book being released this month, Naturally Saponified: An International Gallery of Artisan Soaps.
Gold Rush- this soap is 99% natural, superfatted with Mango Butter, and contains coconut cream. The coconut cream was personally handmade by Marlene from young Thai Coconuts. The soap was made using the hot process method of soap making which gives the soap a somewhat more rustic appearance. It is designed to have the appearance of veins of gold in quartz crystal rock. It is a unisex soap that is creamy and conditioning. The fragrance is made with Marlene’s original blend of essential oils of Clary Sage, Amyris, Cassia, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Patchouli, and Spearmint. The dominant fragrance is Clary Sage, and the blend of the supporting essential oils offers the fragrance of the desert...organic, warm, and mild.
Aswagahnda Green Tea- is a natural soap created with green tea, and superfatted with Shea Butter and Walnut Oil. It contains powdered Ashwgahnda, an herb of India that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. According to Marlene’s research it has not been used in a soap recipe before. The soap also contains local raw honey. Honey is a humectant, thus it draws moisture to the skin. It also has Kaolin clay, which is mildly exfoliates the skin. To add some variation in color, a small portion of the soap contains black walnut hull that is finely powdered and it also gently exfoliates the skin. Marlene’s original essential oil blend for this soap includes Lemongrass, Patchouli, Litsea Cubeba, and Cypress which offers a lovely, light meditative quality to the fragrance.
Lemon Essence- this is a natural, vegan soap for those who love fresh lemon fragrance. It contains Avocado Oil and Shea Butter for a skin-conditioning boost. It contains dried, finely powdered lemon peel, which is used as a colorant and gently exfoliates the skin. The other natural colorant in this soap is turmeric. Marlene’s original essential oil blend for this one is Lemon, Lemongrass, and Lemon Myrtle which offers a fresh, rich, lemon fragrance.
Vicki G. Beno
While living in the state of Victoria, Australia, in the 1970s, Vicki G. Beno was inspired by its natural beauty and began photographing the local wildlife and fauna. In seven years she was able to travel to different parts of the country and capture the essence of Australia.
After moving back to the states in 1979 and settling in southern California, Vicki traveled to Alaska and was fortunate to photograph the humpback whale in the Kenai Fjords National Park, off of Seward, Alaska. The photo is published in A World of Memories by The International Library of Photography and is titled “Leap For Joy”.
Vicki moved from California to Florida in 1998 and had wonderful opportunities to photograph its varied wildlife, especially while living along the Indian River Lagoon. Florida’s beaches offer glorious sunrises and sunsets.
Now a resident of Portal, Arizona, Vicki is enthralled with the high desert’s numerous photographic moments. She lives with her husband in the Arizona Sky Village where the mountain views are breath-taking. Vicki hopes that each photograph brings you joy, peace or happiness. Or, perhaps all three!
Karen Biglin is a lifelong Arizonan and amateur naturalist who loves all things in our native environment, including birds, butterflies, bugs, flowers, gemstones, and more. Attraction to beautiful colors and shapes started her along the path of a blissful birding obsession, which in turn led to decades of amazing journeys around the world. On her travels, Karen absorbed as many aesthetic delights as she could, bringing these elements to her jewelry.
Karen studied art and jewelry making for many years, is PMC© certified to work with precious metal clays, and makes many of her own charms. With her business, K-wren’s Jewelry, she developed artwork that is whimsical and nature-oriented. Each piece reflects some aspect of our unique and magnificent habitat.
Karen uses fine materials such as crystals, Czech pressed glass, silver, copper, and gemstones in her work. She hopes that her pieces will evoke happy moments of being in the natural world for those who wear her creations.
Linda Blake began painting in July of 2013, originally starting with acrylics and months later venturing into the world of oils. Her passion is painting landscapes from the Desert Southwest as well as other scenes from her mind and travels.
Her love of art came late in life after her 7th grade teacher told her “art isn’t your thing.” Decades later, a friend convinced her to take a one-evening art class, and she has been hooked ever since.
Because of her remote location she is a self-taught artist. Her techniques stem from the influences of artists Len Hend and Wilson Bickford via YouTube on the Internet. Her work has also been critiqued by Amarillo artist Amy Winton.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, her career Navy father’s job took her to places in her formative years such as Alaska, Hawaii and southern California. She and her husband moved to the “Bootheel” area of New Mexico in 2013 where they live an enriching life, enjoying the dramatic and ever-changing vistas of the San Simon Valley with their three dogs and wonderful neighbors. Linda joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015.
Gourd Art/ “Eye Of The Beholder”
Joanna Bradley works primarily with gourds but ventures into other areas of artistic expression on occasion. She has had a life-long interest in art which she has continued to pursue as a “hobby.” Some would argue that gourds are not fine art, but Joanna has discovered many talented gourd artists throughout the country. She loves color and likes to do art that makes people smile and feel good.
Joanna’s adult life has been spent in advertising related industries. She currently owns a small advertising agency that does only television advertising for the home remodeling industry. Sometimes she finds herself resenting her “real” job because it takes too much time from the thing she loves to do… gourd art!
She has participated in art shows and galleries for the last 19 years in New Mexico, Arizona, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. She has received several awards including the “most creative entry” at the Angel Fire New Mexico Art Festival.
Fused and Cast glass; multi-media
Someone once mentioned to Greta while she was doodling in a meeting that she must be a frustrated artist. She had never really applied any energy to artistic endeavors until she and her husband started building furniture and took a stained glass course to incorporate into their woodworking. One thing led to another, and the tools started filling the shop…from stained glass to woodworking to metal working to glass fusing and casting. Greta relishes the time wondering and wandering from tool to tool. Any day in the shop can find her cutting glass one minute and 5 minutes later donning a welding helmet and gloves to build the structure that will support the glass.
Many of her designs are inspired by her natural and cultural surroundings as she blends a variety of media, including glass, wood, metal and stone to form her pieces. The general idea for a piece forms in her mind, sometimes over weeks and sometimes as a flash of inspiration. She allows the design to take shape as she works the elements. The two dimensional form of fused glass naturally led to a desire to evolve her work to three dimensional pieces and kiln casting with either open faced molds or through lost wax casting.
The simple fused glass pieces are made by cutting and layering sheet glass and then embellishing with broken or powdered glass or a liquid glass and exposed to temperatures nearing 1500 degrees. Cast glass is made following the techniques of lost-wax casting or open face mold making where the design is made in another medium and then a mold formed with a plaster/silica mix. Once the mold is cleaned it is placed in the kiln and glass is placed in a reservoir above the mold to be melted into the mold over a period of hours. Working with glass can be an exacting science and always an adventure. Small imperfections may sneak in to the designs and can either be used to enhance the design, or force a “re-do”. Greta joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2013.
Paintings & Note Cards
Tom Collazo paints landscapes of the Arizona borderlands region and views from traveling the world. His work is in original oil paintings and note cards. He also make the frames for his paintings. He is available to paint scenes that capture the land or home that you love.
Tom was born and raised in New Jersey, Maryland and Florida, and moved to Arizona with his wife Debbie in 1974. The natural world - and how people have lived in it through time - have always been of interest to him. He devoted 30 years to conserving and managing wild places in Arizona through The Nature Conservancy. His love of art was inspired early on by his grandfather, who was a commercial artist. Studying art history at Northwestern University included many visits to the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the last ten years, he has worked primarily in oils to try to capture places and experiences meaningful to him. Many of the scenes he paints are from the Chiricahua Mountains in Southeast Arizona, where he and Debbie spend time when not in Tucson. He has been a member of the Chiricahua Gallery since 2011. You can also view his work at www.tomcollazo.com.
Carole Constant grew up in Northern New Jersey, sketching its woods, ponds and flowers. After marrying her husband, they moved to Warwick, NY where they built their own home and raised two sons. She attended various colleges – graduating from S.U.N.Y New Paltz with degrees in Fine Arts and Art History. After graduation, Carole was a freelance commercial artist. She also took commissions for watercolor, pen and ink, and oil paintings of clients’ homes and landscapes.
She is now devoting herself full time to oil painting. Her favorite subject matters include New England – partially the tidal areas and the last wooden boats of the fishing fleet; the historic Hudson Valley – it’s mountains, lakes and architecture; the Great Southwest – it’s grasslands, deserts, and mountains; and the wildlife and flowers found in these diverse areas.
She paints whatever inspires her – whether its because of its color, or the interplay of light, shadows and forms at different times of day and in changing weather conditions.
Malika Crozier is a Silver City Artist working in clay – currently focused on bringing into her world and yours an attitude of Celebrate IT ALL.
A painter working in clay, she describes her creations as Heartfelt Art for Every Day Use. Malika creates hand-built objects designed to be used, to delight the soul and to remind us of the “Celebrate Attitude” daily.
Her pieces reflect a long interest in subtle images, symbols and ceremonies, nature and metamorphosis. For Malika, the creative process is a meditation. The energy of this process is in each piece. Using glazes with a painter’s point of view, each piece develops as a painting does. At the kiln, opening a piece, like a painting in process, is either finished or asking for further glaze and additional firing. Consider each piece as created with intention – that one remembers and celebrates themselves each time one sees or uses it.
Malika holds a BA in Fine Arts from University of California at Los Angeles. She has worked on paper, canvas and mixed media – showing in Los Angles, Denver and Aspen as a painter. Malika came to clay early in the ‘80’s. She settled in Silver City, New Mexico in 2005 where she continues exploring and creating objects from the heart.
Her work can be seen at Cloudcroft Gallery in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, at the Chiricahua Gallery in Rodeo, New Mexico and in Silver City by appointment. (575) 534 9809 - She joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015.
Robert (Bob) Dearing
Robert (Bob) Dearing has made things all his life. As teenagers, he and his younger brother were always buying old cars they could fix up and drive. If they couldn’t find a part or afford to buy it, they would search around until they found enough “stuff” and manufacture it themselves. Over the years, Bob has built from the ground up jalopies and dune buggies. He has rebuilt several old cars and airplanes and has completed two full size airplanes that he still owns after starting with nothing but the set of plans for each. He helped his father build houses during his teens and young adulthood and, since his marriage, he has built six houses—the last one on eighty acres near Portal. He is semi-retired and, when not helping his neighbors with their plumbing problems, he loves scrounging around and finding the makings for metal javelinas, ravens, prickly pear cacti and agaves, as well as rusty metal and copper barn stars, and birds nests. He keeps coming up with new ideas and considers it a challenge to make his objects out of metal and parts he finds, thus the birth of his new sideline he calls Recycled Creations. He joined the Chiricahua Gallery in November 2011 and enjoys displaying and selling his creations.
Casey Dennis was born in Douglas, Arizona, and raised on a cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona. Following graduation from nurses’ training with her RN, she worked for several years before entering the United States Air Force. She was on active duty for five years in Vietnam, flying aeromedical evacuation of wounded GIs. Ultimately, she retired from the Arizona Air National Guard as a lieutenant colonel after 25 years of service in the military. Once home from the war, she married and had two children. She used the GI Bill to obtain a Bachelors Degree from the University of Arizona in Anthropology.
Gradually she became more interested in southwestern archaeology and phased out of nursing. She taught southwestern archaeology at Yavapai College in Cottonwood, Arizona for 20 years and was director of the Elderhostel program in the Verde Valley for 16 years, also for Yavapai College. She worked part-time as a private contractor, conducting surface archaeological surveys between 1983 and 2003. Following retirement to the area of her youth at the Chiricahua National Monument, she has been active in glass art production, producing stained, fused and slumped pieces. The hobby has expanded to such an extent that she now displays jewelry and art pieces in three galleries in southeastern Arizona. She joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2012.
Eva attributes her love of ceramics to her childhood fascination of playing in the mud and making spectacular mud pies. She began her formal training at Cochise Community College/Douglas campus in 2007 and has been adding to her technique and knowledge ever since. She enjoys hand building items using various methods. She prefers simplicity in her work and creates mostly functional ware.
Eva is a Douglas native and holds a B.S. in Secondary Education/Business and Computer Science and a M.B.A with an emphasis in Management. She has worked in the social service field since 1990. She lives with her husband, Bear, and numerous rescue dogs and cats in the Silver Creek area east of Douglas, AZ.
Crystal Foreman was born in El Paso, Texas. She grew up in southern New Mexico, where she still resides. She actively works all over the western United States, and does not limit her subject matter to any one genre.
Her education is both formal and experiential, and it is ongoing. She studied painting with James Reynolds, beginning in the 1980’s and continued that relationship until his passing in 2010. She also studied painting in the 1970’s with Vladan Stiha, of Santa Fe, drawing with Mentor Huebner, and sculpture with George Lundeen and Fritz White. Her first love was, and remains, oil painting.
Crystal is best known for her translation of light in the landscape, which comes naturally in the vast, arid spaces of the Mountain West. Her canvases lean toward simple but strong compositions.
For many years, Crystal’s work has gone to an impressive and loyal group of collectors. As her work is seen in a wider market, her collectors are increasing nationwide.
The Foreman studio is in Animas, New Mexico, a small, historic village in New Mexico’s Bootheel.
Jane Gallegos hails from Albuquerque, NM. She and her husband came to Portal originally visiting another artist, Esther Hollowell, her husband’s aunt. Portal is now their home away from home, and they love the mountains and the people here. Artists tend to flock together, and she is presenting her art in Rodeo thanks to other local artists. The creative process has been a necessary part of her life for as long as she can remember. She is basically self-taught, but did take one university 2D course as an elective, and worked with artist Scott Swezy who gave her access to a printing press. When she became a “serious” artist in the 1990’s, her mediums of choice are watercolors, monotypes and oil painting. Using these mediums in a non-traditional sense as Jane was also doing a lot of graphic art at the time, but she does not claim to be a graphic artist. However, these mediums taught her patience. Since then, Jane has learned to use painting as a form of meditation and has found a love for acrylic painting and the vibrancy she can create. Jane also paints furniture and boxes, and her subject matter is usually flowers, or plant life these days, which reflects the fact that she is a pretty happy person!
A love affair with the flavor and uniquely beautiful landscape of the southwest very often influences what Deb Harclerode paints. She prefers to paint what inspires her at the moment because she wants the "fire in the belly", and hopes that the finished painting might elicit the "WOW! factor"... a second look from the viewer along with a giggle, an uninhibited laugh, or a happy and contented feeling. Deb feels her art is poetry from her heart and soul in the form of design, color, and theme.
“Lifting the tired spirit and soothing the soul with good art helps to make the world a nicer place as good art enriches our lives and enlivens our senses.” Deb loves to hear what people have to say about her art, and loves sharing what she has learned with others.
As a signature member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, and a member of the Southwestern League of Fine Arts, Deb has had the honor of being juried into many Tucson group shows, and has also had a solo show and a two women show in Tucson. She is presently represented by Silver Spirit Gallery in Silver City, New Mexico, and is a member of the San Vicente Artists. Her prints and notecards are available at the Tucson Museum of Art and Hacienda Bellas Artes in Tucson. Note cards are available at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Deb joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015.
Susan Hill moved from Santa Rosa, California to Taos in 1982. The appearance of the southwest landscape combined with the large number of weavers in the area caught her interest. She studied weaving under Rachel Brown of Weavings Southwest. To gain knowledge of different weaving techniques she apprenticed to Sally Bachman of Clay and Fiber, Robin Reider, Kate Nillsen and Juanita Girardin.
In 1992 she retired from teaching special education and started weaving professionally. She now supplies seven galleries in New Mexico and New York state with scarves, stoles and ruanas. He particular interests are color and texture; her preferred fibers are cotton, rayon, chenille and speciality threads. She has been weaving for some 25 years and has shown at the Chiricahua Gallery since 1994.
Jaye Irving was an art teacher in New York for over thirty years. During this time she also designed jewelry. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts & Art Education degree from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York and a Master of Fine Arts & Art Education degree from Columbia University in New York. Jaye designed signature pieces for the Frank L. Wright Home and Studio in Oak park, Illinois. She exhibited and sold at several galleries and shops in Chicago, Illinois; Nogales, Tubac, Sonoita and Patagonia, Arizona. She joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2007. Jaye lives in Sonoita.
Laverne S. Kennedy
Laverne Stinnett uses minerals, glass, and other found objects to create one-of-a-kind, wearable jewelry. All of her designs are original. She does not use patterns or kits. Laverne believes in the power and magic of nature. The beautiful minerals from the Earth she uses give vibrations which enhance the soul of the wearer. Each piece is special.
Laverne has taken beading classes from Dona’ Ana Community College, bead classes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and from private vendors.
She was a licensed Cosmetologist for 34 years. She owned her own salon most of that time. She sees many similarities in doing hair and creating jewelry; color, balance, texture, and movement. She became seriously interested in beads about 10 years ago. She began collecting and making jewelry at that time, selling through her salon. She is the mother of three children.
Laverne joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2008 after discovering it on one of her birding / camping trips to the Chiricahuas. Her jewelry is exhibited in other galleries, including one in Australia. She has also been in a number of “Shows”.
Trudy Kimble has been sewing for close to fifty years, She learned the basics from her mother. She has been quilting since 1975. She has taken several classes in quilting and also learns from other quilters as well as television programs featuring quilting techniques. She uses her imagination to create her placemat and baby quilt designs. Trudy moved to Arizona when she was eight years old and has lived in Rodeo, New Mexico for the past 32 years. She has been a member of the Chiricahua Gallery for the past twenty-six years and has served as the Gallery Treasurer for the past ten years.
Painting and Drawing
Dodie Logue grew up in rural Minnesota and received a BA from the University of Minnesota. After college she moved east for 10 years; during this time she owned and ran an art gallery in Manhattan, worked for a local New York State Arts Council, renovated a turn of the century farmhouse in upstate New York, and received her MFA from Bard College. She now splits her time between Portal, Arizona and Delano, Minnesota, on a 120 acre farm that is in the process of being restored into native habitat including 50 acres of tall-grass prairie. Dodie has been “making things” since she was a kid, using whatever materials feel best suited to the task at hand. Her work in oil on canvas and charcoal depicts Flora and Fauna, and reflects the landscapes she has inhabited or inspire her. In 2011 she was awarded a Central Minnesota Arts Board Individual Artist Grant, and in 2012 she received an Arts Initiative Grant from the Minnesota Arts Board.
Dodie is a member of PAN – Project Art for Nature – a group of Minnesota and Wisconsin artists who are committed to producing work and educating people about the environment. She is also a Dressage instructor, helping horses and their people communicate better. An avid birder, Dodie is currently a volunteer for the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas project.
Prismacolor Pencil Drawings on Paper
If an egg was not tough it would not survive, and if it was not vulnerable it would never open. The qualities of strength and vulnerability are the essence of living things. And, there is no clearer example of this enigmatic balance than birds.
Teri Matelson’s involvement in drawing spans 4 decades, including gallery exhibitions, juried exhibitions and other venues. Her drawings, including birds, eggs, pencils and sometimes the human figure are in many collections across the country. She showed work in the Wing Gallery in Los Angeles CA for more than a decade; the Art Association in Santa Barbara CA for many years; more recently she has shown work in Silver City New Mexico at Urbane Galleri, Leyba & Ingalls, Common Ground Gallery and the Silver City Visitor’s Center. Teri joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015.
Weaving has been in Joan’s family for over two centuries, and she has been weaving since 1986. Joan began weaving rag rugs in Indiana, replicating the style of weaving she learned from her father, aunt and grandfather and soon after taught herself other styles of weaving. Since moving to New Mexico in 2012, she has enthusiastically embraced the weaving traditions of the great Southwest. Weaving in Rodeo, New Mexico, much of Joan’s weavings follow the traditions of New Mexico’s Chimayo and Rio Grande styles of weaving using Churro sheep wool – her personal fiber favorite. She also mixes her love of rag rug weaving with that of the Southwestern style to create unique, colorful and elegant rag rugs.
Joan’s weavings are distinctive and original and include wall hangings, rugs, table runners, mug rugs, furniture drapes, pillows, purses, scarves and Inkle bands.
Sandra McBride migrates every winter to the American Southwest, where she first became intrigued by beads, an ancient form of expression that uses wood, glass, metal, stone, and the panorama of other organic and inorganic substances. Now wherever she travels the treasure hunt for beads is a prevailing theme. The appreciation of these forms leads quite naturally to the art of combining the elements into wearable pieces of art that others can enjoy and appreciate. As her work has evolved, vintage beads and hand-made art glass beads are often featured.
The creation of jewelry involves decisions about size, shape, color, pattern, texture and balance so that each piece finds its own nature, whether simple and understated or more complex and layered. She leans toward finished pieces that are textural and organic rather than overly faceted and refined. Inspiration is often found in the natural beauty of the environment that surrounds her horse ranch in Sisters, Oregon, where the Ponderosa pine forest meets the muted greens, grays and purples of high desert juniper and sage.
Sandra graduated from the University of Washington and enjoyed a career in marketing for an international food brand. Those years were rich with opportunities to work with a broad range of talented graphic designers, writers, and artists involved in product development and media production. This immersion in the creative process was personally rewarding and now finds expression in her own creative endeavors. Sandra joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2014.
Painting and Drawing
Terry Miller’s almost mystical bond with horses goes back to spirited models her father gave her when she lived in Redondo Beach, California. In crayon and pencil, horses were her earliest creations, though the first art she sold, at age 16, was surrealist. She successfully painted and sold their fantasies to 70s era Californians, but she had been traveling back and forth to her father’s place near Pinos Altos, New Mexico and loved the region so much that she moved there as soon as she could.
By the time Terry settled in Lordsburg, she specialized in Western art done in ink and pen, pencils, oils and acrylics. At horse shows, she did quick sketches later refined to portraits, so realistic that the owners usually bought them. She also transformed animals’ bleached bones and skulls into objects of haunting beauty. Terry’s art won such recognition in Lordsburg that the city commissioned her to beautify boarded-up doors and windows of abandoned buildings with scenes of ranch life ghost towns, mining and other Southwest themes. This artistry led the city to award he a contract funded by the State Arts Division to recreate local history in a large mural at Central Elementary School. Her love of open country drew her southwest to the Rodeo/Portal area where she designed a mural of the Sky Gypsy complex and did all the decorative lettering. Terry joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2014.
Painting and Drawing
Narca Moore-Craig’s art is anchored in wilderness, inseparable from days spent afield. Using a variety of media, she seeks to portray the dignity of each species — to really see, fully and freshly — and then to create intimate portraits of wildlife, doing what it actually does. She’d like for you to be able to look at the artwork, and see the living creature, wary or confiding, intent or relaxed, but always alive.
For more than 20 years, Narca has guided birding and natural history tours on six continents. As a field biologist, Narca’s special research projects have included a long-term study of the birds of the Diamond A (or Gray) Ranch in southwestern New Mexico; work with Janet Ruth on wintering grassland sparrows in southern Arizona; assistance for various bird-banding and field-survey projects; and work with endangered Stephen’s Kangaroo Rats in Riverside County, California.
Narca holds a B.A. degree in Biology from the University of California, Riverside. She lives with her husband Alan Craig in a round stone house, in the shadow of Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains. They watch the seasons cycle, watch the comings and goings of hummingbirds and of marauding javelinas, and treasures the rich hours spent with friends in the Portal-Rodeo community.
Dan W. Rehurek
Dan W. Rehurek began working in wood some 45 years ago as a weekend hobby. Since then, his work has progressed from simple utilitarian items to turned bowls with complex laminations and intricately carved surfaces. He also constructs specialty furniture pieces, jewel boxes, tables and display cabinets of mesquite and other hardwoods. He has now added tinwork (terneplate, sterling silver, copper and nickel silver), combined with mesquite and other fine hardwoods to his repertoire.
He holds a BS degree from the University of South Dakota Southern, a MA degree from the University of Northern Colorado and the Doctorate in Higher Education from Nova Southeastern University. He has taught at the high school, community college and university levels and has held several senior administrative positions at the community college. Now retired, he is President Emeritus of Cochise College in Arizona.
Dr. Rehurek has had numerous shows at Cochise College, at galleries in Douglas, Bisbee and Nogales, Arizona, and at the Governor’s Gallery in Santa Fe. He was the recipient of the Wood in Art Meritorious Award at Arizona State University a number of years ago. He currently shows at the Tubac Center of the Arts in Tubac,
Arizona and at the Chiricahua Gallery in Rodeo, New Mexico, and does commission pieces for clients throughout the United States. He has shown his work at the Arizona Designer Craftsmen ’96 and Out of the Woods shows, at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson; Desert Artisan’s Gallery in Tucson; Warbonnet Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming; Wyndy Morehead Gallery in New Orleans; and Madaras Gallery in Tucson.
He is an active member of the Cochise College Foundation Board and is currently President of the Chiricahua Guild and Gallery. He and his wife Yvette reside in Sonoita, Arizona.
Dan W. Rehurek - POB 28 - Sonoita, Arizona 85637 - 520 455 5036
Susanne Sheffer lives in the foothills of Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, where she began painting in 2005. As with other painters, she was attracted to the high desert bird and animal life so well adapted to an often hostile environment and the spectacular bird migration.
Initially Susanne painted native bird images, on the Coyote Gourds that grow along desert roads. She later turned to American Basswood rounds (kiln dried slices of wood) on which to paint bird images which permitted her to paint the larger song birds. In 2010, she transitioned to fine art papers and work evolved to include desert animal life.
Hawks and large desert predators are usually favored subject matter for a lot of great painters; Susanne hopes to share her love of the big scavengers, the little brown birds and ubiquitous prey animals one rarely notices other than litter on the highways. Each one is majestic in its own right and worthy of portrait.
Mostly though, she paints a particular bird or animal because like many people, “everyone has a story to tell’ of a particular being that profoundly transected a moment in their life. Susanne joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015.
Amy Sproul is inspired by natural materials and they define her art. The Southwestern landscape features magnificent vistas of mountains and deserts, but when she is outdoors, Amy is most intrigued by the details—the way a root twists in red earth, the veins in a leaf, its edges or the excitement of opening a seed pod. She picks things up and brings them to her art. In bringing natural materials into the studio, separating the parts from the whole, their potential as an artistic medium is revealed. By incorporating these materials into a palate and using them in new contexts, she finds the connection in art and nature. She hopes you enjoy the connection and that perhaps you may find surprises in it.
Amy’s fascination with natural materials began on the beaches of her childhood and grew to include the mountains and deserts she has explored as an adult. She was educated at Rhode Island School of Design where she was fortunate enough to have access to their Nature Lab. There many kinds of flora and fauna were available to examine for inspiration in both art and design. After practicing interior design for 25 years in her home state of New Mexico, she formed Botanico Arts to share her fascination with natural materials when creating art that incorporates them. Amy joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015.
Phillip Tester says he works in wood out of a spiritual necessity. He finds the saints and other figures he carves show him how to navigate life itself. He contemplates their situations as he carves, sometimes finding, as he helps to bring forward or else pare away elements of the wood, he is able to enhance or pare away vital aspects of his own inner life.
“Carved wood changes with each viewing angle and method of lighting, so the work, like ourselves, is always different. Wood, warm and inviting, is an old friend and has been an organic part of my life, from the childhood climbing of trees to later building houses, and, over the decades, heating our homes with wood. I work "with" the wood, changing my initial design to complement the structure and grain found as the work progresses deeper into the wood.”
Phil is also a cartoonist, draws pencil sketches and plays classical and Celtic finger-style guitar. He has spent over fifty years in the Southwest and, for nearly two decades, has lived on the eastern edge of the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal, AZ and in Hanover, New Mexico with his wife, poet and playwright Victoria Tester.
Sarah Thomson is rarely seen without a camera in hand. The reason being she never knows what might cross her path. She has not been formally trained in the arts or photography but recalls having a brownie camera and photographing her pony at camp when she was about 9 years old. Thus began her journey of photographing and documenting the world around her.
She is admittedly a color addict, looking for drama in the sky, water or landscape, whether rural or urban. She tries to capture the atmosphere and mood of a place so the viewer can feel it too. She would love to make pictures as big as the real thing but is limited to two dimensional paper. She especially enjoys making large prints.
Since discovering Portal and the Chiricahua Mountains she has called her studio “Another Day in Paradise” which is how she feels every day she wakes up here. She lives part time in Portal, Arizona and part time in Ithaca, New York with her husband and loves both places for their unique and distinct beauty and character.
Her photographs are digital, so she can crop and enhance to a small degree, but she does not use photoshop to alter the images. She would much rather spend time outdoors with the camera. She joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2015 and hopes her work encourages others to pick up a camera and explore the paradise we live in. _________________________________
Stephanie (Stevie) Wayman
Stevie was born and raised in Northern Ohio. When she was young, her mother taught her the basics of needlework, and she enjoyed making doll clothes. She continued learning in high school home economics classes, making many of her school outfits. Her favorite was a red calico "Granny" dress. It was long, and Stevie wore "John Lennon" glasses with it. The dress was worn by all her girlfriends!!
Raising a family and a nursing career took most of Stevie’s time, but as the children grew older she was able to devote more time to her sewing. She made most of her daughter’s clothes and made costumes for their plays. Stevie also worked part-time at a Cross Stitch shop. Her hands were always busy doing something!!
One day, she stopped into a quilt shop and signed up for a sampler class. She fell in love with the art! She took as many classes as she could to learn as much as she could. She is overjoyed in fabric stores. Color captures her attention. She likes to combine colors to produce a "texture". She loves the whole process of quilt making, from picking out the fabrics to piecing the fabrics and putting on the finishing touches. She finds great satisfaction with the completion of each project and is eager to go on to the next creation. She does not hand quilt most of her projects, finding it it too time consuming. She has recently been experimenting with wall hangings that have ornamentation such as beads, sequins, feathers and other adornments. This is opening a whole new avenue of fun and creativity. Stevie joined the Chiricahua Gallery in 2011.
Native Fruit Jelly
Mary Willy retired to Portal in 1985 and became interested in the formation of the Chiricahua Gallery. She first joined as a needlework craft member, but soon became intrigued with making jelly from local area fruits. She specializes in jellies made from mesquite beans, pomegranate seeds, and the fruit of the prickly pear. She took over the job of the Gallery Treasurer in her second year at the Gallery and served in that position for sixteen years.
Mary was born and raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa. During World War II she attended college at Fort Dodge Junior College, MacMurray College for Women in Jacksonville, Illinois and received her B.S. degree in Occupationa l Therapy from the Western Michigan University in 1947. She took graduate courses at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California.
Mary worked at St. Johns Hospital School in Springfield, Illinois in the summer of 1947 and joined the faculty of Kalamazoo School of Occupational Therapy at WMU that fall. She taught until the arrival of her first child in 1951, She and her family moved to Jackson, Michigan in 1964 where she was the Occupational Therapist in the Special Education Department of the Jackson Public Schools until retiring and moving to Portal. ____________________________________