Surprise Invitational

Surprise Invitational
This is such a high-class gig, they sent out post-it note adds for our Facebook pages.

Tonight we have some more good news. I have another print accepted for a show. This one is the Surprise Invitational show which will run from October 19th thru December 20th. The exhibition will be in the Arts HQ, at 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza. There will be a free reception on Thursday the 19th from 5 to 9 pm, with music and food trucks—some of those are good, but I still remember when we called them Roach Coaches.

Piedmont Crossing
Alone and in the middle of nowhere, I found this crossing guard with enough moonlight on it to make a picture.

Getting into this show was a last-minute effort. I found out about it the day before the deadline. Fortunately, they had an online application that I could send my photos from my computer last Monday. I sent in three shots I took over the summer and they picked the one called Piedmont Crossing. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but what do I know.

I hope that you can join us at the opening on the 19th, but I understand if you’re busy with Halloween decorations. Surprise civic center is west of Grand Avenue south of Bell. If you’re in the area, I hope you take time to take in the show. Who knows, one of the art pieces may catch your eye and make it into Santa’s big red bag.

Till then … jw

Night Creatures

We don’t have pets. We settled that quickly in our first year of marriage. Both of us had dogs before, but Queen Anne prefers yappy purse-dogs and I’m partial to working breeds. Neither was willing to compromise. What ended the debate, however, was that we weren’t willing to clean up after a dog, so we settled on houseplants. It’s worked for us so far.

When we had a fenced back yard, we had no worries about stepping on a surprise package, and we like being outside when the weather’s nice. The Congress house doesn’t have fences and in the past month, we’ve found good size turds in the yard. Our association has a strict dog policy mandating that they don’t run free and the owner must pick-up after them, so I deduced that it was the work of a loose cat I see from time to time. I call him Lucky, because we also have coyotes that move through the neighborhood, yet he’s still alive. Even more of a puzzle is that on our morning walks, we noticed that everyone has presents in their yard. Even the streets have droppings. That’s one hell of a busy cat.

When I got home after a meeting last Monday, I saw a large toad hopping from our driveway into the neighbor’s yard. I forgot about the Sonoran Desert Toads because I hadn’t seen one since I lived in Scottsdale thirty-five years ago. They hibernate most of the year and only come out at night during the monsoon season. Their backs carry poison glands that can kill a dog if it bites into it. You shouldn’t try to pick one up because they’re also toxic to humans. After they mate and lay eggs in standing water, they crawl back into a hole and sleep for another year.

It was our neighbor—Jane— that told us about the toad scat. “It couldn’t be, it’s too big for a toad! It’s gotta’ be a dog,” I thought.  She was right because the poop easily breaks down in a light rain leaving only the undigested insect exoskeletons which look like a handful of dry oatmeal. Damn! You learn something every day, I hate picking it up, but I can’t blame the neighbors anymore.

When we drove home from the Herberger opening reception last Friday, I put on the high beams and slowly turned into the driveway. I hoped to show Anne one of the toads. We lucked out because she spotted something by the porch stairs. Except it didn’t hop, it crawled. “Is there a flashlight in here,” Anne asked.

“Sure,” I answered and dug around in the console to fish it out. I turned it on and got out of the truck and went for a better look. When I was close, I turned and shouted, “You got to come and look.” She walked over from the truck and saw what I had in the light; she ran up the porch stairs without her feet ever touching them. It was a tarantula, about the size of my hand … If I had LeBron James’ hands. We followed it for a while—me from the yard and her from the porch—until I got bored and handed her the light so I could put the truck in the garage.

After I put Fritz away, I walked through the house and joined her on the front porch. Mr. Spider had made it around the porch as she silently watched. The giant spider acted like it was out for an evening stroll and seemed a bit annoyed in the spotlight. It stayed next to the house as it moved south. When I saw enough, I handed the light to Anne and went inside.

Soon the screen door slammed and Anne bellowed, “There’s a tarantula in my front yard. We’re moving.” Then she went to the desk and put new batteries in the flashlight before going back outside. I don’t know when she came in, because I went to bed. When I asked the next morning, she told me that she watched it until it disappeared into the neighbor’s yard. Then she explained how we were going to seal up the house so they couldn’t get in. Now, she’s an old tarantula hand, they don’t faze her, but she won’t venture off the porch when it’s dark.

Till then … jw

Herberger Gallery Update

In case you were planning on joining us next Friday for Nature Nurtures Us reception, I want to help you find the gallery, so you don’t get lost as I did yesterday while dropping off my work. The address that I gave in the earlier post is correct, but don’t assume that the gallery is in the theater building. It’s not. The galley is on the north side of Van Buren Street in the Arizona Center complex—where Hooter’s restaurant is (great … now I know where Jeff will be). It’s between 3rd and 5th Streets.

There are lots of paid parking lots, but you can find street parking if you’re willing to walk. As I found out yesterday, they’re remodeling the center (figures), so there’s a construction crew and yellow warning tape all over the place. The gallery is on the ground floor of the center building. The reception is between 6:00-8:00 pm, so be there or be square—hope we’ll see you there.

Till then … jw

Nature Nurtures Us Exhibit at the Herberger Theater

Storm on Lake St. Mary
Afternoon thunderstorms create a dark mood at Glacier National Park’s east side.

I’m happy to announce that I snagged another one. Earlier this spring, the Herberger Theater posted a call for artists for a show called Nature Nurtures Us—the show’s theme is about nature’s well-being without side effects. As you know, I have a couple of nature shots, so I submitted six images from our 2016 Alaska trip. I’m pleased to announce that my Storm on Lake St. Mary is included in the exhibition. If you’re curious, here is a link to their Web Page with a preview of all the works that will be on display.

The show’s opening reception is free and will be held on Friday, September 15th from 6:00-8:00 pm. Queen Anne and I will be there and we’re looking forward to seeing you then. If you can’t attend that Friday, the show will continue through November 9th. The Herberger is across the street from the Convention Center and the address is 455 N. Third Street, Suite 1200 (in Phoenix of course). From what I can see, most of the artwork is reasonably priced and as they say in their literature, “A portion of each piece sold benefits the Herberger Theater’s youth outreach programs.” Hope to see you there.

Till then … jw

On Display at National Bank

I’m pleased to announce that my premier print Mt. Hayden is on display in the lobby of Wickenburg’s branch of the National Bank of Arizona. At 24 x 30 inches, it’s the largest framed print in my collection. It’s also notable because it’s entirely analog. That’s right, it was shot on film and printed the old fashion way; in a darkroom.

Mt. Hayden
Taken from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Mt. Hayden, at over 8000 feet in elevation, is one of the most recognizable canyon subjects.

I’d be pleased if you’d stop by National Bank and tell the folks that you came to see the Mt. Hayden print. The bank is at 540 West Wickenburg Way; just west of the railroad bridge, and they’re open normal banking hours. The print will remain on display until September 1st. Just for fun, ask if you get a free toaster with a new account.

Till then … jw

West of Center Art Show

It’s the eve of the national celebration of Queen Anne’s birthday and I’d like to interrupt your celebrations preparations for an announcement. Two out of a half-dozen submissions were accepted to be part of the West of Center art show at the town museum this summer. This is Wickenburg’s big summer art show at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum’s Cultural Crossroads Learning Center in downtown Wickenburg.

Airstream For Sale
One of my images selected for the show is an early model of an Airstream Trailer sits on a lot in Congress, Arizona.

The show runs from Saturday July 29th thru Sunday October 29th. There will be an opening reception at the Learning Center on Friday the 28th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, which the Queen and I will attend. I am also hosting the show at least once each month on Fridays/Saturdays (depending when I’m scheduled) during the duration.

Whitman Store Front
The second image selected for the show is of the old Whitman Store that I shot along US 60.

The art show features  the works of Wickenburg’s local artists. There will be a variety of paintings, water colors, sculptures, weaving, and photography from the town’s local artists.

I hope you get a chance to visit our little hamlet and enjoy the art. The Learning Center is located at the Northwest corner of Tegner and US 60 (if you go under the railroad tracks, you’ve gone too far). Here’s hoping to see you at the reception or on one of my working days.

Till then . . . jw

New Showing at the Wickenburg Library

I see from the date of my last post, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. I have a good reason. I’ve been working the last two weeks printing new images and making frames for them. I’ve worked my fingers to the bone and it’s a wonder that I can still type. The reason for printing and framing is for a show of my work at the Wickenburg City Library.

White Argentine Cactus Blossoms
White blossoms of an Argentine Cactus.

This afternoon I’m hanging a group of six new images in the library entry hall. The collection is a grouping of the cactus flower images I’ve taken over the last month. On my morning walks, I tried to capture the wide variety of colorful blossoms I saw along the way. Their colors were intense; almost surreal. It seem like it was only days before the beautiful flowers went to seed and but for a few stragglers, they’ve gone.

Claret Cup Cactus Flowers
The vibrant colored blossoms of a Hedgehog Cactus.

I hope you get a chance to visit Wickenburg and see the collection. The show will continue throughout May. The library is old town Wickenburg,  north of Highway US60 at 164 East Apache Street (East of Tegner Street). They’re open from 8:30 – 5:00 weekdays and till 12:30 on Saturday (closed Sunday). Please accept my invitation to stop in and see them. I’m also looking forward to hearing what you think.

Jim Installing Library Show
Yours truly posing before framed prints hanging at the Wickenburg Library.

Till then . . . jw