By JAMIE VERWYS
The desert serves as a source of inspiration for those who call the Southwest home. Each thorn-covered plant and sunbeam holds potential as a work of art.
A “Southwest Observed” exhibit on display at Pima Community College’s Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery uses this theme within its collection of paintings, photographs and sculptures.
The seven featured artists draw upon their experiences in the Sonoran Desert and American Southwest to create unique interpretations.
“I’ve been working to put this exhibition together for three or four years,” gallery director David Andres said. “I’ve been trying to get certain artists in who work with contemporary southwest imagery.”
The exhibit opened Sept. 2 and continues through Oct. 10. A gallery reception is scheduled for Sept. 11 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
After the reception, photographer Michael Berman will give a lecture at 6:30 p.m.in the West Campus Recital Hall.
Berman lives just outside Silver City, N.M., and has captured images of the Sonoran Desert for almost three decades. A graduate of Arizona State University, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 for his work “Grasslands: The Chihuauan Desert Project.”
His work in the exhibit is displayed in a nontraditional format, adhered to aluminum and varnished.
Two of the other exhibit artists also hail from outside Arizona within the Southwest region.
Craig Cully teaches painting and drawing classes at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
Jennifer Sullivan Carney received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and taught as an adjunct professor. She recently moved to Durango, Colo., where she continues to create paintings reflecting upon land usage and the emotional power of nature.
Featured artists Ed Musante, James Pringle Cook, Diane Dale and Mark Rossi all call Tucson home.
Musante is a recent transplant from San Francisco who is best known for his paintings of birds in dry pigments painted onto vintage cigar boxes.
Cook and Dale work primarily with the mediums of watercolors and oil paints, while Rossi does bronze sculpture work.
The exhibit has an underlying focus on conservation of the Sonoran Desert. In addition to art students, Andres hopes the exhibit will attract writing, reading and humanities classes.
“Art brings awareness,” he said. “That’s what art is about: bringing awareness and interpreting those concepts.”
The Bernal Gallery, located at the PCC Center for the Arts at West Campus, is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
For more information, call 206-6942 or email email@example.com.
When: Through Oct. 10
Where: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, West Campus
Sept. 11 events:
Gallery reception, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Artist lecture, 6:30 p.m., Recital Hall
Photos courtesy of PCC Center for the Arts
Michael Berman – “Birds, Janos, Chihuahua,” carbon pigment print with acrylic on panel
James Pringle Cook – “High Road To Taos,” oil on linen
Craig Cully – “Pour And Sift,” oil on panel
Diane Dale – “In Your Face,” oil on panel
Ed Musante – “Barn Owl/White Owl,” dried pigment on cigar box
Mark Rossi – “Rainbow Trout,” bronze
Jennifer Sullivan-Carney – “Seven Falls Dawn,” watercolor