Event Spotlight | Arizona Plein Air Painters Show

Bareback in Canyon de Chelly by Sandi Ciaramitaro

From March 29 to April 11, the Arizona Plein Air Painters annual juried art show is on display at the Sedona Art Center Community Gallery on Art Barn Road in Sedona. The show features both plein-air and studio works from Arizona artists. This year, to coincide with Arizona’s state centennial celebration, all works in the show depict scenes of Arizona.

An awards ceremony with prizes for Best of Show, People’s Choice, Artists’ Choice, and more takes place during a meet-and-greet reception on Friday, March 31. A second reception is on Friday, April 6. Artists are in attendance for both events.

The Arizona Plein Air Painters is a fellowship of Arizona-based artists dedicated to practicing and promoting the tradition of plein-air painting and working to protect public access to landscapes and historic areas that are important to this tradition. Here we introduce you to some of the members of the APAP organization.

California native Geri Acosta moved to Tucson to paint full time in 2008. She captures Arizona’s historic cultures, red-rock geography, and fiery skies in violet-hued oil paintings. Sandi Ciaramitaro works in both watercolors and oils, and her enthusiasm for painting takes her off road at least once a week to capture Arizona en plein air. She also favors painting extreme close-ups of Arizona’s flora, myriad produce, and the occasional timeworn adobe.
After 30 years of creating costumes, Mesa artist Rita Goldner is expressing her love of the desert Southwest and its colorful wildlife with paint and a brush—from rocky bluffs reflected in springtime rivers to Gila monsters and chameleons that scurry through rocks. Third-generation Arizonan Karen McLain saddles up and rides into the Superstition Mountains to paint en plein air.The horse and the desert landscape are her favored subjects.

Standing Tall by Toni Perrin

Working primarily in acrylics, which allow her to work quickly, Ann Osgood paints figurative works, animals, and surrealist landscapes, as well as plein-air and studio landscapes and seascapes. M. Beth Page says she learned a lot about color while working for Hallmark early in her career. She finds plein-air painting to be an all-senses activity and nature the best teacher. Her landscapes, florals, and still lifes are rendered in rich, warm colors with soft brushwork.

Although Toni Perrin paints portraits and studio works, she gets up early and heads out to paint en plein air at least two days a week to catch Arizona’s rocky spires, rivers, and flora before the heat drives her back inside. Phoenix artist Julie Gilbert Pollard works in both oils and watercolors for her representational landscape and figurative artworks, in which she combines colors seen with the naked eye and those she imagines in her mind’s eye.

T.J. Thompson’s acrylic paintings take art lovers back to the Old West, with mountain men, gunslingers, cowboys, and Indians. The teamwork and bond between horse and rider is a recurring theme in his works. Willi Waltrip developed her love of horses growing up in Oklahoma. She pursued that devotion as a horse rancher in Arizona and now combines her love of horses and her skill in depicting western life and culture.

A 500-mile walking pilgrimage through Spain awakened native Arizonan Kathryn Willis’ desire to express her life experience through visual art. She portrays the canyons and deserts of the Southwest as well as Idaho’s rivers, ranches, and mountains in vibrantly colored, nearly expressionistic oil paintings.

For more information about the APAP annual show: 928.282.3865 or www.arizona

Featured in April 2012.