During the month of May we are featuring long-time Arizona Handmade Gallery artist, John Graber! John is well-known for his depictions of the trains that travel across the stunning southwest landscape. His fascination with trains started at a young age, as he explains in his bio:
"I first laid eyes on Flagstaff when my family drove to Northern Arizona from Santa Monica to attend Pow-Wow and the Hopi art show at MNA. Route 66 was still intact mostly through California and Arizona at that time although every year bulldozers ate more and more of it eventually creating I-40. A distinct characteristic of 66 was for much of its path it closely followed along side the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. I was ENTHRALLED. My window out the way back of the family's station wagon was the "screen" in which I viewed the railroad in all its comings and goings."
Well-versed in acrylic and pen and ink drawings, his train-themed work evokes both the long, lonely travels of the trains through the mountains, deserts, and plains as well as the energetic bustle that the trains bring to town.
Now a long-time resident of Flagstaff, John has a way of capturing the feel of this part of the world where we live. It is common for visitors to the gallery to stop by his work with a smile on their face and say, "I know exactly where that is. That piece is so Flagstaff!" Between the sentinels of railroad signs that bisect the horizon in the light of the setting sun or the silhouette of the San Francisco Peaks behind a slow-moving train, his work brings up universal memories of driving by the railroad.
Recently John has also been exploring more studies in light. His newest work is focused on the Ponderosa pines, junipers, and oaks where he lives, and how the evening and night light play through their branches and needles. The quiet serenity of these pieces reflect his love for the southwest landscape and echo the observation and color palette of his earlier work.
John will be at the gallery during the ArtWalk on May 3 from 6-9pm to talk with visitors about his art and life in Flagstaff. We'll also have live music by local singer/songwriter Gary Bowman. His music is melodic, down-to-earth, and always fun! Come by the gallery on your way through ArtWalk or stop by during May to see John's new work!