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!
This year Arizona Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries are proud to participate in the Celebration of the Night event as a NightVisions Satellite exhibit! The annual Celebration of the Night highlights the importance of the dark sky through a variety of lenses - from art to music, to science talks and interactive walks. The NightVisions show is the visual arts aspect of the event.
More than two-thirds of Americans live where they can no longer see the Milky Way galaxy because of light pollution. We have grown so isolated from night that in much of our culture it has become alien and fearful. NightVisions seeks to re-open our positive connections to the natural night and to bridge the divide separating artistic from scientific perception, promoting the idea that science and art are two intertwined aspects of human experience. - Flagstaff Arts Council
Arizona Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries have invited all our artists to submit work that reflects the impact of the night on their lives and their artistic vision. It has been wonderful seeing what each artist has brought in! From jeweler Nancy Foo finding the night sky in stones, to painter Linda Shearer-Whiting evoking the comfort of looking up at the stars above her quiet neighborhood, to Angela Yamauchi's detailed photographs contrasting star-light with human-light. Those are just a few highlights; many of our artists have participated and we have all kinds of work embracing and exploring their connection to the night sky!
Our Satellite exhibit will open during the ArtWalk on April 5th, slightly in advance of the other NightVisions shows. Stop by to see a teaser of what NightVisions has to offer, listen to live music by Tim Young, and then take a few moments to enjoy the night sky after you walk downtown!
NightVisions VII, an international, juried show held at the Coconino Center for the Arts, will have an opening reception on April 12th and will be on display through June 1st. Other satellite exhibits at The Artists Gallery, West of the Moon Gallery, and Criollo Latin American Kitchen will be open at various points throughout April and May. For more information about Celebration of the Night events click here.
The starry skies over Flagstaff are often taken for granted, but it is through thoughtful planning and action that the city's light pollution is kept down. Click here to learn more about how Flagstaff became the first International Dark Sky City, and the work that the Dark Skies Coalition does to keep the Flagstaff skies dark so that we can all enjoy the beauty of the natural night.
The NightVisions Satellite exhibit at Arizona Handmade/Fire on the Mountain Galleries can be viewed from April 5th through June 1st from 10am-5pm everyday of the week.
During the month of March we will be featuring the leatherwork and fine jewelry of Cathy Ronstadt Jolma!
Cathy was born into a Tucson pioneer family, and spent her childhood on a ranch in southern Arizona riding horses and raising Hereford cattle. She grew up surrounded by artists and musicians, and early on began incorporating the heritage of her family and Arizona’s diverse natural beauty into her own art. She has now lived in Flagstaff for many years and the influence of the mountains and the forests is especially strong.
Cathy skillfully sews, hand-tools, and paints leather to create art for everyday use, from journals to purses to wallets to holsters to tablet cases. She combines traditional mediums such as leather, hair, and even old coins to give her pieces a southwestern cowboy style while embracing contemporary fashion and needs. Her pieces feel rustic and personal, tangible art to be touched, worn, and used. Silver, leather, and semi-precious stones complement each other in her jewelry for men and women.
We are excited to host Cathy in the gallery during the First Friday ArtWalk on March 1st. Come by between 6pm-9pm to meet her and hear the music of Flagstaff acoustic duo Mystic Harvest, and enjoy a fun night of art and music!
The month of February we will be featuring our newest jewelry artist in the gallery, Nancy Foo! Nancy brings an elegant simplicity to the gallery’s jewelry collection, focusing on minimalist designs that use skillfully hand-cut stones and subtle lines to tell stories.
Inspired by her time living at Grand Canyon and exploring Northern Arizona, she thoughtfully names every necklace, bracelet, and earring set, harkening back to the moment in time, place or aspect of nature that inspired its design.
Nancy has an eye for stones and has collected them since she was a child. She uses her decades of lapidary experience to bring out each stone's unique characteristics, with just as much appreciation for the subtle patterns found in agates and jaspers as the striking colors of turquoise, chyrsocolla, and lapis. In contrast to these bold pieces, Nancy also makes delicate sterling silver and copper jewelry. She acid-etches her hand-drawn designs into simple, smooth shapes and accents them with smaller stones for more subtle jewelry defined by its purposeful texture and lines.
Currently living and creating in Flagstaff, AZ, Nancy continues to find inspiration on hikes and runs with her dog Layla through the forests in and around Flagstaff. She has a true appreciation for the myriad things that make this little corner of the world beautiful, from the way frost forms on ponderosa pine needles, to the rivers that have cut quiet canyons out of the earth, and that appreciation is front and center in her work.
To learn more about Nancy, read through her artist bio or come meet her at the First Friday ArtWalk on February 1st! She’ll be joining us at Arizona Handmade Gallery from 6:00-7:30pm, and we’ll have live music by Craig Yarbrough of the Grand Canyon Guitar Society, so stop by, say hello and enjoy chocolate on us at the first ArtWalk of the year!
It's that time of year again - when glass artist George Averbeck opens up his studio to the public for his BYOB event! During this event, participants sign up for a 15 minute session during which George will help them to create a handblown glass ball like his holiday ornaments.
Participants get to choose their own colors and blow their own air into their ornament! It is a wonderful keepsake for yourself or gift. Children are welcome and families often sign up together.
The cost is $30 per person and includes the cost of the session and the glass ball that will be ready for pick up the next day at the gallery. George is holding BYOB sessions on two weekends this year: October 27th & 28th and November 3rd & 4th. You can find out which sessions are available and sign up by coming to Arizona Handmade Gallery at 13 N. San Francisco St. or calling the gallery at
We hope to see you there!
We are proud to announce that two of our most celebrated artists at Arizona Handmade/Fire on the Mountain Galleries will be recognized in an exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona in early 2018!
The Museum says of the upcoming show...
More than 30 years of friendship and artistic collaboration between glass artist George Averbeck and painter Serena Supplee has resulted in a shared aesthetic of rich color and a similar lexicon of forms, defining elements of each artists’ instantly recognizable style. Confluence of Color features vibrant sculptural glass and oil works by these renowned Southwest artists, celebrating the natural forms and saturated desert hues of the Colorado Plateau.
The exhibition will run from February 17th through May 28th, with a talk by the artists and the museum curator, Alan Petersen, on February 17th at 2pm. You can visit the Museum of Northern Arizona website for more information.
George is at it again with BYOB (Blow Your Own Ball)! During this event you get to blow your own glass ornament with the help of artist George Averbeck. It is a favorite annual event in Flagstaff where visitors get a chance to experience an art form first hand with the guidance of a master and take home a beautiful hand blown ornament.
Currently sessions are still available on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Cost is $30 for the glass blowing session and the ornament that you create.
Call the gallery at 928-779-3790 or stop by between the business hours of 10am-5pm to sign up!
On Saturday, July 29th, artist Jianjun Yang will be joining us for another demonstration as he continues work on the teapot he began crafting the last time he was in the gallery! Stop by anytime between 11am-4pm to see him at work and ask him questions about the traditional Chinese processes he uses to make his ceramic artwork.
Jianjun will be offering some special deals on his pottery on July 29th when he is in the gallery! He is soon finishing his stay as a visiting scholar at NAU and will be returning to China, so we will only have his work through August 13th. Don’t miss this chance to see a traditional Chinese potter at work, or to add one of his high quality pieces to your collection!
Visiting scholar from China, Jianjun Yang, will be giving a demonstration and sharing his knowledge about traditional Chinese ceramic art at Arizona Handmade/Fire on the Mountain Galleries! He will focus on teapots that he has created during his stay at Northern Arizona University.
Jianjun will be joining us at the gallery on Saturday, July 15 from 11:00AM-2:00PM. Demonstration is free and open to everyone.
Unstable Table with Pink Tornado by Elaine Dillingham. Watercolor & acrylic on paper.
"The pink tornado of unexpected love disrupts a boring still life." – Elaine Dillingham
There is always more than you expect to Elaine’s pieces. When you take the time read her titles, to hear her explanations, and to look deeper at her work, you’re never disappointed. Elaine’s playful wit and thoughtful perspective skip out of her pieces to brush a smile across the viewer’s face, often without them even realizing it until their the edges of their lips are already raised.
Elaine explores still-life subjects and the human form well beyond the surface. In fact, one could say that the surface has been blown away. While keeping true to the form and essence of her subjects, her backgrounds, colors, and shapes bring out emotion, character, and even stories which could not be found without her artist’s eye. She doesn't tie herself to a certain medium, instead using a variety including acrylic, watercolor, prismacolor pencils, and graphite.
Elaine lives in Flagstaff, AZ, and is the featured artist for the month of February at Arizona Handmade Gallery. She has several pieces new to the gallery on display as well as lots of Paintings to Wear - small, individual paintings in the form of a pin that can be worn and shared. Stop by the gallery to enjoy Elaine's work for yourself!
News and Events
See what events are coming up for AZ Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries, including ArtWalk features for each month and special events like Blow Your Own Ornament workshops and silk scarf painting classes!