Father/ Daughter Show opening at ArtWalk
In a special collaboration we’re featuring Flagstaff painters David and Rayonna Lash in a joint show that will open on the first Friday in June.
You may know Rayonna for her highly detailed, yet surreal still lives or her portraiture. This show, focusing on her landscape paintings, displays a different but no less thoughtful side of her artistic skill.
“My oil paintings of Southwest forests and deserts are portraits of the places that nurture what is wholesome and true in my heart. In a time when we are saturated with images and information, we spread ourselves thin, but art, like the land itself, asks us to risk leaving these shallows. I paint places that are home to me. They are local, close, and cherished; they are deeply felt spaces. And yet, the power of nature, which is unapproachable, sublime, and doesn’t cherish us back, collides with our mortality and fragility. We love the unknowable, and it loves us back only as we take our place in its flow. We can’t help but return to these wild, uncharted spaces to see our own face, to hear our own voice."
- Rayonna Lash
David is well-known for his true-to-life wildlife art, as well as his evocative pieces that ask the viewer to think more deeply about the interaction between human civilization and the wild world. His work's simplicity often shrouds its subtlety. Don't skim David's paintings or you might miss the details that tell a story - the mouse hiding underneath the owl, or the rocks that form a hand gripping a chain that once was gold and has since turned to rusted wire.
Both David and Rayonna will be at ArtWalk for the opening of their Father/Daughter show this Friday, June 3rd at 6:00pm. Paul Webber will be playing live music in the gallery and businesses across downtown will be showing art. For information about ArtWalk events, go to artwalkflg.org.
The Father/Daughter show will be up the entire month of June. If you live far away, you can also view and purchase a selection of David and Rayonna's work via our webstore.
Fire on the Mountain is Hiring!
George Averbeck is seeking a motivated assistant to work in his glass studio. Ability to follow directions, work in a high-intensity (and high heat!) environment, and an interest in glass art are a must! Applicants are expected to have consistent weekday availability and the intent to remain in Flagstaff for the foreseeable future (the training time and needs of the glass studio are not compatible with assistants who will be absent due to summer or seasonal jobs).
Anyone interested please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume and a cover letter that answers the following questions:
Why would you like to work in George's glass studio?
How would this job fit with your personal and professional goals?
Please pass along this information to anyone you think might be a good fit or would enjoy working at Fire on the Mountain!
Persistence in Arts
We're excited to introduce our newest painter at AZ Handmade Gallery! A well-known Navajo mural artist from Shonto, Arizona, Daniel Josley has painted over 50 murals across Northern Arizona. Inspired by stories his grandfather told, his vibrant, bold paintings often depict Horned Toads (Chei). An honest blend of tradition and modern life on the reservation, the Chei in Josley’s paintings might be reading a paper, driving a truck, or sharing tales around a campfire. “There have been stories told of Horned Toad time and time and again, the ones I tell are the ones of my childhood memories and new experiences.”
Keep an eye out on our social media for new originals from Daniel Josley as they come our way!
ArtWalk on July 1st will feature Alan Potter! Alan’s whimsical, raku-fired animals made near Bisbee, AZ are a long-time gallery favorite drawing in return collectors and new admirers alike. We never know what animals Alan will bring in! He will be at the gallery in-person along with new ceramic sculptures for the July ArtWalk, and Jimmy DeBlois will be playing live music. Be sure to put ArtWalk on your calendar all season long!
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We're looking forward to seeing you over the summer at AZ Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries!
byob cANCELLED FOR 2021
Fire on the Mountain will not be holding BYOB (Blow Your Own Ball) workshops this year. We know many people were looking forward to this experience, so when workshops to blow your own ornament with George start again, we will send out a notification to our mailing list and post the information on our Facebook and Instagram pages as well.
There will still be lots of ornaments hand-blown by George at the gallery to make your holiday decorations sparkle and to give as festive gifts, including his seasonal Snowballs!
Kachina Faces by Richard Gorman
Have you seen our Puchteca Corner?
Steve Biser's daughter, Misha, has partnered with AZ Handmade Gallery to continue offering work by some of the artists who showed in Puchteca - including paintings by Al Bahe, Kevin Quannie, and Richard Gorman. A portion of the proceeds from each of these sales will go towards Puchteca Solutions, a non-profit building support & collaboration between organizations devoted to clean water & technology solutions for remote Native American communities. We're so excited to have work by these talented artists on display!
The Holidays are Upon Us
We love when our handmade art is given as a gift, and sometimes our artists are asked to make special pieces. Most of our artists are happy to make custom work! But it does take extra time, which can be in short supply around the holidays. If you have been thinking about requesting a specially made gift from one of our artists, please contact us soon so we can pass along your request and see if they can complete it.
The gallery's online store makes it easy to order art from out of town! Some of it is readily available, and some pieces an artist may need to create, so please keep shipping and preparation times in mind when you order. And if you live far away but don't see something you were looking for in the online store - give us a call! We'll be happy to send pictures of additional art available, process your order over the phone, and mail it to you or a loved one!
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Best wishes from all of us at AZ Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries!
Call Someplace Paradise by David Lash
We are so excited to share the great news - ArtWalk is back!
The first ArtWalk of the year will be held on June 4th and local wildlife painter, David Lash, will be doing live painting in the window starting at 6pm! We will be limiting the number of visitors in the gallery at a time, but we're looking forward to easing back into First Friday festivities and seeing lots of familiar faces.
If you haven't seen the new ArtWalk website, be sure to check it out for all the information about participating businesses and events: FLG ArtWalk.
Welcoming Rayonna Lash
The Lash family is full of talent and we are pleased to now also be showing the work of David's daughter, Rayonna Lash! Rayonna portrays a wide variety of subjects from floral paintings to still life studies to portraits, often with subtle, surreal twists that make the viewer think twice about the complexity behind the painting in front of them. Be sure to check out her ten paintings in the gallery when you're in for ArtWalk!
Foretelling Spring and Sweet Discord
Showing off some new work in the gallery!
The Storm - Reduction Woodcut by Julie Williams
Roots Collection Necklace by Sarah Foster
Sonora Desert by Rebecca MacIntyre
We continue to remain open during our normal business hours of 10am-5pm everyday of the week. We are constantly adding to our online store and are always happy to ship and do curbside pickup!
Best wishes from all of us at AZ Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries!
Congratulations to one of our long-time artists at Arizona Handmade Gallery - Julie Williams! Julie's work is currently being shown in Impressions: The Art of the Print, a statewide juried exhibit at Tubac Center of the Arts celebrating the diverse medium of printmaking.
Having studied printmaking for seventeen years, Julie specializes in color reduction woodcuts - a time-intensive art requiring an intuitive understanding of positive and negative space. To create a reduction woodcut, Julie begins with a flat piece of shina wood and begins carving an image into it. When she feels it is ready for the first layer of color (usually the lightest), she rolls the block with inks she has mixed herself and and runs it through a press on as many pieces of paper as she wishes to print in an edition - most commonly between 10 and 25. Those pieces of paper are set out to dry while Julie goes back to that original block of wood and begins carving it again until it's ready for the next color. The printing process is repeated on those same pages so that an image is created by adding layers of color on top of each other. Reduction woodcuts are often recognized for the 3-D quality formed from those layers, depth being found through careful consideration of where to place highlights as more material is removed from the block of wood.
Julie's woodcut, Reverence, was awarded Honorable Mention at the Impressions exhibit. It portrays a Bristlecone Pine - a tree many southwest hikers will recognize and appreciate. Famous for their longevity and resilience, some Bristlecones have been alive for over 5,000 years, thriving in the harshest conditions of the American west where most other trees can't survive. The tree Julie depicted in Reverence is almost 1,700 years old, watching over the quiet of Spectra Point in Cedar Breaks National Monument. Also on display in Impressions are Julie's prints These Days and Cinder Cone - two woodcuts which portray landscapes close to Flagstaff that will strike a nostalgic chord in anyone who has explored the area northeast of town around Sunset Crater or Wupatki National Monuments.
Julie's woodcuts have been included in many juried national print exhibitions, including Boston Printmakers and Los Angeles Printmakers. Most recently before the Impressions exhibit, she participated in The Arizona Print Invitational in Tucson held at Davis Dominguez Gallery and the Night Visions exhibit at the Coconino Center for the Arts. The Impressions exhibit is open to the public in Tubac through April 4, 2021; a digital tour as well as more information can be found at the Tubac Center of the Arts website. Julie's three prints in the show can be purchased at our online store or in the gallery at 20 N San Francisco St in Flagstaff.
Pup with the Peal Earring by Kay Yoo
We hope you've had a good start to the new year so far and that this finds you healthy and well. We've been busy creating and working on things which will continue to make local art accessible. In light of that, we're excited to announce that we have a fun event scheduled for March!
Many of you have met Kay Yoo on the other side of the counter at AZ Handmade Gallery, but she's also a photographer! Kay photographs pets and makes adorable twists on classic art with a touch of puppy charm (such as The Pup with the Pearl Earring above). Her cards are among the most popular in the gallery and many people have asked if their own pet can be the subject of such a masterpiece - and now they can!
On March 20th, Kay will be in the gallery with a photo booth where you can bring your dog to be photographed. Then, she will add their likeness to the art piece of your choice, immortalizing your furry friend in baroque glamor forever! Digital images of the photoshoot and your dog in the painting, as well as a four-pack of cards, will be included in the package, and prints and additional cards can be purchased through Kay as well. Price per dog is $75. Sign up for a session at our online store. Just like any other time you would come in, masks will be required (for you, not your dog).
We look forward to seeing you and meeting some of your pets in the gallery!
Welcoming Leo Feeney
We're excited to add the work of Leo Feeney to the gallery. Leo has been making fine jewelry for decades, has shown in renowned galleries throughout the Southwest, and has even had his work sold in Sundance magazine! Reflecting regional motifs, his signature cluster style sets colorful stones in sterling silver with symmetry and precision. Leo lives with his family right here in Flagstaff. Come by the gallery to see (and try on) his work! A selection of his jewelry is available through our online store as well.
Showing off some new work in the gallery!
Redwall Cavern Ahead by Dawn Sutherland
Wild Rose Earrings and Prickly Pear Rosary Necklace by Rosa Kilgore
Zephyr by David Lash
We continue to remain open during our normal business hours of 10am-5pm everyday of the week (masks required). We are constantly adding to our online store and are always happy to ship and do curbside pickup!
Stay safe, well, and positive as we move forward into the year ahead!
Back in November 2019, when things were more normal than we appreciated at the time, George Averbeck got a special visit from Canadian filmmaker, Brandy Yanchyk. Brandy was making a travel documentary series which not only explored unique experiences across the United States, but also highlighted local crafts and artists. George welcomed Brandy into his studio to help him make one of his signature glass "moon balls" celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Apollo moon landing - an iconic part of Flagstaff's history.
The series Seeing the USA with Brandy Yanchyk, is out now and we're happy to share her experience blowing glass with George! See how a moon ball is created and what it takes to work molten glass into a beautiful piece of art. And if you enjoy this section, check out the whole Seeing the USA series on Amazon Prime or on your local PBS station!
Arizona Handmade Gallery and Fire on the Mountain now occupy the space formerly taken by Puchteca Indian Goods for more than 40 years.
Irma David's work is on display at Arizona Handmade. David is a Hopi Pottery artist of the Parrot Clan from Polacca, Arizona, which sits atop First Mesa.
After almost two months of renovations, Holly Averbeck proudly welcomed the community into Arizona Handmade Gallery/Fire on the Mountain’s new location for a soft opening during this month’s First Friday ArtWalk on Feb. 7. Almost 600 friends, supporters and community members stopped in to celebrate the large space previously occupied by Puchteca Indian Goods for more than 40 years.
Large west-facing windows bring in an abundance of natural light that shines through glass artwork, inviting passersby to step in and see what’s being offered in the newly renovated space.
“It was a lot of do it yourself, but I believe that creating something beautiful for downtown Flagstaff is worth it,” Averbeck said. “The town is worth it, and I’m not giving up yet.”
Arizona Handmade Gallery has been a mainstay of the community along San Francisco Street for almost 30 years. When Averbeck and her husband George, a glass blower, bought the place in 2010, they kept the name and added on George’s gallery, Fire on the Mountain. The face of downtown Flagstaff has steadily been changing, though, with local shops closing their doors and skylines rising. When Puchteca owner Steve Beiser announced his retirement last year, Averbeck began considering expanding her business to take over the historic space.
“Over time, as I talked to him about who was approaching him [as buyers], which were bars and a Chinese restaurant, I began to think, that should be a gallery,” Averbeck said.
She is hoping to carry on Beiser’s legacy—one of fostering lifelong connections—by continuing to host the artists who sold their work there.
“The diversity in Flagstaff is wonderful, and it’s something to celebrate, not to close the doors against,” Averbeck said. “I have had some of his artists approach me and there are others I’m calling, so we’ll see.”
Now Hand and Fire Gallery (as Averbeck and her husband have fondly combined their two gallery names) is located on the other side of San Francisco Street facing several other women-owned businesses, and its proprietors are finding it still has some life to give.
“Every couple of years I try to go somewhere I’ve never been, just look at art in a different place, and last year I was in Peru,” Averbeck said. “I saw so much that inspired me as a gallery owner, just keeping alive an ancient tradition of fine arts and craft.”
Averbeck gets by with help from employees like Stephanie Stinski, who has been with the business for the past five years. As a writer and occasional metalworking artist, Stinski said she appreciates being able to share ideas with the artists who supply the gallery with its wide variety of wares, from jewelry and pottery to dyed silk and vibrant canvases.
“There are people who are retired and this is what they’ve wanted to do for a really long time, and then there are people who are younger and starting out, and then there are those who have made it their career,” she said. “It’s really fun to see what they bring to the table.”
Stinski also enjoys meeting travelers on their way to or from the Grand Canyon who take the time to explore what downtown has to offer. Visitors from France, China and Latvia provide her with new ways to view art, the world and its people.
“I think that an art space is just a really open and welcoming space where people from other parts of the world can feel like they can have a conversation,” Stinski said. “Holly has put so much work into this place. She really does care. She could have retired, and this is what she chose to do.”
Hello and welcome to the first newsletter of 2020 from Arizona Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries! We are looking forward to using this outlet to share some of our upcoming events, developments, and new work from our artists.
The biggest news this month is…our MOVE! If you haven’t heard yet, Arizona Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Galleries will be moving across the street and up a few stores to 20 N San Francisco Street. Holly has been hard at work on renovations to the space - from putting in new flooring to updating the lighting. She has even painted a mural on the back wall! The higher ceilings and larger footprint will enable us to show more art and move forward with some exciting ideas we’ve had brewing for a while…we’ll tell you more about those in future newsletters!
Our soft opening is scheduled for February 2nd (02-02-2020)! We’ll be open in our new space from that day on and will participate in the first ArtWalk of the year on February 7th. Painter Gina Richmann will be giving live silk painting demonstrations, we’ll have live music by local singer/songwriter Gary Bowman, and some yummy treats. It will be a great time to stop in and see the new space!
In March, we’re also planning a Grand Opening Celebration, date TBA. Keep an eye out so you can put that date on your calendar – it is sure to be a fun time!
While traveling Peru last year, Holly was inspired by the continuing tradition of creating things by hand. She has written a mission statement to direct the gallery going forward, carrying the sentiment of a modest plaque she read in a Peruvian gallery window.
We like to think of this space as an art gallery with a deeper meaning. Here, we hope to ensure that the ancient tradition of creating fine art and crafts endures time. We offer our master artisans a market to share their art and crafts, and sell them in an environment that is ethical and conscious. Each piece of art was touched by the hand of the artist who created it.
We thank you for your support as we start 2020 with those words in mind. Best wishes for the new year!
Arizona Handmade and Fire on the Mountain Gallery Team
For the November ArtWalk we're featuring ceramic artist Mark Arnegard! Many Flagstaff locals know him from his mugs at Macy's, the dishware are Mamma Louisa Italian Restaurant, or his blue studio on old Rt. 66. And LOTS of people know him for his beloved mountain mugs!
Arne has been working with clay since the early 70's in northern Arizona and has used the landscape around him as an inspiration for his beautiful and functional ceramic art. As a long-time member in the Flagstaff community, his work has wound its way into many people's lives. Just this morning we had a customer in the gallery who won a handball tournament in 1989 and he still had the cup that he had won and Arne had made for the event! That's just one of the many stories we hear in the gallery about Arne pieces that are near and dear to Flagstaffians and visitors alike.
If you've never met Arne, come on down for ArtWalk on Friday, November 1st to talk with him about the style he has built over the decades. If you know him already, we hope you'll pop in to say hello, munch on a goodie, look at the art, and listen to the live music of Flagstaff Jazz duo, The Local Group. They'll be playing from 6-9pm!
And if you want to get a mountain mug for someone this holiday season...stop in soon! Every single year we sell out of ALL of Arne's mugs before Christmas and the mountain mugs are the first to go!
For the October ArtWalk we're lucky to have two featured artists - Juan Carlos Medina and Gina Richmann!
Juan Carlos Medina is a painter originally from Chihuahua, Mexico who grew up in Los Angeles and has lived in Chinle, Arizona for the last few years. The influence of his new home has crept into his work, with imagery of reservation life blending with art inspired by his Mexican heritage.
Juan Carlos paints with oils and acrylics and uses bold colors offset by deep shadows to bring his subjects to life. He surrounds his pieces with vintage frames that finish and compliment them. He will be bringing seven brand new original paintings to the gallery for the October ArtWalk and will be joining us to talk with customers about his art and life. Whether you love his art inspired by Dia de los Muertos, Frida Kahlo, daily life, or haven't seen his work at all yet, stop by and say hello!
While Juan Carlos and his new paintings will be inside, a different kind of painter will be giving live demos in front of the gallery. Gina Richmann will be painting her vibrant silk scarves and chatting with ArtWalk attendees. If you haven't had a chance to see silk-painting done in-person it is definitely worth the stop. Gina's years of experience show as she carefully places and blends colors on the flexible material and brings scenes to life in the time it takes you to stand and watch!
To round out the evening we will have live music by the Flagstaff folk duo, Mystic Harvest. They always liven up ArtWalk with energetic music full of guitar, banjo, harmonica, and beautiful vocals.
Join us for an ArtWalk full of color and fun on Friday, October 4th from 6-9pm - and don't forget to sign up to blow your own ornament with George while you're there!
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!