CHINO VALLEY, AZ- For nearly 30 years the High Desert Artists has been motivating artists of all levels to express themselves in a wide variety of mediums, and since fall of 2013 the organizations artists have been displaying their work in various Town buildings, including Town Hall and the newly remodeled library on Palomino Road.
The group, based in Chino Valley, was started in 1985 and currently has about 20 members, mostly painters, but according to founding member Mary Moran the group also welcomes photographers, sculptures, and has also included a poet or two over the years.
"We welcome anybody and encourage them to participate at their level," said Moran. "Mainly we are involved in visual arts, oils, acrylics, water colors, even crafts and quilting. But we really want people to express themselves artistically in whatever way they choose."
Moran said that in past years the organization has even sponsored a scholarship that was awarded to a local teen actor.
"We want to help artists in the community and promote our artists as well," said Moran.
One way the group is helping artists is by hosting classes at the Chino Valley Senior Center each Thursday. For the small fee of $2 artists of any age or skill level are able to stretch their creative muscles and receive instruction and encouragement by locally and nationally known artists.
Moran said this is an excellent opportunity for families to create art together, spending time learning a craft. Children are welcome but should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The $2 per person fee covers instruction and all supplies.
Long time member and internationally known artist Bonnie Casey encourages all art lovers to contact the group, even if they feel creating art isn't their strong suit.
"We have many, many artists come and speak at our meetings, encouraging one another, learning from each other," said Casey. Casey has also hosted tours of her Chino Valley studio and hopes that added participation in the group will help establish a local annual studio tour, highlighting Chino Valley artists, painters, and writers.
"When artists get together we bounce ideas off of each other and you can always learn something," added Moran.
The High Desert Artists member's currently showing work at town buildings includes Moran, Casey, and Judy Lewis. Fellow member and artist Nancy Pendleton recently removed several pieces in preparation for an overseas showing of her work.
All paintings displayed are available for purchase, with artists contact information available at Town Hall, 202 N Highway 89, Chino Valley, AZ.
Information on High Desert Artists meetings, held the second Saturday of each month, and the Thursday art classes, is available by calling the organization at 928-636-8467.
Both the Thursday classes and the Saturday meetings are held at the Chino Valley Senior center, 1021 Butterfield Road.