Cowboy artist Mel Bradshaw was the top pick among those who attended the Payson Art League's Fall 2000 Show and Sale, in which he earned first-place honors in the People's Choice category.
Other first-place winners in the three-day event last weekend at the Tonto Apache Indian Reservation Activity Center included Rock Newcomb in the Flat Art category, Hank Sterling in the Fine Craft division, Don Harmon in Sculpture, and Alan and Carole Snyder in Ceramic.
Newcomb, whose work ranges from Western to wildlife to landscapes, said that the show attracted a constant flow of traffic despite the damp weather. The Friday evening reception, he added, was attended by wall to wall people.
"I heard nothing but positive comments from both the artists and the people who came," he said. "I didn't show at the last two PAL events because of conflicts, and I have to say that this little Payson show is one of the real sleepers. All of a sudden you realize you've sold quite a bit."
Newcomb, who also took third place in the People's Choice competition, moved to the Rim country from California with his wife, Cody, three years ago on the recommendation of Harmon, who he met at another show.
"When he told me I should think about moving to this place, I said, 'Where the hell is Payson?'" he said.
"You know, as limited as this place can sometimes seem in terms of shopping for art supplies and things like that, every time we cross the Arizona state line on our way back here we breathe a sigh of relief."
Show award winners
Flat Art: first place Rock Newcomb; second place Mel Bradshaw; third Place Levene Charron.
Fine Craft: first place Hank Sterling; second place Jim Garrity; third place Betty Bee Miller.
Sculpture: first place Don Harmon; second place Darlene and Tony Cimador; third place Russ Henderson.
Ceramic: first place Alan and Carole Snyder; second place Annelle Henson; third place Norma Hanscom.
People's Choice: first place Mel Bradshaw; second place Jackie Bond; third place Rock Newcomb.