Many people who relocate to the Rim country consider themselves lucky to have found such a paradise, but don't count Adrienne Crim, a junior at Payson High School, among them.
Crim, one of three students chosen to display their art work at the Payson Art League show, is a native of Hawaii. While she finds Payson a good place to live, it's a far cry from her home island of Maui.
"I moved here when I was in the eighth grade, and I hope to live in Maui again some day," she said. "It is so very beautiful there, and there is so much diversity among the people."
Local cowboy artist Donn Morris, who helps promising young local artists develop their talents, is featuring the work of the three students in his Kidzart Korner, a booth at the PAL show where he typically lets children draw and paint while their parents peruse the show. In addition to Crim's work, art work created by PHS student Cheyenne Eckstein and Rim Country Middle School student Sara Miles will be on display.
"This will be the first time we've actually allowed students to show their work," Morris said. "It's a great opportunity to showcase the talents of some of the fine young people who live up here."
While Crim's three years in the Rim country certainly qualify her as a local student artist, her work reflects her Hawaiian roots rather than any area influences.
"I have definitely not bought into the cowboy thing," she said with a laugh. "I've done some Japanese stuff, including a couple of Geisha girls, and a lot of my work reflects my Hawaiian background."
PHS art teacher George Conley, who selected Crim and Eckstein to participate in the show, said one of the things that impresses him about Crim's work is its variety.
"What I like about Adrienne is that her artwork is very diverse," he said. "She can do clay sculptures, oil paintings, drawings. She is also in advanced placement art history, which is a college level art history class, plus she also takes a lot of music classes."
In addition to providing exposure for the students' work through the show, PAL has awarded each student a $200 scholarship to use on art supplies.
"We had the money in the art league," Morris said, "and we wanted to get it into the students' hands this year rather than wait until the end of the year to get them the supplies and materials they needed to do the things they wanted to do. This is the first time we've done it this way."
Crim is quick to give Conley credit for developing her skills.
"I've always drawn, but he's made me a lot better," she said. "He's especially helped me with my clay stuff."
Besides a vase, Crim plans to display three oils and three drawings. She and her fellow students will be among 40 artists displaying their work at PAL's Spring 2001 Show and Sale May 4-6 at the Tonto Apache Activity Center.
The mixed media show, offering Southwestern, contemporary and traditional works of art, opens Friday at 7 p.m. with a special two hour reception. Admission to the opening reception, which features music and refreshments while offering first pick of the artists' work, is $5.
The show continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no admission charge.
Another addition to the spring show this year is Artist's Alley, a venue for new artists who have not yet produced enough work to display in their own booths. Featuring brick painted backgrounds and other "alley" accouterments, the new area will feature oils by Marilyn Ippolito; pastels by Patty Klesner; and pastels, oils and colored pencil drawings by Denise Neff.
New artists who will have their own booths include Carol Kane, oils and sculpture; J.R. Keller, sculpture; Pam Webb, mixed media collage; and Mark Sturlin, watermedia and inks.
For Crim, who one day hopes to study fashion design at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, it's a thrill to be in the company of accomplished, working artists.
"If I had my choice of being anything I wanted, I'd be an artist," she said.