When you enter the Northern Gila County Historical Society's Museum of Rim Country Archaeology, you'll be amazed at the talent represented by the artists in the gallery.
These are museum-quality arts and crafts. All items for sale are one-of-a-kind. Most employ materials, or illustrate designs, used by the prehistoric peoples featured within the museum itself. For an unusual gift, piece of jewelry, wall or table decoration, or souvenir from a visit "back in time," this is the place to come.
Artists represented are primarily from the Payson area and Rim country. Tucson and Laveen, Ariz., and Durango, Colo. are homes for a few.
This week, the featured gallery artists are sculptors.
Carol Kane's bronze statue, as you enter the gallery, depicts an early Indian man, and his likeness is repeated in the museum in a mixed media sculpture of "Ao," the prehistoric story-teller, who guides you through the museum.
Ao is the wise man who describes the customs, beliefs and tools used by the early peoples.
The base of his sculpture in the museum is slate and wood. The head is sculpi (oven dried material), and the cloths are burlap.
Carol is an RN who raised five children, and also has a bachelor's of fine arts degree from Ohio-Wesleyan. She studied with the Arts Students League in New York, and has had interest in painting "all her life."
She describes herself as an "eclectic artist," who works in stained glass, paints on porcelain and tiles, and does popular wood-sculpted angels. Where there is an artistic need, she fills it -- she even makes lamps. If you have an idea, she can turn it into artistic reality.
Carolyn Grimes' wood-carvings and sculpture are post modernist (after Cezanne), and illustrate basic elements: the air, earth, sky, water, and the way in which they move. Your interest is focused on space, rather than on a specific subject. Some carvings appear "closed" in shape, while others are "open". Designs are often created in a series.
Carolyn has worked with art since 1962, has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Art Institute in Chicago, and an master's from the University of Denver.
She has taught sculpture, jewelry making, drawing, design and art history, and has been on the faculty of our local community college, a junior college in Wyoming and the University of Denver.
She started her career with sculptural portraiture, represented in the gallery by a "running" bronze horse. She painted the gift cards attractively displayed, and artistically designs business cards.
In honor of Archaeology Awareness Month, March 1-31, 2003, MRCA's gallery has been updated, and the museum exhibits broadened in anticipation of the Archaeology Expo--"Rim Country: Celebrating Cultural Crossroads", to be held in Green Valley Park March 28-29. Several thousand people are expected to visit Payson for this special event.