Four artists, recipients of many awards, with a variety of media and styles, are now displayed in the gallery at the Northern Gila County Historical Society's Museum of Rim Country Archaeology.
Anne Branagan, whose studio is in Whispering Pines, finds that watercolors and India ink best depict her favorite subjects, animals. She likes pencil drawings, too, and has done ink-drawn impressionistic floral representations, in oriental design.
A single parent with five children, Anne was a product illustrator for McCurdy's department store in Rochester, N.Y. She did scenic art in musical theater, and taught printing and design in the school system. Anne is currently creating a mural in the MRCA gallery. It is her vision of the Risser Ranch Ruins, in prehistoric times.
Jay Kemp's favorite subjects, Indian pueblos, are painted with acrylics, in a southwestern style. He builds up pueblo wall textures, for example, with gesso and marble dust, before applying paint. A multi-talented artist, Jay paints landscapes, does deer antler carvings, and creates jewelry from Alaskan caribou, inlaid with turquoise.
Jay worked with the Heard Museum, principally on display dioramas. He was asked, for example, to carve a wooden mask to fit inside the hood of an Eskimo parka. He also spent 32 years with Channel 5 in television production.
Donn Morris, a realistic painter with a western flair, prefers watercolors, pencil, and watercolors with pen. The consummate teacher, he spent 35 years in California, instructing high school drawing, painting and art history. He then focused on teaching community college, as well as younger students. He has volunteered with Payson children for 10 years.
Donn is a member of the Payson Art League, and the Northern Arizona Watercolor Society, where he has been juried in three shows.
Rock Newcomb paints in acrylic on a clay-board surface. He does prints on paper, "giclees", and provides limited editions using offset lithography. His subject matter is pre-Colombian artifacts, and he has taken thousands of photographs, from which he works. He paints accurate pictorial representations of original pieces.
Rock was born in Idaho, and taught for 27 years in Southern California. He completes 80 to 100 paintings a year, and exhibits nationwide. He won the Native American Heritage award in 2002 in Jackson Hole, Wyo. for the best representation of a Native American subject.