Art At The Oxbow

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The Oxbow Saloon welcomes four artists and the public to a spring wine-tasting and fine arts show.

Taste a new wine and visit with the award-winning artists on the Oxbow's courtyard patio from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 29.

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Natalie Jetter will have her art featured at a special exhibit and wine-tasting event at the Oxbow Saloon this weekend. Jetter will be joined in the exhibit by Angela Cockle, Jim Hagen and Jim Tunell.

Scratchboard artist Angela Cockle, oil painter Jim Hagen, potter Natalie Jetter and photographer Jim Tunell will be at the show to answer questions and sell their creative work.

Angela Cockle employs knifelike tools to scratch the surface of an inked board to create a picture. Wildlife and animal portraits are her specialty.

"I will be working on a new piece while I am sitting at the show," Cockle said. "It is easier to explain what I am creating, if people can actually see me scratching."

When she was working at a "boring office job" in London's West End, the native Brit could wistfully recall the encouragement her art teachers in school had given her. Her company, Cat Scratches, was not born until the late 1990s after she had married, raised a family, lived for a while in New Zealand and worked as a professional upholsterer.

Cockle's art adorns the walls of Down the Street Galley in Payson. She can also be reached at (928) 474-4553 or catscratchesinc@aol.com

What is an aerospace engineer to do as he faces retirement? Jim Hagen's answer in 1980 was to attend art workshops and teach himself to paint the Western landscapes, cowboys and wildlife he loves in oils.

Cowboys "Comin' Home" across the meadow at the end of the day took first place at the 1981 George Phippen Memorial art show in Prescott.

Five years and many canvases later, Hagen presented King Hussein of Jordan with "Let's Get Movin'," a serene painting of cowboys driving cattle.

When Hagen worked at Loral Space in California, he was part of the team that built the counter-measure system into the King's jet.

Hagen's art has appeared in galleries in Wickenburg and at the Favell Museum in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Now fully mended after a long year of health issues, Jim is itching to paint.

"I love alligator juniper," he said. He wants to see if he can subtly paint an alligator in the wood on canvas.

Www.westernfineart.net is Hagen's website. He can be reached in his Christopher Creek Studio at (928) 478-4552.

When Natalie Jetter brought home the first pot she had ever thrown, her husband Jim said, "You didn't throw that. It's too perfect."

Jetter had gone back to community college to take art classes and it turned out she had a natural gift for pottery.

When a fellow classmate showed her the technique of using horsehair in her work, Jetter was keen to experiment.

"I place the hair on in long strands with a design in mind," Natalie said.

"I am a dramatic personality and I like to reflect that in my work," Natalie said.

Her finished pots are similar to a Raku and like a Raku do not hold water and are for decorative use only.

Within the last year she has won three best of show awards, one in Pinetop, one in Patagonia and the most recent at Tucson's Fourth Avenue Fair where she was in competition with 500 artists.

Diamond West Galley in Pinetop (928) 367-0267 carries Jetter's work.

Photographer Jim Tunell recently sold his Prescott home. Now he is on the road full time in pursuit of what he calls, "the vanishing West."

"I love the Arizona area," he said.

It must be true, for he has several hundred photos in his Vanishing West series.

"My goal is to capture working cowboys, buffalo and horses in all the states West of the Mississippi," Tunell said.

There are differences in the art of Tunell and his inspiration, Edward Curtis.

Curtis added copper and gold dust to his photographs of vanishing North American Indian tribes in the early 1900s.

Tunell also shoots film, but after he scans the film, he digitally adds copper tones to the photographs.

"I come from a photo-journalism background, so I rarely pose my subjects as Curtis did," Tunell said.

He did pose a boy after a Hopi Rain Dance.

Tunell mainly worked for a woman's magazine out of Germany that wanted photos of women in unusual careers. He shot lots of military, animal rescue and wildlife scenes.

After Sept. 11 the tourism market dried up.

"I decided to focus on what excites me as a photographer," Tunell said.

Curtis' photos captured Tunell's imagination as a child and so, his own journey began.

Tunell's Vanishing West images are online at www.thelastfrontier.net.

"Art is healing," said Jay LeBow of Integrity Arts International. He and his wife Cassandra coordinated the show with the artists and the Oxbow.

"Art is a communication device that breaks down barriers of race, religion and political beliefs," LeBow said. "There are no walls or ceilings around it. There is nothing that you need to bring to a creative work of art, other than your own passion and your self-expression."

In addition to the wine and art, IAI will have estate jewelry at the Oxbow.

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