Artists Settle Into Best Time Of Their Lives

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Although just one artist is scheduled to work each day at Artists of the Rim Gallery, the social atmosphere is such that visitors may find more than just one artist there showing off Robert Barela's latest "Spirit Stone" carving, silversmith Dick Wolfe's latest pendant of amethyst or Peggy Gould's oil paintings of the Tonto Natural Bridge.

The co-op gallery is not about ego, it is about art.

"A lot of artists don't get along, it's just our temperament, the way we are," Barela said. But not at Artists of the Rim. "The gallery is the best experience any of us have had. There aren't quarrels, there aren't disagreements."

Barela, Gould and Wolfe are the gallery's featured artists for March.

A reception will be held for them from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10.

The public is invited.

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Peggy Gould may have begun her pursuit of art as a child making paper dolls, but as an adult she discovered she had a talent for oil painting.

Barela carves Sierra Stone and flagstone into tabletops, wall art and, more recently, lamps.

He looks at each piece of stone carefully before he decides what kind of carving its natural whorls and layers dictate.

"I saw a rock and thought it would make a beautiful vase," he said.

Then, he decided a vase would not do the rock's natural beauty justice unless whoever purchased it lit the stone just right.

As a lamp, the rock's beauty is also functional.

"People appreciate the work more when they touch it and realize that it is not wood, but stone," he said.

Wolfe has made several new abstract jewelry designs just for the reception.

"I am enjoying my time at the gallery," he said. "People who enjoy art are just nice people."

And, true to his wry sense of humor, Wolfe said he finds being an artist is "much more fun than being a politician."

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Silversmith Dick Wolfe enjoys creating custom jewelry for patrons, as well as deciding the perfect design to surround his favorite stone, an amethyst.

Gould put her art on a shelf several times in her life, but came back to it with a passion in the late '80s. Since then, she taught art, had her own gallery (in the Pacific Northwest) and is now able to paint from her home studio, Cedar Haven, whenever she wishes.

Artists of the Rim, is everything she hoped for and more.

"I enjoy telling people about the artists I work with because I have such respect for them," Gould said.

The three artists will be in the gallery on the following dates in March -- Barela on March 9 and 29, Wolfe on March 24 and Gould on March 28.

Artists of the Rim is located at 408 West Main St. in Payson. Call (928) 472-1159.

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