Artist Rebuilds Life Through Multimedia Work



In "Thee Beginning" the earth is pristine and pure.

"The message in the painting is be aware and honor the Earth," Ann Hunter said.


Ann Hunter with "The Grandmother," one of her 3-D mask works.

With "Thee Beginning," like her charcoal drawing "Wind," that depicts the wind as a woman, Hunter hopes that people will become more aware of existing resources and the ways people can make a difference.

"I think we take a lot for granted. The wind can supply power for us," she said.

Hunter felt a need to re-invent her life after a 1997 car accident left her in a hospital bed.

She was able to hear what doctors and nurses around her said, but she was unable to communicate in return for several weeks.

Ironic, since she made her living at the time in the broadcasting industry.

When she heard a doctor speak of plans to move her to a nursing home, she forced herself to grunt and move her eyes.

When she recovered enough to be on her own, she moved from the Valley to Pine.

"I got a notion to try clay one day, so I did. The first piece I sculpted was a face. I named him "Chief" and put him on my fireplace mantel," Hunter said.

She tried charcoal next, then painting.

Currently her focus is three-dimensional hanging sculptures -- faces and landscapes.


"Thee Beginning"

"It seems natural to me to build clay on canvas," Hunter said.

Each time she held a brush or sculpted clay with her hands, she began to realize that the art that consumed her "52 hours a day" was a vehicle to use to help the community.

That is where the sculpture "Clan" that she donated as a fund-raiser for the library's expansion comes in.

"I can't give a $1,000 to a cause, but I can donate art to raise money," she said.

Art allows Hunter to make a truer connection with people her former job in broadcasting did not.

"Just when I connected with a listener, the program director would tell me not to think about that one person, to think about the whole audience. Art is personal," Hunter said.

Soul Search "My Original Life Work"

This is my COMFORT...

My passion...

My release.

My work represents my life,

And how I live it

As I create.

The process gives me a greater


A fountain Hunter sculpted.

Understanding of myself,

Continued Growth and my place

Within our community.

I strive to convey this message

In the creative work

I've been called to do.

I hope it helps all of us

To understand

Our continued need

To Grow...

To Expand...

And, ultimately,

See and know

Who we truly are

And why we are here...


Name: Ann Hunter

Medium: multimedia, sculpture, charcoal, oils and acrylic paints

Motto: I have a desire to always continue to grow.


Praying hands sculpture

Advice to beginning artists: Simply begin.

Award most proud: I received the People's Choice, Second Place for "Thee Beginning" at the 2007 Spring Art Show in Chaparral Pines. It was the first time I had entered a show and the award was unexpected. It was important to me because it came from the people.

Hometown: Duluth, Minn.

Why the Rim Country? I have loved Arizona since I drove through as a child with my family on the way to California. I always knew I would be back, I just didn't know when.

Upcoming project: Hunter is writing a book on her near-death experience and plans to self-publish it in November.


Book topic: discovering why we are here

Food: Steak

Movie: "Fried Green Tomatoes"

Music: Anything that picks me up.

Points of contact: Soul Search Sculptor's Studio (928) 951-0978 or at Elder's Creations Online at

Library expansion fund raffle: "Clan," an original clay sculpture, is on display until Sept. 30 at the Payson Public Library. "Clan" will be auctioned off Oct. 1. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

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