A plethora of artists call the Rim Country home. Twenty-six local artists will show their work in 17 studios during the ‘Neath the Rim 2008 Open Studio Tour.
Showing at the studio tour is a new experience for Gary Houston, but the professional clay artist got his start at the wheel in high school.
"I've been practicing 37 years," Houston said.
"I opened my first store at 17 -- The Clay and Candle. I was an idiot. I've been working hard ever since," he added.
The artist-come-entrepreneur expanded to a factory with 130 accounts and seven full-time potters working for him in Canada.
He also owned a shop in Scottsdale and a retail store in Payson for a couple years.
Running a business with employees meant longer hours and exasperating overhead.
The idea of moving to the Rim Country was to slow down, but he finds himself just as busy, between custom orders, teaching the pottery course at Gila Community College and living life.
A two-tiered table with tile tops and a base of 200-year-old manzanita wood is the large project he is finishing for the show.
Houston will also display custom dinnerware, wall mirrors, mirror surrounds and a large wall hanging of three clay murals in a copper frame.
The annual tour is an opportunity for people to leisurely peruse what Patricia Allebrand calls "small sculptures." Gold and silver hold semi-precious stones in nonobjective forms in the jewelry she designs.
People can talk to Robert Barela about how he uses his sandblaster. Barela carves Arizona spirit stone, following the swirled grains with his sandblaster to create eagles, longhorns and Southwestern scenes.
Don Harmon's fish leap out of the water in his bronzes, and nature's essence reveals itself in his acrylic landscapes.
Art imitates life for Donn Morris as he finds inspiration in the people he sees and meets.
The studios are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4.
Tour guides and maps for the show are available at Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Public Library.
Signs will point the way to the different studios from Pine through Payson to Christopher Creek. Maps are also available at each location.
2008 Studio Tour Artists and mediums
Gino Ater - jewelry and furniture
Patricia Allebrand - jewelry
Robert Barela - stone, glass, tile
Brenda Baker - acrylic and mixed media
James Bayles - stained glass clocks
John Finkey - jewelry
Jim Garrity - jewelry
Mary Goddard - oil
Jim Hagen - oil
Don Harmon - acrylics, bronze, pen and pencil
Delores Hartless - oil
Gary Houston - stoneware, pottery
Carolee Jackson - ceramics
Jay Kemp - metal sculpture, oil and acrylics
Donn Morris - watercolor, pencil, pastel, mixed media
Rock Newcomb - acrylic painting
C.M. Okerwall - acrylic and pencil
Ruth Overton - oil
Rita Pochert - decorated gourds, watercolor and oil paintings
Jan Ransom - oil, watercolor
Glenda and Bob Roark - oil, acrylic, mixed media, jewelry, fused glass and pottery
Marilyn Salomon - batik
Pat Sessions - oil, watercolor
Georgianne Smolenski - hand-woven wearable art
Carole and Alan Snyder - stoneware, pottery
Jim Strong - oil
Take a chance on art with raffle
Each studio on the tour will have a raffle item. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or six for $5. Proceeds go to support arts at Payson Head Start, JRE, FES, Payson Community Christian, Shelby, Payson Center for Success, Payson Community Kids, Tonto Basin School, Son Shine Club, Whispering Hope Ranch, and Shining a Light in Pine. Payson Art League provides hands-on art experiences and library books in area elementary schools.