Once again residents and visitors can get a close look at the personal worlds of Rim Country artists. The Payson Art League will have its annual ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour the first weekend of May.
There will be 26 artists displaying their work at 13 studios. At the studios it will be possible to chat with artists and learn about their subjects, materials, techniques and processes in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
The ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3. The guide will include artist information, a map, there will also be signs posted to direct visitors to the studios. At the studios visitors may purchase raffle tickets for the PAL benefit raffle, which will feature works donated by each of the participating artists.
As guests tour the 13 studios, they will have the opportunity to deposit their raffle tickets with the artists of their choice. Winners of the drawings will be notified by phone and given instructions regarding claiming their prizes.
Proceeds from the raffle enable PAL to buy art supplies for area schools and children’s organizations.
The tour guides can also be found at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Payson Public Library and area sponsors of the event.
The Payson Art League can trace its roots back to 1976, when a group of artists met to organize. The Payson Art League was formed in 1978 with 30 members. The group adopted bylaws and elected officers to formalize the organization in 1979.
The charter members included Bill Adams, Mary Berry, Millie Burtcher, Ruth Ann Clemens, Adele Curtis, Pat D’Angelo, Vondell Davis, Cathy Ellis, Laura Elms, Elaine Fillion, Faye Gilbert, Frances Gregory, Amy Lou Hall, Eileen Hall, Jane Harrison, Marguerite Harrison, Janice Hobbs, Jim Hobbs, Glennis Horejse, Dorothy Kaufman, Harvey Kaufman, Carolyn Kayate, Bettye Mathis, Louise Richarson, Louise Schader, E.W. “Buzz” Smith, George Sutderland, Don Toot, Dorinda Vick and Ruth Wilson.
Members of the group participated in the Flagstaff Invitational for Fine Arts in 1979 and also hosted three shows: Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend and Christmas.
According to the PAL bylaws and code of ethics, the purposes for which this league was organized are to improve, foster and promote arts and crafts within a 60-mile radius of Payson, to promote art education; to set a code of standards and ethics in the conduct and guidance of arts and crafts shows sponsored by the league; to promote mutual understanding and friendship among members; to inspire public confidence in league activities ...
Initially the members of the group met in one another’s homes, but over the course of the years they have met at the Payson Womans Club, the cafeteria at the elementary (later known as Julia Randall Elementary School) and at St. Paul’s Episcopal and St. Philip the Apostle Catholic churches. The PAL has met at the dining room of the Rim Country Health & Retirement Community since the spring of 2007. The meetings include critiques of member works and demonstrations in various media by guest artists from throughout the state.
The first PAL multi studio tour was held in 2004. That first ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour included 25 studios. Prior to that, groups of individual members would have open houses at their studios for their fellow artists and the public.
Multiple exhibitions were held, usually between two and three each year. At almost every event funds were raised to advance art in the area’s schools and for private programs for young people. Art materials have been purchased and children’s art shows have been held. More recently, the main shows of the PAL have also featured the artwork of children.
Over the years members of PAL have been featured in a number of different galleries and in individual businesses throughout the Rim Country. Members’ work has also been exhibited at the area’s libraries and museums.
This year see the work of many PAL artists in its birthplace: the studio. The ’Neath the Rim Studio Tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, May 1 through Sunday, May 3.
(Historic material courtesy of the PAL, written by Frances H. Muggli, historian for PAL, October 2007)