I wanted to thank all of the members of the Payson Art League, all of the sponsors, and all of the visitors who made the ’Neath the Rim Art Studio Tour such a great success! We met people from all over the world as they traveled to Rim Country to enjoy the cool weather and fabulous hidden treasures of this area, that were discovered during the art tour.
Many people who “found” our studio in the Sawmill Crossing wished they would have seen a banner or something across the highway to let them know of the event, but we passed out as many studio guides as we could, and the signs still helped visitors find this fabulous event.
Art is a venue that could help our town turn from “survival” mode to “thriving” mode because it brings outside dollars and a level of appreciation for fine art to the area. People want a reason to come to Rim Country and spend time and money here.
Events like the art studio tour are a wonderful way for people to do that, and I’m surprised that this type of marketing and tourism hasn’t been embraced by the town, especially because of the tremendous talent and resident artists who have chosen to call this area home.
I look forward to helping promote future events and bringing creative energy and specific events that help people spend time and money in Rim Country, to our area. I look at what talented artists have been able to do for towns like Jerome, Prescott, Scottsdale and Sedona, and was shocked to hear that Payson was completely left out of the art tour guides and isn’t even listed on places to see, go, visit, or spend time, when you search Arizona.
I have to laugh when I read that someone nicknamed Payson “a cool mountain town” and “the fun capital of Arizona,” when I hear locals complain there’s nothing to do here. I really miss a lot of the small local shops and charm of this area that’s changed so drastically since I was a kid growing up here.
I hope in my heart, there are still enough local people here that remember what the town we loved looked like and felt like, so that we can help it reflect that charm, and not just be known as the drive thru — discount capital — on the way to Pinetop Lakeside.