More Than 20 Artists To Participate In Open Studio Tour


The doors to the inner sanctums of Rim Country artists will be opened to residents and visitors the weekend of May 4, 5 and 6. That is the weekend of the annual Payson Art League ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour. The studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and maps to the sites we be mailed in the brochure PAL is printing for the event. These will also be available at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the libraries in Payson and Pine. The weekend of the tour, there will be directional signs posted as well.

More than 20 artists are participating and for the last several weeks they have been profiled here with photos of samples of their work. This week we are profiling Mark and Lynn Gardner, Diane Nathe Roeder, Rita Pochert and Larry Trotter.


Mark and Lynn Gardner

Mark and Lynn Gardner

Multi-media artists Mark and Lynn Gardner collaborate to create whimsical pieces of functional pottery, wearable art jewelry and fused glass. Living in the small town of Pine, they are surrounded by the mountains and forests that provide daily inspiration.

Combining traditional silversmithing techniques with torch-fired enamel, their jewelry makes bold statements of vibrant color.

Mark and Lynn will be giving demonstrations each day in their garden studio in Pine and look forward to sharing their love of art.

Bob, their Belgian draft horse who attracts lots of attention, is anxiously awaiting visitors to the barn and says “bring carrots!”


Diane Nathe Roeder

Diane Nathe Roeder

Diane Nathe Roeder is a mixed media artist, painter, potter and sculptor

“I love art in all forms! As a young girl I started with watercolor and acrylic,” she said.

Later she discovered a love for throwing pottery and sculpting while living in New Mexico.

“I work to always evolve and expand my creativity with what spare time I can manage. Mixed media is my new love and I have incorporated my painting and sculpting together to create a textured quality to my work. I create whimsical and fun pieces that hopefully make one smile,” she said.


Rita Pochert

Rita Pochert

Rita Pochert was born and raised in Wisconsin and lived there until she came to Arizona 20 years ago. She came back a few times, fell in love with Payson, bought a lot and five years later built a house. She and her husband have lived here for 10 years and they still love it.

Pochert owned her own pottery business for 15 years. She is an accomplished potter and enjoys working with clay. Her pots and animals are her original design and all hand built.

She is a member of the Payson Art League and has also taken pottery classes at the Payson campus of Gila Community College for the past six years. She also enjoys painting and has taken Jim Strong’s oil painting class for the past four or five years at the college.


Larry Trotter

Larry Trotter

Larry Trotter says his love of art began when his fifth-grade teacher entered his pencil sketch in the Kansas State Fair, which won him a blue ribbon. After high school, he stayed with arts and crafts by learning silkscreen printing and working for an arts and crafts distributor.

“Duty called, so I enlisted in the Navy. My rate was Aviation Electrician,” Trotter said. He was on two cruises to Vietnam on board an aircraft carrier and after his Navy days, he stayed in San Diego and went to work for a company manufacturing underwater electrical connectors.

Years later, he turned his stained glass hobby into a business and moved to Julian, Calif. and created custom and production stained glass products for 20 years.

“We moved to Pine and I started taking art classes at the Gila Community College,” Trotter said.

More art

In addition to the big PAL ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour, the area will be hopping with other art events: the annual GCC Wearable Art Fashion Show and the Threadplayers Exhibition.

Wearable Art Fashion Show

Students from Leslie Peacock’s wearable art classes of the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters at the Payson campus of Gila Community College will present a fashion show from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, May 3 at the college.

The students will be showing the many unique creations they made during their courses.

Threadplayers Exhibition

The Threadplayers fiber arts group will have an exhibition from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6 at the Payson campus of Gila Community College.

The theme is “Branching Out” and the exhibit will feature “Threadville,” a village of fabric art houses.

Other features will include wall hangings, wearable art, jewelry, framed art, baskets, etc.


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