Rim Blooms With Art, Theater, Music Events

Studio tour, slew of exhibits highlight spring-summer lineup of cultural events


Gila Community College students prepare for Thursday’s “Wearable Art” exhibit from 2-4 p.m. at the college, one of a host of upcoming cultural events that have bloomed with the spring boom, like so many orange poppies. The Open Studio Tour run on May 4, 5, and 6.

Gila Community College students prepare for Thursday’s “Wearable Art” exhibit from 2-4 p.m. at the college, one of a host of upcoming cultural events that have bloomed with the spring boom, like so many orange poppies. The Open Studio Tour run on May 4, 5, and 6. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Rim Country has drawn a rich array of artists into its embrace of scrub oak, ponderosa pine, free-flowing creeks, mysterious canyons and unending vistas. Many of those arts will bloom profusely starting Thursday and running through Sunday, May 6 at events that include three art exhibitions, a play and a concert.

The exhibitions include a Wearable Art fashion show at Gila Community College; a fabric arts display by the Threadplayers, also at the college; and the three-day Payson Art League ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour, featuring more than 20 area artists.

The play is the final offering of the drama students at Payson High School. They will present a comedy, “Chateau La Roach” by Lauren Wilson on May 3, 4 and 5.

The concert is the Payson Choral Society’s Spring Concert, offered in two performances Saturday.

Wearable Art fashion show

Students from Leslie Peacock’s wearable art classes 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, located at 201 N. Mud Springs Road.

The students will show the unique creations they made during their courses.

Most of Peacock’s students from both this spring and last fall’s semesters are expected to participate including Joanne Bahr, Virginia Brannan, Karen Bruns, Judie Desrochers, Natalie Elliot, Connie Johnson, Jan Owen, Sheila Riggs, Louise Snow, Catherine Thompson, Janie Winkle, Pat Bray and Leslie Burns. The free event will offer refreshments.

Comedy at PHS

Members of Payson High School’s Longhorn Theatre will present their final play of the season, “Chateau La Roach” by Lauren Wilson on May 3, 4 and 5.

This fast-paced comedy will keep you in stitches as the resident cockroaches in a sweet, country, French hotel lay plans to turn it into a dinner theatre. The group will stage the play in the PHS Studio Theatre, directly behind the auditorium.

Parking is available at the football field parking lot or the McLane Road parking lot; both are within walking distance of the Studio Theatre. The group will stage a multi-booth pre-show one half-hour before the curtain (7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Friday). Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for students. Holders of Thespian Cards get in free.

Studio tour

More than 20 members of the Payson Art League will invite residents and visitors into their studios during the annual ’Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 4, 5 and 6.

A printed tour guide with a map to the 16 studios is inside today’s edition of the Payson Roundup, also at the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce on Main Street and Highway 87; the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road; Down the Street Gallery and Artists of the Rim Gallery on Main Street.

To learn more about the tour, contact Jan Ransom at (928) 468-8593.

The artists participating include Sue Jones, Mary Lavan, Georgianne Smolenski, Jim Strong and Forrest Wellington; Don Harmon, Jan Hodson, Joseph Prow, Ruth Overton and Pat Stacy; April Bower, Evelyn Christian, George Lewis, Jan Ransom and Pat Sessions; Mark and Lynn Gardner, Diane Nathe Roeder, Rita Pochert and Larry Trotter; Melanie Capps, Tina Crabdree, John Finkey and Susan Palmer; Brenda Baker, Angela Godac, Glenda Roark and Dong Soon Trisdale.

Fiber art exhibit

Payson’s Threadplayers will present the fiber art exhibit, Branching Out, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 at the Payson Campus of Gila Community College. The college is at 201 N. Mud Springs Road (go east on Highway 260 to Mud Springs and take a left).

The exhibit will feature “Threadville — a village of fabric art houses” created by the group’s members. Other pieces include wall hangings, wearable art, jewelry, framed art, baskets and more. The techniques showcased include hand and machine quilting, embellishing, embroidering, felting, beading, weaving, painting and dyeing and other means of creating fiber art.

The Threadplayers explore and create fiber art to continue evolving individually and as a group.

Choral society concert

The Payson Choral Society’s spring concert, directed by Daria Mason with accompaniment by Cynthia Sambrano, comes to the Payson High School auditorium Saturday, May 5. Performances are scheduled at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The theme for the performances is “Let’s Go to the Movies,” with songs from movies such as “9 to 5,” “Top Hat,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Shrek” and everything in between.

Advance tickets are $8 for adults and are available from Choral Society members, at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Payson Public Library. At the door before each concert, tickets are $10 each. All students under 18 and children are admitted free.

Proceeds from the concerts provide musical scholarships to middle and high school students, with students singing their winning tryout selection at the concert. The five scholarship winners this year include high school students John Buskirk, Katie Jones and Clint Harper and middle school students Jasmine Ernst and Rio Chavez. As it happens, Chavez is also the imaginative soul behind the recent Pink Flamingo ‘Flocking’ of Payson, an effort to raise funds to attend a music camp this summer (read more in the Almanac).

Ernst is also a member of the Payson Choral Society and will sing as part of the concert as well as present her solo, along with many other selections by other singers. Anyone interested in becoming part of this talented group of Rim residents is invited to try out for the next performance. Auditions will be at 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 7. For more information, call John Landino, (928) 468-0023.

More music to come

The 2012 Summer Concert Series starts June 2 and subscriptions to the Tonto Community Concert Association’s 2012-2013 season will be on sale at the choral society performances of its spring concert. The price of a subscription is $90 per person.

The Summer Concert Series is free and held at Green Valley Park’s amphitheater area. The programs are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays in June and July.

The lineup includes: MC6 A Capella with Doo-Wap from the 1950s and 1960s, June 2; J. Powers Band with R&B, Motown music and rock, June 9; Blue Frog with blues, June 16; Breaking Point with both jazz and country music, June 23; hometown favorites, Junction 87 with country music, June 30; more hometown music by the popular John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos, July 7; Big Daddy & The Dynamites, blues, July 14; Southern Flight Band with variety and rock music, July 21; and another popular local group, The John Scott Band with blues, July 28.

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