Three New Artists In Pal Fall Show

Reg McCormick’s gourd art, is called carving, but in many cases appears more like sculpting.

Reg McCormick’s gourd art, is called carving, but in many cases appears more like sculpting.



Contributed photo

Ron and Linda Harkins work with a variety of media in their jewelry designs. This Native American-inspired piece combines a choker and breast plate featuring turquoise, metal, feathers and more.

Extraordinary works in watercolors, acrylics, oils, jewelry, sculpture and more will give the Mazatzal Casino Event Center a golden glow this month.

The annual Payson Art League ARToberFEST on Oct. 19, 20 and 21 features 22 artists, including three new members: Linda and Ron Harkins, Payson; Reg McCormick, Surprise; and Joseph Prow, Payson. To see their works in glorious color, find this story on our Web site and click on the picture gallery.

Ron and Linda design and create jewelry for all tastes and ages. McCormick carves breathtaking sculptures from gourds. Prow handcrafts both decorative and functional pieces with wood.


Ron Harkins inspects one of the rings he has crafted and designed by his wife, Linda. The couple will be joining the Payson Art League’s annual ARToberFEST, which will be held Oct. 19, 20 and 21 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center.


Linda Harkins sketches the designs for the jewelry she makes.

Ron and Linda Harkins

Not only are Ron and Linda Harkins new to the PAL ARToberFEST, they’re new to the Rim Country. The couple moved here a year ago — as of Nov. 1 — from the Valley. Before that they’d lived in Prescott.

“We wanted to go back to a town where we grew up and Payson is it,” Linda said, adding Prescott has changed too much over the years and is no longer the hometown they remember.

Before Ron and Linda became jewelry artists, they were rockhounds, Linda said. Both have been collecting rocks and gemstones for years.

“There was a time when you could even find pottery shards around Prescott,” she said.

Eventually the rocks, gemstones and pottery shards inspired her to conceptualize jewelry. She comes up with the ideas and Ron crafts them into reality.

They work with gold, silver and brass, along with the gemstones, beads, leather, feathers, Swarovski Crystals, stones, shells and much more.

Linda said their designs include everything from whimsical to elegant, with everything from business accessorizing to pieces kids would love.

Ron and Linda plan to have around 300 pieces at the ARToberFEST event, so guests can see the scope of their work.

The time it takes to craft the jewelry varies from a couple of hours for the children’s bracelets to a month or more for the works in gold and silver.

Linda and Ron have seriously pursued their jewelry-making enterprise since about 2006. “I started doing it for myself and then started selling it online,” Linda said.

The selling didn’t start until just about every room in their home had their work everywhere.

In addition to their online sales, the couple has participated in about seven arts and crafts fairs over the years, primarily in Apache Junction, plus a few in Prescott.

To see and learn more go online to


Contributed photo

Called “Dancing in the Wind” this McCormick piece was featured in the Phoenix Home and Garden magazine.


Contributed photo

Reg McCormick has found his passion in the designs gourds lead him to create.

Reg McCormick

When most people hear someone does “gourd art” they probably think of painted pieces. Reg McCormick might add paint to his gourd art, but what he creates is far beyond painted work. He calls it carving. When you see McCormick’s work you see sculpture — magnificent sculpture. At first glance, it is hard to tell his medium is gourds.

He came into his gift in a roundabout way. Originally from Michigan, he and his wife, Dorothy, spent 10 years traveling the country in a motor home. Dorothy said it was on the road that Reg started carving.

“Starting with woodcarving, pottery, stained glass and carving ostrich eggs, the adventure has led me to where my true joy is — creating art with gourds. I feel such passion in my heart and soul during the entire design process. Having always created with my hands, I find each piece to have its own unique individuality and character, with the final result being a one-of-a-kind creation,” Reg says on his Web site.

McCormick said he has only taken a couple of classes over the years. He is mostly self-taught.

Fellow artist Pat Stacy, a member of PAL and another participant in the show, convinced McCormick to try the exhibit and sale.

“We met with the PAL people and they were very nice,” he said.

He plans to bring about 35 pieces to the show. Prices range from $65 to $1,600.

Both Reg and Dorothy are cancer survivors, he said. They belong to West Valley Cancer Connection, a not-for-profit 501-3c organization that brings resources to the area, and is partnered with Cancer Treatment Centers of America. As members of the group, a portion of the sales of McCormick’s work is donated to help it in its mission.

To learn and see more about McCormick and his work, go online to

Joseph Prow

Prow first learned to work with wood in high school. Later he had the opportunity to install Amish cabinetry and learned from the perfection of their cabinetry and wood crafting.

The wood Prow uses in his work has been collected from the many places he and his wife Ann have visited.

“I can tell you the story of where each piece of wood I have collected comes from,” Prow says on his Web site Visit the site to learn and see more.

The veterans

The 2012 PAL ARToberFEST will feature many familiar Rim Country artists. They are the veterans of both the art league and its big fall show and the spring event that invites guests into the studios of area artists.

Among the veterans in this year’s show are Angie Cockle, Don Harmon, Rock Newcomb, C.M. Okerwall, Glenda Roark, Georgianne Smolenski and Jim Strong.

Roark’s work will be showcased as the show’s featured artist.

She started doing oils landscapes and still life, but for the past decade or so has turned her talent to abstracts. Roark has also worked in ceramics, glass fusing, and teaming up with her husband, Bob, does sterling silver jewelry.

The show

The ARToberFEST opens from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19 at the event center of the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino. Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21.

There will be a raffle for an amethyst ring donated by Overman Designs of Payson.

Other artists participating are Jack and Joan Greenshield, Jan Ransom, Pat Sessions, Donn C. Morris, Matalyn Gardner, Solveig “Sally” Myers, Melanie Capps, Sharon Kennedy, George Lewis and Ann Christensen.

The Payson Art League is a non-profit organization that strives to broaden the awareness and appreciation of arts in the Rim Country. In support of this program, a piece of art created by each artist is donated to the PAL Education Fund and displayed for raffle.

Raffle tickets are available at the ARToberFEST event and the spring studio tour. The proceeds benefit the arts in area schools and books for local elementary libraries.

Payson Art League meetings are open to all. For more information, call Edna Harmon at (928) 474-5554.


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