Art Show Celebrates West With Creativity, Color

Payson Art League showcases mediums


John Lyons (left) asks Kathryn Spiess about the process of spinning wool or other fabric during the Payson Art League’s ARToberFEST Fine Art and Fine Craft Show conducted this weekend at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino.

John Lyons (left) asks Kathryn Spiess about the process of spinning wool or other fabric during the Payson Art League’s ARToberFEST Fine Art and Fine Craft Show conducted this weekend at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Always a crowd gathering place during any exhibition of his work, Don Harmon’s sculpture of two eagles in conflict is a masterwork of action, scale and realistic presentation.

A wooden pot made with 80 tiny pieces of wood, the gaps inlaid with turquoise and coated with seven coats of lacquer.

A delicate purple and green fluorite cabochon encircled in twisted silver.

A burnt orange and gold abstract, a spirit hidden in its midst.

These were just some of the works this weekend on display at the annual Payson Art League ARToberFEST at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino.

Members of the Payson Art League painted, weaved, sculpted and chiseled, each putting their spin on the prism of Southwest art.

On display

Pat Stacy’s booth of vibrant pieces, each with secret elements, sucked collectors in. Stacy explained she usually puts three boxes descending in size in each piece, along with a spirit with a beam of light hitting its shoulder. She said it represents the divine.

“You will find an entity touched by the light of the Creator in much of my recent work, acknowledging creativity as gift,” she wrote on her Web site. “This light is also expressed by descending golden squares.

One floor-length piece, titled “Confidence” featured spirals, her signature gold-leaf boxes and “hidden” spirits.

“My art is abstract, expressionistic, and includes symbols that express my gratitude for the universal expression of creativity,” she wrote.

“I feel that my paintings are an expression from my spirit. They spring from that well deep within that intuitively knows there is life beyond my own experience.”

Stacy only tapped into her creative spirit recently, after illness forced her to reexamine her life.

A licensed counselor, Stacy said she was at a crossroads in 2008 after getting ill.

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CM Okerwall sketches a portrait of actor Ben Johnson as patrons mill around each artist’s booth searching for that elusive prize for the eyes.

“I picked up a brush and discovered my artistic self. I immersed myself in the colors daily and found my passion.”

Joseph Prow uses wood to tell his story.

Prow collects wood and pieces it together into intricate bowls and jewelry boxes, a passion that started early in life.

“I can tell you the story of where each piece of wood I have collected comes from,” he said. “I love to see the different grain and colors hidden behind the bark.”

Prow said each piece is his interpretation of the story found in the wood.

Melanie Capps’ wire wrapped jewelry sparkled under the warm lights, each rounded stone encapsulated in twisted gold or silver.

Capps moved to Payson recently to escape the cold winters of northern Idaho.

While she tried knitting and crocheting, it wasn’t until she stumbled on wire sculpture that she found her calling.

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