Friday, May 31, 2013


"i had a telescope case in my pocket" 3 x 3 inches, acrylic on photopaper.

George Bates Yuma Prisoner 1889

The Wellington Saloon was opened in 1902 by the McCoy family of Prescott, AZ. Just a few mornings after it opened, George Bates, a young man, made a grab at the faro table and ran out with $95. He was over taken by officers in Skull valley, 12 miles west of Prescott, and was brought back and held under a $500 bond. He was convicted of grand larceny, guilty of stealing $120 from the Wellington. He was brought to Yuma by sheriff John L. Munds, and deputy sheriff T. A. Miller, to be imprisoned at Yuma Territorial Prison for 18 months.

See all of the Prison Hill series on flickr.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


"mary elizabeth jane colter" this painting derived from original photo of Mary Colter courtesy of the Grand Canyon National Park Service. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was an American architect who was hired by the Fred Harvey Company in 1910. She completed over twenty buildings for them basing her designs on local vernacular and made up legends.
In the 1920s, as a railhead and a crossroad, Winslow was a major Arizona town. The Santa Fe Railroad and the Fred Harvey Company (which operated restaurants and hotels for the railroad) gave architect Mary Colter the assignment to build a hotel for tourists who came West to see the Grand Canyon and visit neighboring Indian reservations. La Posada, which opened in 1930, was Colter's masterpiece. A Spanish-style hacienda with lodging for 70 and three restaurants.


Painting derived from original photograph. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.  

La Posada served as one of the finest hotels, with a guest list that included movie stars and presidents. By 1957, it closed its doors. The original furnishings, designed by Colter, were sold and the building was converted into an office space for the Santa Fe Railway.

When it was put on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's endangered list in the 1990s it came to the attention of Allan Affeldt. He, with his wife and a third partner, took on the enormous task of restoration and have brought La Posada back to its former grandeur.

See the whole collection of Little Truths, on flickr.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Painting derived from original photograph by Patricia Sahertian. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper. 

Painting derived from original photograph by Patricia Sahertian. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper. 

Standing amid tumbling adobe structures and reconstruction and restoration is Tucson's Barrio Viejo, the old neighborhood. Once called Barrio Libre because there was no policing of the area and it was free of legal restraints, this neighborhood represents a source of pride and shame in the history of Tucson.

I couldn't decide which portrait of Barrio Viejo I wanted to show, so I did both – crumbling and restored. Which do you prefer?

If you are interested in reading about the area, here are some resources:
Barrio Viejo, Barrio Nuevo by Dave Devine
University of Arizona Library: Tucson's Barrio Libre

"mission gifts" 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

"hauling adobes" 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

See the whole collection of Little Truths, on flickr.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


"unknown boy" 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

For the accompanying portrait to the Marist College I am using a created character in this Mexican boy to pose as one of the Marist College alumni.
Marist College, a grammar and junior high school was opened in Tucson, Arizona in 1914 by four Marist Brothers from the Mexican Province. Three of these brothers, viz., Gosbertus, Gregorius, and Louis Casimir, who were fleeing from Manzanillo, Mexico, where due to violent anti-clerical persecutions, the Marist schools were forced to close, arrived in San Francisco via a Chinese boat. Bishop Henry Granjon of Tucson invited these brothers to study English and the American system of education for a few months in Tucson in order to open a school in that city. A few days later Brother Henry Fumeaux from St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, joined them.

The brothers took up residence at the cathedral parish rectory. There, Father Louis Duval, a French missionary, tended to the needs of the little Marist community. Father T. Connolly, the Pastor, tutored the brothers in the English language. He also arranged for the brothers to teach in the basement of Holy Family Church in the suburbs of Tucson. While the brothers were learning English the bishop proceeded with the construction of a three story, five classrooms and community residence building near the cathedral.

On November 2, 1914 the brothers started classes for four groups, from the first grade to the ninth grade. For the next eight years there was little change in the faculty or the enrollment. Brother Henry Fumeaux, who became director in 1922, hoped to increase the enrollment but found that the location of the school caused many parents to send their boys to other schools. To better the brothers' proficiency in English he sent them to Public Normal School in Flagstaff, Arizona. Despite efforts to attract new students Brother Henry found the parents would not send their children to the school.

Two years later Brother Eold, Provincial, visited the school and decided that the brothers should be withdrawn from this area and returned to Texas and to Mexico where the persecutions had subsided. That year Bishop Granjon died while visiting his native France. His successor, Most Rev. D. Georke, studied the situation of the brothers. In June 1924 he gave his blessing and farewell to the Marist community.
Source: Marist Archives & Special Collections


Painting derived from original photograph by Patricia Sahertian. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

Heading south to Tucson for a look at old adobe construction, our first stop is right off the highway.
The Marist College is a landmark building in Tucson, Arizona and American Southwest. Its completion just three years after Arizona statehood (1912) represents the apex of mud adobe construction.  Adobe is found throughout the world in regions where climate and the availability of base materials blend in a vernacular tradition. This approach to building was utilized in pre-statehood Tucson and throughout Arizona Territory, and persisted until the influx of imported materials and lumber brought by the newly constructed railroad.
Source: Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation
"This remarkable building continues to be a beacon of Tucson potential," says Demion Clinco, president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation.

Clinco says the building's Italianate and Spanish Colonial Revival style is impressive, and its location near the Tucson Convention Center is ideal for those who treasure what downtown Tucson has to offer.
Source: AZPM
What struck me the most about this building were the beautifully sculpted atlases framing the entrance. Unlike the building, which is blatantly showing its signs of erosion, these two telamon heroically hold up the second story balcony standing up against the elements.


"gaylord perry" this painting derived from original photo of Gaylord Perry courtesy of the Mesa Preservation Foundation and the Mesa Historical Museum. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

You might not recognize this baseball player sitting in a tub filled with hot mineral water at Buckhorn Baths in Mesa, Arizona, but it's Gaylord Perry. A major league pitcher, who played with the Giants, Indians, Rangers, Padres, Yankees, Braves, Mariners and Royals from 1962 to 1983, Perry was known for driving batters crazy with his spitball.

Buckhorn Baths was known for its healing and restorative water and became a catalyst in connecting baseball and Arizona.
"The Sligers (Buckhorn Baths owners) provided a unique service to the community and they knew the role they would play in Mesa history and Cactus League history. She (Alice Sliger) had a great fondness for Giants players, the owner Horace Stoneham, and said her favorite player of all-time was Gaylord Perry. She didn't treat anyone like a celebrity, they were part of the family." Lisa Anderson, Mesa Historical Museum
Source: East Valley Tribune
Perry was a visitor to the baths along with a slew of other notoriety: Don Ameche, Joe DiMaggio, President Harry Truman’s sister, Mary Jane, and JFK, to name a few.



Painting derived from original photograph by Patricia Sahertian. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

I am becoming fully immersed in Arizona history (pun intended). The landmark Buckhorn Baths, found on U.S. Route 89, was an oasis in the desert for tired travelers as well as a precursor to the area's spa culture with the healing powers of its hot spring. Built in 1939 after the owners, Ted and Alice Sliger, accidentally discovered a hot mineral spring while drilling their well. They decided to capitalize on this lucky find and created a series of cabins and a bathhouse with separate quarters for men and women, and hired a full staff of masseuses. Buckhorn Baths became a beacon for weary athletes, especially baseball's New York/San Francisco Giants.

Jacob and I paid it a visit last week to take some photos in the continuing series I am doing on Arizona's endangered buildings. It is quite a place. Although it's been closed for years, it looks like someone could just walk in and turn the lights on and you would step back in time. In place is the collection of "stuffed" animals, post card racks are on the counter, Arizona kitch adorns the interior, along with trophies and old furniture. Swinging doors allowed us to take a peak at the back of the building. Alleyways and water tanks abound. Free standing bathroom buildings, a series of low motel cabins and private courtyards are spread out over the grounds. It seems that someone maintains the space, because the pond is well kept and there was running water. There was no lack of things to photograph. As we walked around to the other side, we found the men's bathhouse. Its walls are badly peeling, its signs faded, its frosted glass window frames deteriorating.

What fascinated me most, was a peek inside the door to see the rows of numbered doors. To me they were immediately beautiful and bleak and imparted a real sense of loss, all empty and lonely and half opened.

You can read a good article about the fate of the Buckhorn Baths by Gary Nelson here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Painting derived from original photograph by Patricia Sahertian. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

When a history landmark gets destroyed by a storm the city rallies to restore it.

In this case it is the Diving Lady Sign of Mesa, AZ. Created as a beacon for weary travelers from the east coast, this sign's main purpose was to let people know you could come to the Starlight Motel, not only for a restful vacation, but you could use the swimming pool too.

"paul millet" this painting derived from original photo of Paul Millet courtesy of Deborah Nelson and the Mesa Preservation Foundation. 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

Paul Millet opened his neon sign company in Mesa in 1946.
Working from a design created by artist Stanley Russon, Millet fabricated a 78-foot spectacle and a masterpiece. Every night, since its installation in 1960, when the sun went down the neon pin-up beauty leaped from the pinnacle of the sign in a three-panel animated sequence into a splash of neon water below.
Source: Mesa Preservation Foundation
In 2010 a powerful storm blew through the valley and knocked down this iconic landmark. A fundraising campaign was started and the restoration began. A former student, Larry Graham, of the original neon artist, Paul Millet, was called in to do the work. In April of 2013, the sign was reinstalled in all its former glory.
Restoration work has cost about $120,000, most of which has already been donated by community members and in-kind services, Vic Linoff (president of the Mesa Preservation Foundation) said. Currently, the project still needs about $10,000 to be completely done.
Source: East Valley Tribune

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Me at First Studio, First Friday May.

Jacob and I had a good opening at First Studio, the work was well received and the turnout was great. It is nice, because the space is a creative office building, that the work will be up and seen all month. It was enjoyable working with Kristine Kollasch on her first installation as curator of the space, and co-showing with David A. Higgins, printmaker. Mary Petrich added another dimension to the evening with her music, including bassist, Will Goble and guitarist, Mike Ozuna.

Thanks to all who came to the show.