Hi Everyone,

Yikes, it is May 8th already, and I'm just now getting around to writing this month's newsletter.  Sorry--I think I have a serious case of Spring Fever!!!​
  I'd like to begin by sending sincere condolences on behalf of the San Pedro River Arts Council to member Ron Fritts, whose wife, Natsuko, passed away on April 30th after a long illness.  By a strange coincidence, Ron was already scheduled to be the Featured Artist for the month of May at our "One with 
Art" Exhibit at Cochise College Benson Center.  Declaring that "the show must go on," Ron has put together an exciting retrospective of his work in tribute to Natsuko, who was his life-long muse.
   Ron is a nationally known artist, whose work hangs in galleries and private collections across the United States, and he has worked in a wide variety of media throughout his long career. For many years he lived and worked in New York City, where he received several Arts Degrees and owned and managed shops and galleries marketing his paintings and fashion designs.  In addition, he served as an Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC for more than 35 years.  On retirement, Ron and Natsuko decided to relocate to the Southwest and ultimately built a home and studio in the Red Hawk area west of Benson.  Here he continued to create and also teach aspiring artists through programs at several Cochise College locations.
 The current exhibition features a number of outstanding works in textile design, composite pieces, and beautiful oil paintings in a variety of subject matter.  Many of these unique pieces are available for purchase (prices negotiable!) through the Arts Council.  We strongly urge our members to stop by the college to view this display of exceptional artwork!!
  As always, the exhibit is free and open to the public during regular college hours--Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. till  8 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. till 4 p.m.
 I am pleased to note that there will be a Lunch and Learn Program at Endeavor Gallery on the 3rd Thursday this month!  Our presenter will be Sharon Quarles, who will be working with Pan Pastels and demonstrating some interesting new tools to help with capturing/drawing an image.  Her "Tips and Tricks through new Technology" will be of interest and help to aspiring as well as more advanced artists; so bring a sack lunch if you like and join us a little before noon at the Gallery to get a good seat.  See you there!!!
  Many of you have been asking about the next Hospital Art Change Out; and now I finally have an approved date from the hospital coordinator.  Works currently on display will be taken down on the morning of Thursday, May 31st, by hospital staff; and people can pick up those works and drop off new pieces that afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. OR  the next morning, Friday, June 1st, between 9 a.m. and noon.
  For those of you not familiar with our Hospital program--the Arts Council was invited many years ago to provide artwork to brighten the environment in patient rooms, offices, and corridors throughout the hospital (and now the new clinic on 4th St!).  This is a wonderful opportunity for ALL our members to do a community service and also get your own artwork out on public display.  Many member choose to dig out older works that need to see the light of day after being stored in studios, corners, and closets; but new works are also welcome, of course!  We will eagerly accept artwork in any "hangable" medium (including photography, collages, whatever).  There are no size limits  (lots of wall space to accommodate very large pieces, as well as small works and miniatures!!)  and no limits on subject matter--only asking that you do not bring work of a depressing nature, as the object is to lift the spirits of the viewers!
Works displayed in the hospital may be for sale (though they do NOT have to be for sale).  Artists will set their own prices, and--as this really is a community service--no commissions are charged on sales.  And believe it or not--we do actually sell works out of the hospital displays!!
  If you are interested, or have questions about the hospital display--please contact me by return email, or phone 520 586 2611.  This would be a perfect opportunity for our new members to become involved with the Arts Council!!!
  Congratulations and a hearty "Well Done!" to our many members who participated in the recent Ann Boyd Wade Fine Art and Photography Show sponsored by the Art League of  Willcox.
  Winner of Best in Show in the Fine Arts Divison was our own Camille Painter-Davis (who just happened to win several awards at the CTA March Show--Camille is on a ROLL!!).   Best in Show in the Photography Division was another SPRAC member--Jeff Valdez, with his beautiful "Stage Coach" piece.
Another big winner was SPRAC member Vicki Kane, who received the People's Choice award for her charming painting "Rainy Dane;" while long-time SPRAC member Larraine Milne captured the Best Intermediate Photography rosette. Memorial rosettes with cash prizes were  won by a number of our members--Mel Milne, Cameron Stacy, Shryl Miles, Yolanda Van der Lelij, Janet Hearn, Carl Sanders, and Camille Davis; while Kaia Thomas, Sharon Quarles, Linda Stacy, Michael Crane, Louise Walden, Doug Quarles, and Peta Anne Tenney earned regular ribbons in various divisions for their entries.  It is exciting to note that many of our members hold a joint membership in the Willcox Art League; and this is a great benefit to both organizations!!
  Thanks again to everyone who donated, helped during the day, and /or bought treasures from last month's Arts Council Yard Sale.  I am delighted to report that the day was big success and we brought in an even $700 for our morning's work!  This "free money" will be used to further Arts Council Activities and programs during the rest of the year...  These annual Yard Sales are fun, and a great way to raise money plus meet lots of interesting people in the community...
   And speaking of the "community"- the Arts Council was asked to provide a panel of judges for the recent Primary School Art Show.  Six of us went over on May 3rd,and were absolutely blown away by the work of the Kindergarten through 5th Grade students and by the beautifully organized show put together by the Primary School Arts Coordinator, Cynthia Martin!  Now that contact has been established, we hope to work more closely with Ms. Martin, and also hope that we will see participation from her students in next year's Fine Arts CTA show in March!!
 Finally, I am including a link to a short video clip created by Nick Smallwood, a grad student/teacher (?) that provides an interesting insight into the heart and unique work of SPRAC member Zachary Billings.  Do check it out!!   http://arizonasonoranewsservice.com/saint-david-house-painter-dreams-of-being-discovered/
   That's enough for now!  Enjoy these beautiful mornings and "celebrate the arts!"    Linda

San Pedro River Arts Council

You can pay your annual SPRAC dues, $15.00 for individual or $20.00 per family by hitting the donate button above.

Note: You may also send your membership payment or donation by check to:
PO Box 1358
Benson, AZ 85602-1358