The holiday season arrives in grand style at Galleria AVA in the Village of Oak Creek, where two accomplished local artists will be featured during the month of December. Works of both artists, Richard Barnwell and Gene Dieckhoner, will be displayed throughout the month, and the two will be on hand at the gallery's First Friday celebration to greet the public and chat about their works. The public is cordially invited to this free event.
Galleria AVA is located in La Plaza Center at 6560 SR 179 (on the southwest corner of the Cortez Drive roundabout) in the Village of Oak Creek. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays each week. In addition, the gallery will remain open for the First Friday festivities on Dec. 3 from 5 until 8 p.m. Food, drink, and holiday cheer will be in abundance, and many of the gallery's artists will be present to host the event and meet the public.
The divergent backgrounds and styles of the two featured artists complement each other nicely. Richard Barnwell uses metals and stone to design works that are both highly original and, at the same time, quite utilitarian. Gene Dieckhoner, by contrast, has mastered the subtleties of oils, watercolors, and pencil to create art that, in his words, "reflects the serious and comic exploits of those creatures who share our planet."
Barnwell grew up in California, where his father, a newspaper photographer, helped cultivate his budding artistic spirit. He moved to Sedona in 2007, and is now able to devote his full time efforts to his artistic pursuits, such as the large metal gates he recently completed for the new Red Rock Performing Arts Center on the campus of Red Rock High School in Sedona. These gates feature wrought iron "music note" pulls plus a set of metal comedy/tragedy masks that are the traditional symbol of the theatre arts.
Gene Dieckhoner grew up in Ohio and after five years working as a commercial artist, he turned his attention to the fine arts. His success in that arena is evidenced by numerous awards for a variety of subjects and media, plus many commissions for drawings and plates for Joshua Tree National Monument, The Los Angeles Times, and the Bradford Exchange. He also worked for Fox Animation Studios, where he contributed designs and direction for such projects as Anastasia, Ice Age, Titan AE, and Adventures from The Book of Virtues.
Galleria AVA is operated entirely by its participating artists, all of whom are members of VOC's Association of Village Artists (AVA). All sales from the gallery benefit the VOC branch of the Sedona Public Library. Contact Gallery Director Mary Dove at (928) 284-0087.