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Sedona’s Legacy Artists Tell Stories through Portraits



Originally Published: April 14, 2018 12:51 p.m.

As the Sedona Arts Center’s 60th Anniversary celebration peaks in April, the Arts Center presents yet another tribute to Sedona’s Legacy Artists with an exhibition of portraits painted, carved and sculpted by many of Sedona’s most influential artists.

From April 13 through May 2, the Special Exhibition Gallery in the historic Art Barn will showcase the works of Sedona artists Libby Caldwell, David Fischel, Toby Friedman, Theodosia Greene, Mary Helsaple, Susan Kliewer, Kim Kori, Liz Learmont, Gretchen Lopez, Mike Medow, Jack Proctor and Adele Seronde. The Gallery will be open daily from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Meet these renowned artists at an opening reception on Friday, April 13 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, April 29, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. a lively panel discussion will take place in the Theatre Studio in SAC’s historic Art Barn. The public is invited to join us while we address a timely topic. In a world wracked with violence, where millions are displaced and starving, Why does art matter? Why does beauty matter? And how do portraits capture identity? Panelists include James Bishop, Cazo Seronde, John Soderberg, Libby Caldwell, Carol Haralson and Ellen Kammerling, with Kate Hawkes moderating. Refreshments will be served.

The Portrait theme of this exhibition asks, Who are we? What does it mean to be human in an age of artificial intelligence, robots and virtual realities? Where do we fit in the natural world?

The portraits created by Sedona’s Legacy Artists over the last several decades speak to these questions, reminding us of what we can read in eyes, expressions, gestures and postures. Can you tell whether the subject feels at home or out of sync?

“As a portrait photographer years ago, I was searching for the ‘Cartier Bresson moment,’ the spontaneous expressions on people’s faces caught in moments of irony, passion, focus, beauty,” says Antoine Seronde, exhibit collaborator. “I was intrigued by the sense of character I could read in people’s faces.”

Sedona Arts Center is one of Northern Arizona’s oldest cultural organizations. SAC was founded in 1958 by Nassan Gobran, an Egyptian sculptor then head of the art department at Verde Valley School. Together with support from local art aficionados, Gobran acquired George and Helen Jordan’s fruit-packing barn, which soon became the nucleus of art and activity for the local community.

Today, the nonprofit Sedona Arts Center is still based at the Jordan barn in what is now Sedona’s Uptown. Known today as the Historic Art Barn, this property with deep roots offers year-round classes, exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events that enhance the creative life of the Verde Valley. The Center’s Fine Art Gallery is housed in a newer building built in 1994 thanks to the generosity of a single donor, Jane Maloney Vojnovich, a local philanthropist and artist. The Gallery is open daily 10:00 to 5:00 p.m. promoting the original works of over 100 local and regional artists, while the Arts Center’s School fosters hundreds of arts education opportunities each year.

For information regarding opportunities at Sedona Arts Center, please call 928-282-3809 or visit SedonaArtsCenter.org.