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Thu, April 02

Celebrate Women Who Changed History at the Jerome Artists Cooperative

Two strong women from the Verde Valley team up to honor the female spirit. Dollmaker Michele Cokl Naylor and watercolorist Judy Jaaskelainen display an exhibit of new works at the Jerome Artists Cooperative in a show titled, In Her Image: Honoring the Vision and Courage of Women.

The show opens, appropriately enough, on Mother's Day Eve, Saturday, May 13 and runs through June 21.

Jaaskelainen, a Clarkdale resident and member of the Northern Arizona Watercolor Society began painting seriously in the 1970s while living in California. She painted first with oils and acrylics on canvas but soon found herself smitten with the ethereal beauty of watercolor. She began visiting galleries and museums, and studying with renowned watercolor artists.

Naylor's lifelong love affair with dolls began after receiving a special one for Christmas, for which her grandmother made an entire wardrobe. Two decades ago she began creating her own designs, infusing her work with lavish and colorful detail meant to catch the eye and squeeze the heart. One of Naylor's dolls hung on the White House Christmas tree in 1993. In 2004, they were featured twice in Art Doll Quarterly and most recently in Patty Medaris Culea's new book, "Creative Cloth Doll Couture."

Throughout the exhibit both artists display their unfailing admiration for the remarkable women who changed the world through determination, optimism and love.

"For this show, I was able to combine my love of history with my love of dolls," Naylor says. "Using collage for the first time in conjunction with my normal fiber arts was such fun. I think I've discovered a new direction for my work."

Images of women in Jaaskelainen's art are not a new facet. Her passion and respect for Mother Earth, world peace, and human rights has only grown stronger as she moves into each new decade of her life. "I trust the women in my life to listen with their hearts and souls. I know that our bonds are universal and indestructible," she says.

The show begins with a formal reception open to the public from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Jerome Artist Cooperative, 502 Main Street. Food and drink are available, music will be provided by Silver Shadow, and a full moon has been arranged.

For more information regarding this unique and moving show, call the Coop at 639-4276 or visit www.jeromeartistscoop.com.

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