Fri, Nov. 15

Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years of success for a group of self-proclaimed "flaky artists," that is no small feat. This summer, the Jerome Artists Cooperative will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a major party on Saturday, June 24.

Food! Beverage! Live music! Prizes! New artwork! Come one, come all, it will indeed be the place to see and be seen, as "the Co-op" has been an important outlet for town social behavior and cultural spirit for the past 10 years.

Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, 502 Main, is located in the old Hotel Jerome -- a huge poured-concrete structure circa 1917, a cornerstone of the town anchoring the bottom half of the business district where Arizona 89A is cleft in two by the Flatiron Café.

The Co-op's story begins in February of 1996, when space became available in the old building, which the town owns. The idea of a cooperative gallery had been fermenting for some time among the town artists, and spurred on by local business folk and community artists, paperwork was drawn up by lawyers and accountants and the gallery began to take shape as a viable money-making venture. When the Jerome Artists Cooperative first opened its doors in May 1996 there were 20 members, though only 12 artists were on display. It steadily grew. Expansion in 1999 that burst into a previously walled-off space increased the gallery to its current 2,500 square feet. Sales are strong, and the gallery members are always thinking toward the future, including plans for an on-line store so folks can shop from around the world.

Currently featuring about 36 exhibiting artists and always accepting applications for more, there is a wide range of different media and subject matter on display. It is an eccentric blend of personalities held together by a common purpose. Artists come from as far away as Prescott and Sedona, but the majority resides in Jerome, and the outlying Verde Valley.

At the Jerome Artists Cooperative on any given day you can find: recycled jewelry, funky fresh knitwear, "atomic age" surrealism, Scandinavian flavored watercolors, gourd art, ceramics, amusing visions of the west, colorful titanium jewelry, polymer clay jewelry, lithographs, paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastels, mixed-media, digital age photo-madness, calligraphy, fabric arts, found object art, handmade dolls, batik, stained glass, gorgeous wood-turned bowls and vases, African masks, blown glass, and much more. New ideas are always fermenting.

All past and present co-op members, customers and supporters are welcomed back as a homecoming celebration. The 10th anniversary gala begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday and runs until 8 p.m. or so, and will feature live music by Silver Shadow, refreshments, and lots of locals wishing to toast the success of their home team.

For more on the gallery, visit the Web at or call 928-639-4276.

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