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Mountain Trails Gallery presents ‘Wings & Wildlife’

Autumn’s Run by Vic Payne, clay model for bronze, 18”H x 50”L x 12”D.

Autumn’s Run by Vic Payne, clay model for bronze, 18”H x 50”L x 12”D.

Originally Published: August 3, 2021 2:17 p.m.

Mountain Trails Gallery at Tlaquepaque in Sedona is delighted to present their annual “Wings & Wildlife” exhibition, which is a festive gathering of artwork featuring paintings and sculpture by a group of artists who are captivated by the behavior of animals both domestic and wild.

The variety of species and their activities have been translated into remarkable works of art, including a regal pose that can take one’s breath away, while other works offer a touch of uplifting humor. Many of these wildlife artists see the same emotions and behaviors in parallel ways to one’s own human stories.


Promises to Keep by Bryce Pettit, bronze, 72”H x 48”W x 22”D.

The gallery is honored to exhibit the work of a group of award-winning artists including colorful bird paintings by Adele Earnshaw, Joe Garcia, Maria D’Angelo, and Barbara Rudolph; regal wildlife art by sculptors Raymond Gibby, Bryce Pettit, Michael Trcic, and Vic Payne; dynamic wildlife paintings by Sandra Byland, Jennifer O’Cualain, and Doyle Hostetler; charming domestic animals by sculptors Susan Kliewer and Deborah Copenhaver Fellows; as well as birds being honored in the historic Native American pottery paintings of realist Lisa Danielle.

Long-time Sedona friends Adele Earnshaw and Joe Garcia began the tradition of exhibiting their birds-in-art paintings together at Mountain Trails Gallery more than seven years ago, and their painting synergy continues with this new show.

Working in separate painting styles and color pallets, these “birds of a feather” friends continue to paint their favorite creatures although one now lives in New Zealand and the other in California. More highlights in this festive exhibition include unique juxtapositions of birds posing, sometimes with nostalgic objects, which is the hallmark of Barbara Rudolph’s colorful avian creatures.


The Macaws of Acoma by Lisa Danielle, 10 x 8 acrylic.

Elegant marks by colored pencil artists Sandra Byland and Maria D’Angelo bring the viewer up close to the artwork as one admires the birds or animals as they come to life on paper. The “portrait” paintings of a variety of wildlife by Jennifer O’Cualain bring the viewer “eye to eye” with the animal, and the delicate but fierce wildlife of Doyle Hostetler, accentuated by an intriguing technique, brings a sense of wonder as the viewer takes in all the remarkable works of art by all these outstanding, diverse artists.

Even though it is important for wildlife artists to have anatomical knowledge, Colorado sculptor Bryce Pettit believes that work rises to the level of art “when it’s not just a model of an animal, but you are using an animal to create an emotion and tell a story.”

Movement and energy are also important to Pettit as well as to Michael Trcic and Raymond Gibby as they capture the moment of the hunt or the activities of the species that makes them stand out and be remembered for their spectacular abilities to not only survive but thrive in their environment.

Movement and composition are important to master for revered Western sculptor Vic Payne as he works with the elk’s migration in his latest sculpture.

“Early fall snow brings on ‘Autumn’s Run’ where the great herds of elk descend the mountains in a long moving line that leaves me in awe. Come spring, they will once again return home to the big blue mountains.”

A remarkable part of the “Wings & Wildlife” exhibition features the detailed still life painting “The Macaws of Acoma” by Western realist Lisa Danielle.

“This lovely old jar was created decades ago at New Mexico’s Acoma Pueblo but commemorates an ancient tradition of trade with neighbors far to the south, in which parrots were valued commodities.”

Birds and animals continue to intrigue as this painter brings their history in art to our attention.

Humor is never far behind for all these artists who know how to pass along charm in their work. Susan Kliewer’s sculpture “Purrfect Friends” highlights the odd friendship between a burro and a cat, a familiar sight to ranchers, as is the colloquial wisdom of Deborah Copenhaver Fellows’ charming bronze filly “She’s a Little West Behind the Ears.”

The public is invited to attend the reception for the exhibition which takes place on Friday, Aug. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. and continues through the month of August.

Mountain Trails Gallery is located upstairs Suite A201 overlooking the Patio de la Campanas in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village in Sedona. The artwork can also be viewed on the gallery’s website at mountaintrailssedona.com, on Instagram at #mountaintrailssedona, and on Facebook @MTGSedona.

For more information about the gallery, call 928-282-3225 or email fineart@mountaintrailssedona.com.

Information provided by Mountain Trails Gallery.