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Women of the West: Inspirations from history, strengthening today



Originally Published: May 25, 2021 2:01 p.m.

Mountain Trails Gallery at Tlaquepaque in Sedona will honor a group of artists who have made the gallery a destination for paintings, sculpture, and mixed media fine art, and this group happens to be remarkable “Women of the West.”

The gallery is located at 336 AZ-179, upstairs, Suite A201 at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village.

The featured artists present their interpretations of the strength of women who settled the West, including Native Americans, as well as pioneers, ranchers, and cowgirls who rose above the challenges and left an impression.

These artists bring our attention to those they admire as they each continue to garner awards and accolades for their vision. While presenting a variety of subjects, styles, and techniques, their dedication to their favored mediums have brought forth a gathering of spirited works of art for this show.

Susan Kliewer has been artist in residence at Mountain Trails Gallery for more than 25 years and continues to create significant sculpture that reflects her love of culture and history.

Recently awarded “Best 3-D Art” for her sculpture “Desert Dreams” at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum’s show Cowgirl Up, Susan speaks about her award-winning bronze, “It’s easy to dream when gazing across the vast expanses of the Navajo homeland. It gives you such a calm, peaceful feeling; small problems seem to float away. This young Navajo woman is dreaming of her life to come, wrapped in her grandfather’s blanket, warm in the morning chill.” Susan was also honored by the City of Sedona during “Women’s History Month” for her outstanding body of work over her award-winning career.

Fascinated with history and culture since discovering her grandmother’s Southwest art collection at an early age, Lisa Danielle has been using her talent to tell stories of artists and artisans who stand out to her, both past and present.

“Their fingerprint in clay, or in the polish on a saddle, or in the tarnish on silver, is echoed by mine, smudging a shadow to soften its edge, adding texture to better portray a clay vessel or a rusty spur rowel. And always with the hope that the viewer will look past my hands to see those hands that came before and feel that full circle of beautiful connection.”

In her 36 x 12 painting “Honoring the Matriarchs: Pottery Treasures,” Lisa acknowledges these important Pueblo potters: Nampeyo (1857 - 1942) of Hano, Hopi, Arizona; Lucy Lewis (c. 1898 - 1992) of Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico); Maria Martinez (1884 - 1980) of San Ildefonso, New Mexico, who revived and generated a living tradition of pottery that continues to this day, which brings economic freedom for these remarkable Pueblos.

No stranger to ranching and the cowgirl way of life, Arizona artist Deborah Copenhaver Fellows pays her respects to the pioneer women she admires for the courage it took to cross the deserts, rivers, and mountains of the West in search of a better life, “In the 1840’s and 1850’s many thousands of Americans had dreams of moving west and settling in Oregon or California. It was a long and dangerous journey. Courageous women who made that journey often gave birth on the “Trail of Dreams.”

Since age 19, this award-winning artist has earned outstanding sculpture commissions, completing a major bronze monument nearly every year with installations across the U.S., including Washington, D.C., memorializing people of strong character.

Linda Glover Gooch has become known for paintings of excellence. Masterful atmospheric paintings of the Grand Canyon and voluminous fluffy clouds are just some of the areas in which this artist excels. A revered technical master than transcends mechanics with heart, it is no surprise this Arizona artist was recently awarded three of the top honors at Cowgirl Up, including “Best of Show,” for one of her remarkable billowing cloud paintings.

The reception takes place on Friday, June 4, 4-7 p.m. The artwork can also be viewed on the gallery’s website at www.mountaintrailssedona.com.