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‘Impressions of Arizona’ on display this month at Mountain Trails Gallery

A Room with a Moo by Jennifer O’Cualain, 40 x 60 oil

A Room with a Moo by Jennifer O’Cualain, 40 x 60 oil

Originally Published: January 5, 2022 12:25 a.m.

Mountain Trails Gallery Sedona in the beautiful Village of Tlaquepaque celebrates the new year with their exhibition “Impressions of Arizona,” which opens on Friday, Jan. 7, with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m.

As the gallery looks forward to new horizons and new opportunities, Director Julie R. Williams speaks about the inspiration for the exhibition.


Desert Dreams by Susan Kliewer, Bronze, 25”H x 9”W x 9”D

“We are so fortunate to live in this fascinating state which has been a remarkable resource for artistic talent for decades. Some of our artists have lived here for many years, while others are compelled to come here to explore its never-ending beauty. We love to honor our artists who are inspired by this unique state and all it has to offer, as we start the new year with an exhibition celebrating the beautiful visuals by those who have been indelibly altered by their experiences here.”

As Mountain Trails Gallery beings its 36th year of representing some of the most accomplished artists from the American West, the curated collection of paintings, sculpture, and mixed media art covers a wide variety of subjects and styles that bring distinction to the creative arts as it represents the historical and ongoing significance of Arizona and its beauty.

This destination gallery continues to show the work of figurative sculptor Vic Payne as well as Vic’s son Dustin Payne, who is one of the youngest members of the distinguished Cowboy Artists of America organization which was founded in Sedona in 1965. These sculptors are passionate about the history and culture of the West, and their love of Arizona’s ranches and deserts continue to be a part of their storytelling language.

The ranching history as well as the Native American culture of the West also continues to fuel Sedona artist Susan Kliewer whose sculpture brings a heartfelt connection to the beauty of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Pueblo that she has come to know and experience over the years. In addition, the first-hand experiences of the resilience it takes for a working ranch to thrive in the desert have inspired Arizona rancher Deborah Copenhaver Fellows, whose feisty spirit comes out in each figurative bronze.


A Hopi Collection by Lisa Danielle, 36 x 12 acrylic

Along with the gallery’s award-winning sculptors, the parallel storytelling painters are all a fascinating and colorful addition to accompany the three-dimensional work. The gallery is honored to show the bold paintings of ranch life, garden flora, and the Grand Canyon by Arizona artist Marcia Molnar, who spends time getting to know each outstanding character, object, and place.

The remarkable presentation of historical cultural objects is brought to life in similar but distinctive ways in the work of Arizona still-life painters Lisa Danielle and Sue Krzyston who honor each object by shining a light on often forgotten artifacts that tell the rich stories of Pueblo and Plains life, including its functional as well as its spiritual significance.

In addition to exhibiting historical stories, portraits, and the cultures reflecting the spirit of the West, Mountain Trails Gallery has become a destination for landscape painting especially the work of well-known Arizona plein air painters Bill Cramer, Betty Carr, Linda Glover Gooch and Gregory Stocks. The Sedona Plein Air Festival as well as the Grand Canyon Conservancy have awarded these artists with recognition for their outstanding work as they capture the light, color, mood, and atmosphere that is unique to Arizona and its mountains, deserts, creeks, and canyons.

Returning to Mountain Trails Gallery is landscape artist Susanne Nyberg who uses a palette knife to build up thick impasto surfaces to create a light-filled three-dimensional quality to her scenes of Arizona’s deserts, especially its hiking trails and vistas. Animal and bird portraits by Arizona artists Jennifer O’Cualain, Sandra Byland, and Barbara Rudolph add a distinctive delight to the display of wildlife art by the gallery’s outstanding painters and sculptors who regularly visit Arizona for inspiration.

In addition, the gallery’s Arizona jewelry artists display their impressions of this mineral-rich state with delightful metal and semi-precious stone creations.

Unique captures of Arizona’s beauty include those artists who come here to soak up the rich flora and fauna such as California artist David Jonason who takes the geometry of beauty apart and then puts it back together again in his bold Cubist-like paintings which spotlight the mysterious life of the deserts in which he has come to know and find fascinating. Also, the love of Arizona is vibrating in the complex plein air paintings of Colorado artist Joshua Been as well as in the unique Grand Canyon paintings of Utah artist Michelle Condrat. All these artists and more bring visitors and collectors from all over the world just to see the beauty of Arizona as seen through the eyes of some of the most remarkable creative and masterful artists.

Mountain Trails is upstairs at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, 336 SR 179, Suite A201, and online at MountainTrailsSedona.com. Contact the gallery at 928-282-3225 or fineart@mountaintrailssedona.com.