Thursday, January 25, 2007

Art show to benefit Sonoita's Empire Ranch

[Source: Valerie Hing, Nogales] -- This year's Empire 100 Western Art Show and Sale at the Northern Trust Bank in Tucson promises to be the best ever. The annual show, which starts Monday, Jan. 22, and runs until Feb. 26, breaks all records, reported the event coordinator Marion Hyland. The show benefits historic preservation of the Empire Ranch headquarters near Sonoita [pictured]. Those records include the most artists participating, widest range of prices and sizes of original paintings, and the highest total show value, $260,000. The paintings are mostly oils along with pastels, watercolors, pencils and acrylic. There are 15 bronze sculptures.

The show will be available for viewing daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has become well known and has attracted many out-of-state artists through the Web site, said Hyland. Last spring's invitational photo shoot also brought in new participants, she added. There are many local artists from the Sonoita/Elgin and Patagonia area, including Robert Berk, Helen Chester, William Cook, Mick Davidson, Deborah and Fred Fellows, Keri Jelks, Joe Staheli and Katheryn Drummond. Among the newcomers to show are Narrie Toole from New Mexico, Howard Rogers of Scottsdale, Jove Wang of California, and Don Crowley, a Tucson Seven. Returning favorites include the show's signature artist Santos Barbosa, Tom Dorr, Michael Ewing, Fred Hambly, Chauncey Homer, Jessica McCain and Hank Richter.

There will be two receptions for the show. The first, on opening night, is for members of the Empire Ranch Foundation and the second, on Thursday, Jan. 25, is for the Friends of Western Art. The Northern Trust Bank is at 3450 E. Sunrise Drive in Tucson. Those interested in attending should contact the automated RSVP line at (520) 615-2391 or call Brooke Fawcett at (520) 615-2311. A full roster and many images of the show will be available online. Those interested in learning more about the foundation can also check the Web site. [Photo by]