By Taryn Lamb
THATCHER — EAC’s Fine Arts Division is pleased to present four of its Art Department faculty for an “Art Faculty Show.” The featured artists include Edith Austin, Stuart Gibson, Andra Jenson, and Jeff Henley. The showcase reception will be held Monday, Feb. 5, from 6-8 p.m., in the lobby of the EAC Activities Center, and will hang there for viewing through Feb. 21 during regular building hours.
Austin, a native Arizonan born and raised in Thatcher, loves to capture the light and power of the Southwest in her art. She is primarily known for her transparent watercolors and oils of the Southwest landscape, the flora and fauna of the West which include bird life of Southeastern Arizona. Using washes and glazes of clean pure color and her eye for detail makes nature come alive in her compositions. She began teaching watercolor and oil painting at EAC in 1980.
“I love teaching and helping others to see the beauty of this world; helping them express that beauty, emotion and the wonder in their artwork,” she said.
Stuart J. Gibson works in a variety of two and three-dimensional media including drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation, video, and sound. Common topics explored in his work revolve around the poetics of the ‘everyday’ and how meaningful experiences are qualified and assessed on the individual and collective level(s). He uses personal experience as his source material. Examples of his diverse body of work can be found on his website at www.stuartjgibson.com.
Andra Jensen grew up in Arizona, where she was surrounded by amazing desert colors. When she was 3 years old, she sold her first work to her grandfather for a nickel and her family has continued to support her art pursuits, education, and participation in art competitions ever since. Her passion is watercolor. She loves the beautiful papers and the transparency of the paints. Her trademark is using watercolor to create the softest effects possible. Jensen’s subject matter is often influenced by her love of the past, especially geology, classic cars, and family history.
Jeff Henley is the EAC Art Department Chair. His range of professional work extends from traditional media to graphic design. He studied under David Christiana, Alfred Quiroz, and David Darts while at the University of Arizona and has taught art and graphic design from the kindergarten to college level, including Pima Community College, Cochise College, Southwest University of Visual Arts and Eastern Arizona College.
“Type ‘Catawampus’ into a search engine and you will get myriad definitions. ‘A fierce imaginary animal, a boogeyman; out of alignment, crooked, cater-corner; fierce, destructive.’ You will also find such descriptions as ‘askew, awry, or wonky’, Henley said. “Those definitions also describe my art. While the media and application I use may diverge, the subject matter and voice are linked by pulling the everyday into the realm of catawampus. This usually manifests itself in humor or satire, but can also manifest in darker tones. The themes that creep into my work are depictions of mundane, everyday moments shoved through an off-kilter lens. This results in near-whimsical work.”