Artist Members Alphabetically
Mena Art Gallery Member Artists represent a wide variety of artistic mediums.
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In earlier years, my photographs have been used primarily for record keeping and as illustrations for the occasional article I published about our cruising adventures as we sailed around the world in our small yacht. That was before the days of digital photography, and our extremely limited budget of $90/month, only allowed for one or two rolls of film. My original idea was that I would supplement that with sketches, because paper and pencil were cheap, weren't they? Unfortunately, my artistic skills never matched my ambitions, and the sketch books never materialized.
I have always enjoyed taking pictures, and with the development of digital photography, I am rarely without my camera. The resulting photos have been used to illustrate the newsletters and trip reports shared with an ever-growing list of charter guests, family and friends. Until we moved to Mena in 2008, I had little opportunity to hang my pictures; neither the boat nor our cottage in St. John, Virgin Islands, had much wall space! Now, I have begun considering my photos for their artistic qualities. It has been fun to enlarge them and be "hung with the best" in Gallery Shows. I have enjoyed some small successes, entering them there and in out-of-town competitions: Polk County and State Fairs, among others.
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After many years of sandwiching art in and around a career in computers and raising a family, Barbara now has enough time to experiment with different media and styles. Part of the "sandwiching" was studying at Brookhaven Community College and Collin County Community College in the Dallas, Texas, area.
Since moving to Mena, Arkansas at the end of 1998, she has continued studies with a variety of workshops and classes. She has been steadily moving away from realism toward a looser, more impressionistic style.
Recently she has stuck a tentative toe into computer graphics working with the guidebooks for the annual Ouachita Art Trails Studio Tour, publicity flyers and posters, and web design.
Most of her work is in either oil or Prismacolor pencils, but pen and ink, graphite, acrylics, and watercolor provide variety. And the quest for moving the vision in her head to paper or canvas is always there.
Becky Rogers started making jewelry because her son made his girlfriend a necklace. He decided Becky would like doing this sort of thing—after all she had always loved art—so he gave her beginning supplies as a birthday present. She was off and running from there and, although she has no formal training, she has taught herself to make beautiful things.
She works with beads, pearls, gemstones, glass, or whatever she decides will create the ideas she has when she sees the pieces.
Beading and Weaving
I love playing with color and I have knit and quilted for many years. So when I saw the cover of the first beading magazine I ever bought, I fell in love. Beading seemed like a small enough hobby to take on, especially since I would be living in an RV!
I could not wait to attempt the challenge of the weaving stitches, such as peyote, herringbone and Ndebele off-loom weaving. I taught myself various stitches and styles of bead weaving, and took classes for more advanced techniques at bead shops and bead shows I’ve visited in my travels.
I’ve been bead weaving since 2003, and love it more than ever.
Award winning artist Carolyn MacMahon loves to paint beautiful things: flowers, dreamy landscapes, English cottages, puppies, children... and much more. She does custom paintings for people using their own children, pets, homes, colors, ideas.
She lives in Mena, Arkansas, with her English husband, Dr. Tom MacMahon, in a storybook stone cottage, much like the ones she paints. Her paintings have been shown in galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Little Rock, Arkansas, and her clients are all over the US and England.
She has an art degree from Washington School of Art, LaSalle University, and has studied under various artists.
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Cherri Stanberry is a hardworking artist that has been legally blind from a young age. Despite her handicap Cherri is a very successful artist with many awards won in county fairs. She has had her own art shows in Arizona and Mena and has featured numerous times in the newspaper. She has received minimal training, taking a few art classes in college but mostly being self-taught. Cherri says “YouTube is my best friend when it comes to new projects”. The woman who mostly inspired her art is her Grandmother, though her entire family is artistically inclined. Her Grandmother was an adaptable artist with many talents. “She could play just about every instrument she could pick up, she was a glass blower, silver smith, worked in stain glass and made porcelain dolls”. Cherri herself works in many forms of art, such as polymer clay, paper mache, acrylic paint, resin and many more. What Cherri loves most about art is that it is therapeutic, is an outlet to express her inner thoughts, and it keeps her mind on the positive, which is difficult for her at times due to her health problems. Cherri thinks that mentoring and teaching is very important and loves to help other artists learn. Cherri hates it when a project she’s worked hard on doesn’t turn out as she wanted it to, but she’s found that if she approaches a project with humor she enjoys the time spent and has a good day. Cherri values volunteering, humility, teaching, a sense of humor and does her best to focus on what she can do, instead of what she can’t.
Cherri was born Los Angeles, moved to Arizona and then Mena. She has been involved with the Mena Art Gallery since 2010.
One of the most remarkable things about Cherri is her sense of humor and determination to have a good time. She says “If you’re not going have a sense of humor while doing it, what’s the point of doing it?”
She has pages on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube, all under the name Descry. Her website is “DescrysArtStudio.com”.
To contact her for a commission, call her first at her home phone, 479-437-5194, then on her cell at 479-234-2308.
Pen and Ink
Gilda Meyers was born in Magnolia, Arkansas. It was the call of the nearby piney woods and the weekly fishing trips with her Pappy that inspired her love of nature. After retiring in 2003 to her Ladyhawke Ranch, her horses and miniature donkeys became the primary focus of her realistic pen and inks.
Gilda began experimenting with art materials at a young age. She gained basic art skills and creativity from her late mother and grandmother. She received an undergraduate degree in art from Southern Arkansas University and started her career as an art educator.
Gilda presently works in her Hawke Hollow Studio nestled in the Ouachita Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. She is a multimedia artist, but prefers pen and ink.
Gilda has distinguished herself in art shows and competitions across the south. When not involved in her art career, Gilda enjoys volunteering with the Humane Society of the Ouachitas and serving on several organizational boards.
Henry has been painting since boyhood and has been accepted into a multitude of juried shows. He has won numerous awards and has been represented by galleries is several states. He feels that the “People’s Choice” Awards are the only important ones. He wants people to acquire his paintings because they like them, not because of his “credentials” or the awards he has received.
He moved to Mena in 2008. He has been a full time professional artist for over 20 years, but now has phased out of galleries, though he still likes to do commissions, coach artists and provide private lessons occasionally.
He is a long time member of the American Watercolor Society, a Juried Member of Oil Painters of America, a past President Elect and Signature Member of the North Carolina Watercolor Society, a member of the Mena Art Gallery and now serves on the Board of the Southwest Artist Association.
Ingrid Gipson was born in Germany. She chose to study Fashion Design and Marketing in Wiesbaden, Germany. She built for herself an impressive career in the field of fashion from designing to heading up companies. Her work took her to markets of Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and to several Countries in Europe. Before retiring full time, she consulted with manufacturers in all fields of the industry from financing to design and production through marketing/merchandising and sales strategies. Because of her extensive knowledge of all phases of the industry she was much sought after to lecture to Fashion Design senior level students at University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech, and others.
After retiring to the South Eastern Oklahoma Ouachita Mountains she took the opportunity to return to her love of Art, and to sculpt in clay. Her themes are based on Jungian Psychology, Anthropology, Mythology, and Religion. In short: how we experience life.
Ingrid Gipson selects the motif for each work very carefully and edits rigorously where it has collective meaning and thus addresses the deepest most ancient parts within us all.
Pine Needle Baskets
Jane has been making her pine needle creations since 2002 when she moved to her home in the Ouachita Mountain area. Taking simple pine needles from nature and making something beautiful and useful is what keeps her making these one-of-a-kind vessels that cannot be mass produced.
In the Native American art of pine needle basket weaving, she seeks out contemporary shapes in an attempt to further advance this very old art form.
Needles are hand picked, cleaned, coiled, woven, and carefully coaxed into shapes that are often functional and pleasing in design.
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Painter and Sculptor
Jim Brace is a widely collected artist living and working in Polk County Arkansas. Interests include painting, music, and steel sculpture.
"There's art that you look at, and there's art that you think at. Looks like that's what I think."
I was drawn to art and nature from a very early age. I loved to spend time walking, searching for small animals to capture and take home as pets. Indoors, I spent a lot of time doing arts and crafts.
Though having little formal art training, by college my drawing skills allowed me to do scientific illustration for professors while earning a degree in biology. So most of my early work was done in graphite and pen and ink. I loved seeing the 3-d image emerge from the blank page. During my teaching career, I took some art classes, but I was not attracted to painting. Then I was introduced to botanical illustration using transparent watercolor. I was hooked. Its subtilty and simplicity appealed to me just as drawing had. For the same reason, I seem to be attracted to the smaller plants and animals that are often overlooked by the casual observer. Simplicity is also present in my method of painting. I prefer to use a small number of pigments and mix the colors I need. I find I can paint more realistic plants this way.
I am presently painting the wildflowers and wildlife found near my home in Polk County, Arkansas. I hope that my
paintings will encourage in others a love of nature and help them to appreciate the beauty of the small, wild things around them.
All of my life I have been drawn to the old ways of living. The mountains called; I moved here 30 plus years ago. Living off of the power line, we hunted, raised a big garden, canned and put up all of our meat. After many tries, I learned to tan hides, cook on a wood stove, sew on a treadle sewing machine, and do beadwork.
I have a wonderful family! We shared time and learned together instead of spending time in front of a TV. A lot of time was spent swimming in the creeks, hiking in the mountains, or sitting around many campfires. My family learned how to live with the land.
Today, my life hasn't changed much, except we are now on the power line. Our girls have grown up, have their own families and blessed us with 3 wonderful grandchildren. We all still love spending time in these beautiful mountains.
I have never taken an art class. I just look at things, see how they are put together and give it a try. I have made many mistakes, but that's how I have learned. Then just let your imagination lead the way!
My Cherokee heritage has always been with me. Sometimes I wonder if that is the very thing that has called me to the mountains and my way of life. I am a member of the Mena Art Gallery, an Elder in the Otter's Drum Circle for 15 years. and an Elder in the Western Cherokee Nation here. My work is available in the Four Winds Trading Post in Mena.
My motto to live by is to: Walk as tall as the trees, Live as strong as the mountains, Be as gentle as the spring rains. Keep the warmth of the Son in your heart and the Great Spirit will always be with you!
If you are a beginning artist, whatever you do, no matter how many mistakes you make... never ever give up. Keep trying! Be faithful to the artistic gift you have been given, and let it grow within your heart and spirit. It will come... it takes practice and patience but it will come... open your heart and mind and let the creativity flow thru you!!!
|Marie Annette Fuselier|
Marie Annette Fuselier is a native New Orleanian; life long artist; and has shown her work throughout the Southeast.
Her works is primarily two dimensional including digital photographs to record her immediate surroundings. She is experimenting in hand built pottery and found object sculpture as well. She finds her inspiration in the alternating joys and defeats of life, the celebration of the sacred and the profane, the recognition of the sublime and the prosaic in all that surrounds her. Her sensual and layered use of form and color explores the fragility and resiliency of her world and the world about her. Each piece celebrates the complex spirituality that is inherent in the simple act of living.
Since August 29, 2005 following the devastation of her home and studio by Hurricane Katrina, she and her beloved husband now call Norman, AR home.
Ms. Fuselier is pleased to be a member of the Mena Art Gallery and Southwest Artists’. She has an extensive portfolio that is available for your consideration and she is also available to discuss commissioned work designed expressly for you.
I love the process of creating and building something new. It applies to everything I do, not just my art. Over the years I’ve read articles where phrases like “passionate about your work” and “finding your voice” were used. When I started shooting with digital cameras, I truly understood, and more importantly, felt the meaning of those words. Photography is an emotional experience for me and I try to capture those feelings every time I look through the lens.
The spirit of discovery is strong in me and it shows. My favorite place will always be anywhere I haven’t been, and I'll always be one shutter click away from my favorite photograph.
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Home is a secluded log cabin in the heavily wooded Ouachita mountains. The surrounding beauty provides me with ample inspiration for expressing my creative side whether it is writing, drawing, painting, floral design, or occasionally sculpting. My garret is the perfect place to work, although I don’t think of these things as anything but pleasurable hobbies.
Being the daughter of a mother with amazing textile abilities, and a father who earned his living as a professional artist, I grew up with an appreciation for art on a deeper level than most people. I was also encouraged to express myself in any art forms I found interesting.
I spent part of my young adult years as a commercial artist, and learned at a young age it’s very hard to provide for your family with pencils, ink, and paint. Thus, I pursued other ways to creatively earn a living trough cosmetology, floral design and teaching others about those topics.
As a senior citizen and only working part-time, I have more time to devote to my artistic creations.
When writing, I don’t have to drag out all the tools and supplies needed for my other pursuits. All I need is paper and pen. This comes in handy when an idea pops into my head, saves lots of time and cleanup, and words can paint a very powerful picture.
I’ve been writing poetry off and on since I was a child. Since joining the Ouachita Writers Guild, I’ve tried my hand at short stories. It’s fun being part of a group that shares one of my interests and offers such helpful suggestions and encouragement.
I hope you enjoy my selections for this year.
I was born and mostly raised in Fresno,California, although I did travel a bit in Europe and the US as my father was in the Air Force. I now live in Mena and have been here since 1979.
I got my first camera, a Kodak Brownie when I was about 11, and I have been snapping pictures every since.
I have been married to Dean since 1969, we have two children and 7 grandchildren. I enjoy traveling and now that I have retired hope to do more of it. I have just built a new studio so if I'm not out taking pictures I am editing them in my studio.
I joined the Gallery a few years ago and enjoy displaying my work there and seeing the work of others.
|Rick and Donna Chrisman|
REVOLUTIONARY DESIGNS, INC. is a small family operated woodworking shop started by Rick and Donna Chrisman in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. The shop is now located on 20 rural acres in western Arkansas. This setting allows us to live our dream and provides the inspiration for our work.
We became interested in woodworking as a hobby in 1980 and together took courses at a local Dallas community college and from other woodworkers that offered classes on various hand tools and machines. As our skills and interest increased, we began doing custom woodworking for the public. This developed into an interest in box making of various influences and styles. Rick’s mentor was a Shaker box maker and when he retired we took over the business of making Shaker reproduction boxes.
Once we mastered the craftsmanship needed to produce these bentwood boxes we began crafting a broader range of items based on the Shaker style, also adding more contemporary styles to compliment the box line. The creative use of the Shakers’ methods, quality joinery and contrasting wood resulted in high quality boxes that include canister sets, jewelry boxes, pillow top boxes and desk sets.
We are proud of the consistent quality, hand selected woods and variety of product we offer.
Ron Kidwell was raised in Shreveport Louisiana spending many summers around Albert Pike and Shady Lake in the beautiful state of Arkansas. Just prior to retiring from SWEPCO he reached back to his early dreams of learning to paint and for about 20 years now he has done just that.
His paintings are in Colorado, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and more states. He teaches a wet in wet style for begining and intermediate artists and was president of the Shreveport Art Club 3 years, treasurer one year and is vice president of the Louisiana Society of Animal Artists.
Winner of several awards he is self taught by trial and error and using workshops as his college. He makes an annual photo and workshop trip to Estes Park Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Tetons and Yellowstone. Wildlife and Landscape paintings are favorite but he has been commisioned for murals, floral and still life paintings. Mostly he enjoys meeting "art people" and sharing his work.
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Sam Tobias’ love affair with pictures started with his father's gift of a Kodak twin lens reflex at age 12 and has progressed through documenting backpacking trips, creating slide shows, learning to develop and print color pictures, to jumping on the digital bandwagon and now to videos.
Tobias has been generous with his time and talent in support of the Mena Art Gallery. He taught their first photography class and launched a tradition that resulted in a flood of beautiful photography for their annual photo exhibit.
When approached by Rich Mountain Community College’s Dr. Rudi Timmerman, Tobias joined a video class at the college. That has led to a series of short videos on the college TV station showing everything from activities in Mena to tours of gardens throughout the west.
Tobias’ award-winning photos have resulted in a rainbow of ribbons from photography competitions. His photos are in private collections across the country. He had one photo in the Arkansas Arts Council’s “Small Works on Paper” exhibit that traveled to galleries throughout the state in 2008.
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Susan Gibson has lived in Arkansas since 1995, in Jonesboro, Batesville, Heber Springs, and has now lived in Mena since 2006. She has specialized in watercolor since 2005 and has earned her Signature with Mississippi Watercolor Society (MSWS). She has associate memberships in the following Watercolor Societies and is close to obtaining signature in several: American Watercolor Society (AWS); National Watercolor Society (NWS); Mid-Southern Watercolor Association (MSW); Missouri Watercolor Society (MOWS); Mississippi Watercolor Society (MSWS); Southern Watercolor Society (SWS); Watercolor Art Society - Houston (WAS-H). Her paintings have been judged and selected for major exhibitions across the country by American and National Watercolor Society Signature Members such as Don Andrews, John Salmine, Judi Coffey, Judi Betts, Eric Wiegardt, Kathleen Conover, and Cheng-Khee Chee, and has received instruction from other AWS and NWS Signatured Painters such as Frank Francese, Joseph Fettingis and Soon Warren.
Although Susan has painted all her life, she has acquired most of her skills through independent study and private instruction in America and Europe. It is her goal to study, grow, and mature within her profession. Further goals include entering major publication contests, and continued submission to national and international exhibitions aimed toward accumulation of other Signatures.
When describing Susan and her art, one must use the word passionate. Susan said, "I am inspired by all beauty around me, people, nature, and still life, and am attracted by all their complexities. It is my most inner desire to capture the essence of an object. To capture that "oh so illusive extra something" that will take a painting from just good to special. I want the viewer to experience some kind of response, either emotional or physical, and to make a connection with me, the artist, my feelings and visions." Her skilled use of clean, vivid, transparent, multilayer of glazed color, has allowed her to create a body of work that should be seen to be appreciated.
Painter and Writer
I lived and worked in Houston, Texas for fifty years before retiring and moving to Mena, Arkansas in August of 2006. I was born in the north and my family moved to Houston when I was about a year old, so I learned to walk in Texas and always considered myself a Southerner.
Now that I am retired I have more time to make art and attending art day at The Mena Art Gallery I have learned so much from the talented artists here in Mena. I love animals and a lot of my art reflects this, but do a little bit of everything.
All my adult life, I had a desire to learn how to make wheel-thrown pottery. When Rich Mountain Community College expanded its art studio, I enrolled in the 2005 spring semester of Clay I taught by Sandra McMaster. I spent long hours after class trying to throw a pot. Unfortunately, at the end of the semester, I had only two “mushrooms” to show for my effort! I was determined to learn, so that spring my husband and I set up my studio. I boosted my education with videos, books, periodicals, and hands-on experience. I opened my showroom in October 2008. Both my and my husband's works are for sale there.
I produce wheel-thrown and altered low-fire earthenware, mid-and high-fire stoneware and fire all in electric kilns. I do some hand-building. Most of my pieces are glazed with multiple layers of color. I make a variety of functional and decorative pottery, including fruit and bread bowls, garlic jars, salt and pepper shakers, liquid soap dispensers, bird baths and bird houses, large jars, vases, and more.