April-May, 2006 Gallery Exhibit Featured
"Prickly Subjects" by Sandy Tracey

     Arizona painter Sandy Tracey creates bold and almost day-glow depictions of cacti that jump off the canvas. They do -- particularly when they sport realistic toothpick spines and glochids! Her work has been shown in galleries from Mesa to Tubac, Globe, Tempe, Fountain Hills, Chandler, and Scottsdale. During April and May of 2006 her works were shown in our visitor center gallery.

      Her most memorable exhibition remains her first. Let the artist explain: “My mother used to give me crayons and a coloring book when I was still in the crib, so I’d stay busy while she would be sewing nearby in my bedroom. One day she was cleaning the house up for a dinner party that evening. As usual, she gave me my crayons and coloring book, but left me alone so she could clean the house. To her horror, when she returned to the bedroom, I had drawn on each bar on the crib, every wall space between the bars as far up as I could reach -- using every color in the Crayola box, of course! There was no time to clean it up before the guests arrived, so she did the next best thing: she brought everyone in to show off “what my little artist has created.” I was off to a running start - since then, painting has been my passion!”

         Sandy moved to Arizona in 1976, after graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. “Having grown up in the Midwest, the desert was an extreme change in landscape. I immediately fell in love with, and am still fascinated by, the different plants and trees the desert offers. I love to use the striking shapes made by cactus to create colorful interpretations of the desert. Saguaros are a favorite theme in my work, along with prickly pear cactus. I use colors that are bold and dynamic; my paintings are taken from sketches, plein air painting or my desert hike photographs. Several pieces represented in this show are new works, plein air pieces done at the Arboretum during the past few months. My palette consists of acrylics, watercolors, pastels, markers, and mixed media. To me color is everything: I love the shape and texture of different cactus species, and I try to convert the play of light and shapes of what I observe into fun interplay of colors… my work will never be accidentally confused with a photograph!”

      Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a 320-acre collection of plants from the world's deserts. Criss-crossed by more than two miles of trails, this Arizona State Park is cooperatively managed with the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223, about 45 miles due East of Mesa as you approach the copper mining town of Superior. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $35, and include a full year's access, guest passes for friends and family, and many other benefits. Gallery exhibits are displayed in the visitor center each month and may be seen daily during business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (May-through-August hours are 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) Daily admission is $7.50 for adults, $3 for ages 5-12. For other details please call 520.689.2811

    Correspond with the artist by email to sandy@vipit.net, or else view thumbnail images from the exhibit and review a price list at http://www.sandytracey.com

     Arboretum business hours during April are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (during Summer admission is taken from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the Arboretum closes at 3:00 p.m. promptly) Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Visitors who are not annual members must pay daily admission to enter the Arboretum and view this exhibit. Annual memberships, which include free admission, are available starting at $35, and a membership may be purchased the day of the visit.

     From June through July 22 the Arboretum hosts Mesa Art League members' annual juried exhibition. To review other recent gallery shows from...

March, 2006 CLICK HERE
February, 2006 CLICK HERE
January, 2006 CLICK HERE
September CLICK HERE
July/August CLICK HERE