”A bit of a star-gazer,” is how Allison Lefcort describes herself… painting since early childhood Lefcort has never lost sight of the stars. From Lefcort’s first exhibition in New York City, at the age of seventeen, to her most recent tour of Japan, Lefcort’s works have been displayed in some of the most prestigious museums and fine art galleries in the world.
In 1996 Lefcort was commissioned to create the portrait of then First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Senator Clinton was presented this portrait during the Women's Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee.
Lefcort was also commissioned to paint the portrait of their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Jordan. It was that same portrait of the late King Hussein that was featured in an interview with Queen Noor conducted by Katie Couric on the Today Show.
Through the years Lefcort has been a strong supporter of such charitable organizations as Best Buddies, MusiCares, Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation, Seeds of Peace, The Chris Evert Tennis Classic, United Cerebral Palsy, GLAAD, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Johns HopkinsPancreatic Cancer Research Foundation, and CancerLink. Lefcort has painted recipients of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy’s) Humanitarian Award including Sting, Phil Collins, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Luciano Pavarotti, Gloria Estefan, Bonnie Raitt, David Crosby, and Stevie Wonder. These portraits currently hang in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences offices in Los Angeles. Lefcort’s paintings are part of the permanent collections of The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios Orlando, Warner Brothers Studios, Viacom’s MTV & VH1, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor of Jordan, Luciano Pavarotti, Deborah Gibson, Dionne Warwick, Tears For Fears, and The Indigo Girls. In her own words, Lefcort explains her ‘inspiration of celebrity.’ "My art has been greatly influenced by the boldness of Andy Warhol and simplicity of Keith Haring. That boldness and simplicity are the keys to unlocking the imagery. The vibrant colors of the background set the tone, as the shapes and shadows bring the portrayal to life."
Armand Frederick Valée - (1921 - 2009)
was an extraordinary man... His remarkable accomplishments are due as much to his perseverance to work as an artist as to his exceptional talent. His paintbrush is one of spontaneity and radiance, each painting is a joyful celebration of life in all its myriad forms.
Born in 1921 into a family of artists, writers and musicians in Austria, ART was a way of life. Armand received his formal art training and education at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich with post graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Dusseldorf. War broke out and interrupted his life.
After the war Armand continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, moved on to Switzerland, and began to rebuild his career : Art travels to Italy, France, Spain. Studies in Art Restoration, Mural Technique and Paper Making. In 1951, he left Europe for North America. Since then he has captured the Canadian North on canvas, painted from Alaska to Mexico; desert and mountain landscapes, studies of Native Indians, contemporary city life. He has painted the oil industry in the field, cells under a microscope, ceremonial Munecas, spiritual Totems at Queen Charlotte Islands and Alaska. The essence of Shifting Energy and Motion is captured in his latest observation studies in oil..... the spirit of our time..."Zeitgeist". Armand is a master of oil painting and equally noted for his watercolors. He also works in casein colors, gouache, silk-screen, stone print, lino cut, pastel and charcoal. His free and independent spirit is always exploring - his artistic vision is always new and versatile in idea, while his technique and execution is guided by the discipline of his formal art training. His work reflects the genuine devotion of a master to his ART. Armand is a visual explorer. Intimately connected to his environment. He is able to translate its vitality to paper or canvas. From his deep love of drawing and a strong will to work stem all his energy and his ideas. Artist Statement Art is my religion, my joy, my life.Color, texture, pattern and surface are fascinating to my sensesSo are people, faces, places and different culturesMy devotion to painting, to explore and create is equal only to my strong love for NATURE and HUMANITY. Nature has nourished and sustained my spiritual well being. Humanity has related my work with freedom, with emotion, the joy and also the sorrows of life. My work - the journal of my life-
Avner Zabari is a distinctive an artist as his art itself. The whimsical and expressionistic style of his creations mirrors his personalityn while the deep, textured color of his art mimics his storied life. His primitive aesthetic is commonplace, where all cultures and schools of thought come to bathe.
It is truly a celebration of the diversity that is humankind. Born just outside Tel Aviv in 1960, Zabari ." After completing his army service at the age of 21, Zabari was eager to explore the many intricacies the world had to offer. Young and curious, he sought out the unique atmosphere found only in the intimate cafes and romantic evenings of Europe's magnificent cities and fairytale villages.
He then journied to South America, where relics left by primitive cultures would leave a lasting impression upon him. His thirst for artistic fulfillment then led him to Miami, a city that seemed to provide the final impetus for what it was Zabari longed to create. Despite no formal art education, Zabari began painting on everything from pristine canvases to slabs of scrap wood.
Zabari known for his original, whimsical art sold throughout popular galleries in the USA & Europe lent a discriminating brush to everything he touched. It was his early experimentation with wood that became the pathway to his successful future. " I was fascinated with the temperament of the wood", Zabari explained. "The way the color would bleed or hold depending on the consistencies of the wood." Zabari parlayed his need to recreate himself into a collection of colorful and deeply personal art furniture every year.
He did so by consistently challenging himself to create new aesthetics, yet still hold true to the style that characterizes all his works. This approach resulted in a magnificent blending of eye pleasing colors. His intriguing use of symbols and mysterious compartments are all part of his whimsical free-form designs. Zabari's passion for his art, supplies him with a perpetual education. Stone, wood, metal and leather are prominently featured among the many creative elements in his repertoire.
Ross Mazur was born and raised in Chicago. After receiving a scolarship to the Chicago Art Institute, he enjoyed a 20 year career as a photographer in the furniture industry. During this time he introduced many innovative techniques still in use today. In 1971 Ross launched a new career as a full-time artist, collaborating with his wife, Marcia, making clay wall sculptures. In 1980 Marcia attended a workshop in paper making thatwould forever change their work. Together they developed a new concept: a unique wall sculpture in hand made paper. This new concept evolved into a number of styles, many of which he still uses today. Marcia retired in 1997, andsince her tragic passing in 2004 Ross' work has continued to mature. This past year has taken him to new realms of texture and color.During the 35 years of doing what he loved he has delved into many styles of expression: from photography to clay and metal sculptures, representational and abstract painting to designing southwest furniture. But for Ross designing paper sculptures and working with the tactile aspect of the paper itself, has been his life's dream.
John W. Hilton: 1904 - 1983
John W. Hilton was an extraordinary man. He was born in Carrington, ND. His father was a baker, and the family lived in a shack on a farm. When he was four, he went to China with his mother and father, who became a missionary. There he met Chinese bandits, philosophers, and walked along the Great Wall by the time he was age 10. The family was separated during the Sun Yat Sen revolution, and thinking his father was dead, his mother returned to North Dakota where his father eventually found them.
John moved to Los Angeles in 1918 and worked for a gem company, but it folded during the Depression. Then he designed jewelry for Hollywood film stars and sold stones worldwide.
In the 1930s, financially broke, he moved to the desert determined to become a painter and supporting himself as a singer and guitar player. From that time he lived either in the desert or at Twentynine Palms, CA.
John became an expert gemologist, botanist, geologist and gem miner, zoologist, friend and fellow painter of General/ President Eisenhower, guitarist and singer songwriter, a very good writer & poet, and of course, he wasn't bad with a palette knife or paint brush either.
Desert travelers enjoyed John's gem shop & gallery. Some showed interest in a few of his displayed artworks, and some of the more artsy visitors helped advance John's painting talents. Fred Chisnall was perhaps the teacher John appreciated most. John didn't think much of Fred's painting talents, but as a teacher and taskmaster, none was better. Other notable artists stopped by too, such as Nikolai Fechin, Maynard Dixon, Clyde Forsythe, and Jimmy Swinnerton. They all contributed and influenced Hilton's fantastic ability to capture desert light, and formed lifelong friendships which included many painting excursions. A few other friends of John included Dwight Eisenhower and James Cagney. Howard Hughes visited him from time to time as well. While Eisenhower was president, he commissioned John to paint a piece which hung in the Oval Office at the White House. He was an advisor to General Patton, and was instrumental in the selection of his military base in Twentynine Palms, California. He wrote and illustrated several books including "Sonora Sketch Book," 1947, and "Hilton Paints the Desert" in 1964. His illustrations appeared in the "LA Times" and the "Saturday Evening Post."
He was highly successful financially and was elected to the Grand Central Galleries in New York where he had numerous exhibitions as well as in California. Hilton has also painted many landscapes of Hawaii where he had a summer home at Lahaina, Maui. John also taught his techniques to his daughter Kathi. He combined a beeswax mixture with his paints that gave his landscapes a special luster. Most of their work is done with pallet knife and their fingers.
Framed originals of both John W. Hilton and Kathi Garvin Hilton are available at Bowers & Light fine Jewelry and Fine Art Gallery
"It's an exciting thought what tomorrow will bring. I am surely blessed knowing that today I am doing what I truly love."
Diane A. Hendler is an artist with a degree in Computer Graphics and Advertising Design from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
She is fascinated with the beautiful and delicate details in nature and creates opportunities to share this vision with others through her photography.
Diane finds inspiration in her garden and in the natural beauty around her home in Northern Arizona.
I have been a working photographer for over 40 years. I was first a Commercial/Advertising photographer starting in Washington DC and then in Dallas, TX. I worked with important clients in the east coast and across the southwest. My specialty was beauty and fashion and I worked for big clients like Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus, JC Penney's, Mary Kay Cosmetics and many others. After tiring of the commercial rat-race I retired (briefly) and moved to Arizona where I began a second career as a teacher. First in high school and after moving to the Prescott area at Yavapai College. The two year program I taught at Metro Tech HS was the top program in the State of Arizona and my former students are now working photographers and teachers. I am always involved in the Photographic Arts and my work now is in the Fine Art arena. I am very honored to be part of the Jerome Artists Coop Gallery and The Gallery in Williams as well as DeNise L Bowers, Sedona's Fine Art Experience and I look forward to a long association with these Galleries and their exceptional Artists.
While I have been working for many years my abilities and interest in creating new and exciting images is stronger than it has ever been. I continue to "mentor" local professional photographers and stay in touch with many of my former students and friends across the country.
My approach to Fine Art Photography is basically fairly simple. I find aspects in our ever-changing world and I "interpret" them as I saw them or as I wanted them to look. I shoot vignettes of life, not just famous sites and places, and I speak to my audience through my images. I am constantly trying new ideas, going back and working with older images using new ideas and methods to betterinterpret them. I want those that purchase my work to be surprised, reflective and intrigued by what I see, how I see it and how my images are presented.
Wendy Bialek: Wendy the Weaver
Wendy Bialek is a master weaver with over four decades of experience in creating one-of-a-kind works of textile art for use in interior design, as well as selected wearable art projects. Her unique works have graced dozens of homes, public spaces and exhibits across the United States. "Hand woven products create the possibility for adding color, texture, and pattern to any residential or commercial setting,” Wendy says. “They enhance an environment by adding an interest that offers a soft, subtle statement that pulls an entire room together or a more dramatic focal point.”
Wendy’s passion for creating with quality and integrity has led to what she calls “weaving with intention”—taking in the desires and personality of the client, the use of the piece and the atmospheric influence desired. Her selection of yarn is based on the purpose of the cloth, both functionally and energetically. One of her greatest thrills is seeing the joy on her clients’ faces when their pieces are delivered.
Wendy’s work honors the art of weaving as multi-generational and cross-cultural. She began learning fiber art techniques as a child watching her grandmothers knit, crochet and sew. After they died when Wendy was 8 years old, she started doing her grandmothers’ forms of fiber work as a way to stay close to them. Wendy added to her repertoire of accomplishments by starting to weave at age 16. Her weaving style evolved from an interest in the history and daily life of many cultures around the world. Growing up 10 blocks from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D. C., Wendy spent many hours there exploring the use of textiles, techniques, and fibers in these cultures. This inspired her to express her own variations and unique style.
While attaining a B. A. at Guilford College, she focused on courses that enhanced her knowledge of world cultures and took the opportunity to further develop her weaving skills. By taking a cross-cultural approach to studying and practicing those weaving techniques, Wendy developed the unique ability to create custom woven art that complements a wide variety of decor. After adding an Associate Degree in production weaving from Haywood Technical College and participating in numerous exhibits, Wendy gained the experience she needed to start her weaving business. Wendy’s other accomplishments include a Master’s Degree in Special Education, owning a prestigious fiber supply store and gallery in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, and implementing Weaving for Wellness programs in therapeutic settings.
Now a resident of Sedona, Arizona, Wendy continues to focus on creating one-of-a-kind custom pieces expressing her passion for hand woven and hand made felt art. Using her trademark sense of color, pattern and texture, she weaves diverse collections, often integrating other elements such as wood, metal, or glass to dimensionalize her work. She expresses her commitment to quality and styling through the careful attention to details in every stage of the creative process. Her artistic offerings include both existing pieces of woven art and custom commissions designed to serve the specific personality of her clients. She is accustomed to working with clients on a long-distance basis. Wendy's weaving is at once beautiful, durable, and functional. Wendy is also a wellness coach. Visit or call for more information.