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Gallery Happenings July 2012

Framed Image Fine Art: Contemporary Perspectives on a Timeless Landscape

Framed Image Fine Art StorefrontWant to beat the heat and experience some of Moab’s indoor beauty? Stop in at Framed Image Fine Art Gallery and view some of the region’s finest painting, photography, sculpture, and jewelry. With a well rounded stable of exceptional artists, Framed Image showcases everything from traditional oil landscapes and photography, to contemporary watercolor interpretations, and mixed media abstractions. Unique, modern stone sculpture, ceramics, and hand blown glass also dot the beautifully lit interior to create a wonderful and varied, art viewing experience.

Knowing that the landscape is the ultimate draw, but also understanding that it can inspire people in a variety of ways, gallery owner Eric Trenbeath, says his vision, “was to create a space that would allow for many interpretations of the landscape, not only in terms of what people see, but also in terms of what they feel.” These interpretations may not always manifest in the form of something entirely recognizable. They may come about in the form of a mood or sentiment, represented simply by pure form, color, and texture, an early hypothesis of the Abstract Expressionists. They may also take the form of a loosely defined, oil landscape painting applied with thick, lush brushstrokes or ragged, palette knife swaths. Even a piece of glass, ceramic, or abstract sculpture can say something about the landscape and how it makes one feel.
Eager to discuss his artists, Trenbeath is nevertheless hard pressed to pick a favorite. He says that all of the artists fill a special niche in the gallery. From the traditional to impressionist perspective, he is proud to represent Bonnie Frucci, and Rachel Pettit. Both offer illuminated interpretations in oil with Frucci being perhaps the most literal. Her use of light and color defines the essence of the landscape. About Pettit, Trenbeath says, “It’s fun to observe her progression, from finely crafted, literal interpretation, to loosely applied impressionism, and finally to abstraction.”

Evening Shadows by Bonnie  Frucci Fremont Figures by John DePuy San Juan Morning by R. Lilian Seifer
Evening Shadows by Bonnie Frucci
Fremont Figures by John DePuy
San Juan Morning by R. Lillian Seifer

Local rising star, and award winning artist Jonathan Frank, creates unique watercolor and ink, “High Definition Landscapes.” Completely self taught, Jonathan is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, and has been featured on the cover of Watercolor Magazine. Four Corners area resident, R. Lillian Seifer, paints beautiful, mixed water media interpretations that border on abstraction. Sculptors, Randy Jorgen, and Michael Ford Dunton, create stunning works in stone and steel, while long time Moab resident, Joanne Savoie, creates beautiful ceramic works informed by the river and its canyons. And local photographer, Chris Conrad, presents his interpretations often focusing on the night sky or indigenous archaeological sites in black and white.

In the realm of abstraction, Framed Image is proud to represent Michael Ashcraft. A professor at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1956 to 1974, Ashcraft moved to the Moab area in the mid 1970’s. His work is informed by the structural images he sees in the vast patterns of rock. He then moved to San Francisco where he spent 15 years installing blue chip art and having his own work shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s, Artist’s Gallery. He currently resides near Moab, in Castle Valley.

And finally, one of the few remaining “Taos Moderns”, and still painting daily at the age of 85, is John DePuy. John studied Abstract Expressionism in 1950’s Manhattan. His idle, Mark Rothko, advised him to “return to the Southwest, for the soul of your art is there”. John took his advice and returned to the landscape he loved where he studied under a Navajo Shaman for a year. As a result, his art is a unique blend of southwestern landscape / native mysticism, informed by the school of Expressionism. John was best friends and a “kindred spirit” with the desert writer, Edward Abbey, who had this to say about his work, “John paints a hallucinated, magical, and sometimes fearsome world…the terrible beauty that lies beyond the ordinary limits of human experience.”

Framed Image Fine Art
is located at 59 East Center Street across from the Moab Information Center. They are open Tuesday –Friday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. They can be reached at 435-259-4446 or on the web at

Moab Artists Robin Straub and Phil Wagner featured
at Dead Horse Point State Park


Phil Wagner and Robin Straub portrait
Robin Straub and Phil Wagner

The Bighorn Gallery at Dead Horse Point State Park will be exhibiting original artwork by Moab artists Robin Straub and Phil Wagner. “Sensual Scapes” is a collection of new oil paintings on exhibit July 4th through August 29th. Join the artists for an opening reception on Wednesday, July 4th at 4:00 p.m. and enter the park for free.

Robin Straub and Phil Wagner are thrilled to share their latest work at the Bighorn Gallery. Robin and Phil are respected Moab artists who love to paint the bold and colorful landscapes of the Colorado Plateau in a sensual style, au plein air (outdoors).

Robin’s studies in art have included painting, photography and ceramics. For eight years Robin and Phil have traveled and painted passionately in many countries but their favorite location is here in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau with its astounding beauty and mystery. Many of their paintings are in collections across the United States.

Phil is ex-Peace Corps, a poetry teacher, parent, lecturer in psychology, a custom home builder, world traveler, socialist and documentary film maker. Most days he can be found painting with his wife, Robin, out along any dusty dead-end back road with a view.

Phil Wagner art Robin Straub art
Phil Wagner
Robin Straub

During the art exhibit at Dead Horse Point State Park, each painting is available for purchase. Portfolios of their work can be visited at and their studio in Moab is open to visitors.

Dead Horse Point State Park
is located nine miles north of Moab on US 191, and 23 miles south on SR 313. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Park admission is $10.
For more information, contact the park at 435-259-2614.
And be sure to mention you read about it in the Moab Happenings.

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