Moab Happenings Archive
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Gallery Moab Featured Artists
By Sarah Hamingson

Moab’s fine arts cooperative will feature pastel artist Peggy Harty and painter Sunnie Sheff at the season’s last Art Walk on Saturday, November 8. Don’t miss viewing the latest works of these two multi-talented, energetic individuals!

Peggy has always been enthralled with landscapes. She has early memories of sitting in the back seat on family auto trips, composing scenes with her imaginary camera. Through the years she has continued to explore color, form and texture through quilting, photography, ceramics and painting. Retirement has freed her time to pursue her artwork more diligently, and she has become an accomplished pastel painter, creating luminous landscape and wildflower paintings, several of which have won awards at shows. She is also starting to paint in watercolor. She works both outdoors and in the studio. In her spare time she is an avid quilter and a caller for Moab’s contra dances.


Sunnie was born and raised in Moab, and draws inspiration for her art from her years of exploring the Moab area backcountry on foot, horseback, kayak, and raft. She paints mostly with oils, but also uses watercolor, acrylic and pastel. Her subject matter is varied, including landscapes, horses, wildlife and scenes from river and canyon adventures. She particularly likes to create from memory, letting her medium flow freely, leaving space for viewers to use their own imagination. Her works on display will include fall-themed paintings and drawings, small paintings and studies perfect for holiday gifts, music-themed art to celebrate the Moab Folk Festival, and some larger studio work. Besides being a prolific artist, Sunnie is also a picture framer, graphic designer, property manager, tipi painter, and performs music with her husband, Sand Sheff.

Gallery Moab will have an information booth at the Moab Folk Festival at the Saturday and Sunday concerts at the ball field. Artists will be painting en plein air (outdoors, on location) at the venue, and welcome you to watch them work as you enjoy the music. Former art professor Larry Christensen, a skilled portrait painter, will be available to create quick pencil portraits on site. Concert goers are invited to come enjoy the colorful ambience and vibrant art (snacks too!) at the gallery after the Saturday performances, as we will remain open for Art Walk that evening until 9 P.M.

Gallery hours change with the end of Daylight Saving Time. Starting November 3 we will be open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6 P.M. Artists will continue to paint in the window, producing new works, throughout the winter. Come in and watch the process of art being created! Enjoy the variety of artistic expression inspired by the beauty and grandeur of the Colorado Plateau. Large and small original works are for sale, as well as prints and cards. What better memento of your visit to this magnificent canyon country?

Gallery Moab is located at 87 North Main Street.
Telephone: 435/355-0024
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Martha Martinez Pottery Demonstration


The Gallery Moab is honored to present a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to view the techniques of Mata Ortiz pottery creation. Martha Martinez from Green River will conduct the demonstration at 87 North Main Street from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 1st.

Mata Ortiz pots are built without the use of a potter’s wheel and everything involved -- shaping, polishing and painting the clay -- is entirely done by hand. The characteristics of the pieces that continue to be built derive from ancient traditions which date back to pre-Columbian period, 700 AD, in the Rio Grande Valley near the pueblo of Paquimé, nicknamed ‘Casas Grandes’. Traditionally, all materials and tools originate from supplies that are readily available in the locale. Now, however, Mata Ortiz ware incorporates elements of contemporary design and decoration and each potter or pottery family produces distinctive individualized ware.

Martha Martinez was trained in this art by her sister, Graciela, when she was growing up in her home town of Juan Mata Ortiz, Mexico. She has found the materials that she needs to create these magnificent pieces here in the State of Utah. Her husband, Tony Sr., and son, Tony Jr., participate in the creation of these pots, including the preparation of the clay, the polishing and firing. But Martha remains the master of her design, molding the shapes and painting with a tiny brush of human hair. All the materials, including clay, dyes and fuel for firing the pots are made from natural materials.

If you want to learn more about this incredible pottery art, come to the demonstration on November 1st at 87 North Main Street. Historical information about Mata Ortiz pottery is also available at: For more information call the Gallery Moab at 435-355-0024.

Upcycled Art Party!

America Recycles Day is just around the corner on November 15th! If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry. This lesser known holiday is often overshadowed by the more popular Earth Day, but Canyonlands Community Recycling (CCR) is working to popularize America Recycles Day with the people of Moab. This year, CCR invites you to celebrate America Recycles Day with a gala for all things artistically recycled, salvaged and repurposed at the first ever Upcycled Art Party.

This event will feature exhibits by local artists, recycled art from Grand County students, and a Community Art Contest. Subvert and Triassic, two local businesses using recycled and salvaged materials, will also be offering demonstrations of parts of their process. For those who are not professionals, the Community Art Contest is open to anyone with a piece made from at least 75% recycled materials. Attendees will vote for favorites, and prizes will be awarded for “Most Creative”, “Best Use of Recycled Materials”, “Most Useful”, “Best in Show” and “Weirdest in Show.”

“There are so many creative people in this town, and I’ve seen some impressive works made from salvaged, trashed and repurposed materials. We thought that an art party would be a really fun way to celebrate how Moabites get clever and artistic with recycling.” says Abby Scott, CCR’s program director. “I’m surprised by how many locals have come out of the woodwork with really amazing art and craft pieces. So far, we’ve got sculpture, dioramas, wearable art, quilts, clothing, jewelry, and more functional pieces like bags and kitchenware. I’ve talked to everyone from young kids to grandmas to people making a living off of the products they’re making with recycled materials.”

CCR will also be selling refreshments donated by local restaurants, and beer, wine and cocktails for those 21 and over with valid ID and will have a silent auction of local and recycle-themed items with proceeds to benefit CCR.

Canyonlands Community Recycling works year round to provide action-based education and outreach programs to the people of Grand County through recycling lessons and field trips for students, outreach work with government agencies and businesses, collaboration with other nonprofits on waste reduction at events, and maintaining with information on local events and hard to recycle items. CCR also and works on events such as the Monthly Paper Drive, Electronics Waste & Battery Recycling Drive, and the Green Team at Moab Half Marathon Races. All the money raised at this event will go towards helping CCR maintain and expand these programs and serve their mission of enhancing sustainability by empowering the Moab community to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Anyone interested in helping with sponsorship, volunteering at the party, participating as a professional artist or craftsperson or entering a piece into the Community Art Contest should contact Abby Scott at CCR by emailing or 435-210-4996.

WHO: Canyonlands Community Recycling
WHAT: Upcycled Art Party! A fundraiser for CCR in
honor of America Recycles Day
WHERE: The MARC – 111 East & 100 North
WHEN: Saturday, November 15th, 2014 6pm to 10pm
COST: Suggested donation of $5

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