The Latest from American Women Artists

Carrie Waller Abundance

American Women Artists Exhibition at the Tucson Desert Art Museum

Under A Vast Sky
American Women Artists Exhibition at the Tucson Desert Art Museum
October 13 – December 3, 2017

Hesson Dyana Arizona Campfire and Velvet Blue Sky Oil 36 x 24

Campfire and Velvet Blue Sky, Yucca at Twilight, Fossil Creek
By Dyana Hesson
Oil on canvas
24″ x 36″

The following essay was written by AWA artist Dyana Hesson about her painting, pictured above, exhibited in AWA’s Under A Vast Sky exhibition at the Tucson Desert Art Museum. Dyana will also be one of the speakers at the symposium co-sponsored by AWA and the Tucson Museum of Art, November 4, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, at the Tucson Museum of Art.  This event is free to the public.

The West is a romantic place. No one knew this better than author Zane Grey. He created timeless western characters and set them in the most beautiful places in Arizona. His descriptions of the desert, its plants, and its vast sky were so elaborate, they became characters in their own right.

On a recent hike to Fossil Creek, near Straweberry, Arizona, I spotted this yucca growing on the ridge. The curly fibers and transparent blooms captivated me. Back at home that night, as I neared the end of Grey’s book “Desert Gold” I read about the main charracters settling in for the night in a remote part of the Arizona desert. As the sun set, and embers of their campfire rose, Zane carefully describes the scene, with Gale, his main character in the center.

“At night, he formed a habit of climbing up the lava slope as far as the smooth trail extended, and there on the promontory, he paced to and fro, watched the stars, and sat stone still for hours looking down at the vast void with its moving, changing shadows. From that promontory, he gazed up at the velevet-blue sky, deep and dark, bright with millions of cold, distant, blinking stars and he grasped a little of the meaning of infinitude.” Grey wrote those words in 1913, but the scene he describes can still be found today.  You need only venture out to see it. I hope this painting compels you to find a sky full of a million stars. Just look up.

Dyana’s painting, and 144 other beautiful works by women from across the United States, are on exhibit until December 13 at the Tucson Desert Art Museum, 7000 E. Tanque Verde Road. Be sure to attend Under A Vast Sky: Symposium on Women in the Arts, November 4 from 9:00 am – 4 pm, at the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Street. The event is free to the public. You can view the works in Under A Vast Sky on our gallery page.

(cover image: Brilliant Morn by Amanda Houston, pastel 30″ x 40″, exhibited in Under A Vast Sky)