Museum’s Open Studio Tour October 23, 24

Andrea Pelch Maturango Museum Art Gallery Coordinator – The Open Studio Tour is a wonderful way to meet many of our local artists and see the amazing array of talent that we have in our community. Artists and craftspeople in Ridgecrest and Inyokern open their studios, or set up their displays in different venues so visitors can meet the artists, see their studios and purchase artwork.

The free map for the studio locations is available at the museum or e-mail gallery@maturango.org requesting the map and to get more information. The museum is open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Due to COVID and health-safety reasons, the studio visits and group show opening reception may be cancelled at the discretion of the Museum or the individual artists’ venues.

The artists participating in the tour this year are: Ace!, wire-wrapped semi-precious stone jewelry; Sally Adams, metal cut-out sculptures and copper jewelry; Beth Allen, western-themed oil paintings; Janice Allen, oil, pencil, charcoal and watercolor paintings of realistic animals and landscapes; Laura Arns, torch-worked glass; Debbie Benson, clay sculptures and functional items; Jerry Bradley, wood, metal and Corian sculptures; Nancy Crawford, watercolor and oil paintings; Kathy Fields, functional and sculptural ceramics; Birgit Gagliardi, ceramic artwork like birdhouses and castles and pumpkins; Vivian Hayes, watercolor and pastel paintings of flowers, buildings and landscapes; Lois Hinman, functional and sculptural pottery, ceramics and oil paintings; Howard Laire, silver and semi-precious stone jewelry, animals and abstract paintings; Mike Mumford, forged-steel artwork including shadow sculptures and decorative items; Kathleen Murray, expressive realism watercolor and acrylic paintings; Debra Newton, oil, watercolor and pastel paintings; Aubrey Phillips, wood sculptures, walking and talking sticks; Jenifer Ruddock, acrylic and watercolor paintings; Larry Sawyer, wood, metal and etched glass decorative and functional artwork; Eileen Shibley, abstract, floral, landscape and ‘wild women’ watercolor paintings.

This will be the 19th year that the Museum has sponsored this event – it is one of their major fundraisers and a fun and entertaining experience for all ages.

A new artist this year is Aubrey Phillips.

Aubrey Phillips – Fascination with Wood

What do you see when you pick up a piece of wood? If you’re Aubrey Phillips, you might see a swirl, a suggestion of an animal, or the structure of a sculpture that just needs some help to bring it out.

Phillips works with interesting pieces of natural found wood, dead tree roots, branches and even regular milled wood for his creations. In addition to his improvement-on-nature pieces, he also does yard decorations, such as wishing wells, model stage coaches, swings, pergolas, windmills, and more, all brightly painted. He builds practical items like furniture, in addition to the abstract-style found wood carvings.

With found wood, he starts simply. “I take off the bark and dirt, look it over real good, decide what has to come off and what has to stay, then another day I come back to it and do a bit more.”

Currently on display in the Maturango Museum’s Coso Art Gallery are four of Phillips’ varnished found-wood pieces and one of his brightly-painted walking sticks.

What makes him happiest about his art? “When I show someone a finished piece and they give me a ‘Wow!’”

Phillips will be participating in the Maturango Museum’s Open Studio Tour, Oct. 23 and 24. The Artists’ Group Exhibit will be on display through Oct. 31.

Story First Published: 2021-10-15