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Via Linda Artists exhibit work at ASU Gammage

December 08, 2009

Every week, a group of artists from Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills gathers to paint, discuss their work, offer critiques, and encourage each other.

The fruits of their 10-year association, which began at the Via Linda Senior Center in Scottsdale, are on display at ASU Gammage through Dec. 27.

Members of the Via Linda Artists who are exhibiting their work include Naomi Goodell, Sher Dunshee-Menton, Linda Goodman, Betty Leonelli, Jody Miles, Ellen Rothbart, Madeline Linsley Smidt and Vivian A. Taylor.

The artists work together to express their innermost feelings and thoughts about every aspect of life around them. “That,” they say, “is what art is all about.”

The experience of painting as a group enriches each artist, and helps further their common goal: “to create art that speaks to its audience with power and honesty, and most importantly, integrity.”

Their artwork is as unique as the artist:

• Naomi Goodell began painting as a child, and enjoyed a prolific career while living in Dallas. After moving to Arizona and serving as a development professional at ASU, she resumed her art involvement.

“My subjects are primarily faces and places –people and scenes that attract me because of their liveliness, beauty and charm,” she said.

• Sher Dunshee-Menton earned her BFA degree at the University of Iowa and worked as an art director and graphic designer. After a 10-year sailing sabbatical, she returned to creating fine art.

“My artistic vision is surrounded by touch and feeling, the rhythms of shape and color, and the vastness of textures. My object is to parallel in paint what I feel about life and spirit,” she said.

• Linda Goodman earned a BFA in art and architectural history from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She has worked in sales, marking and interior design, and she now paints in acrylics and designs jewelry.

• Betty Leonelli has painted for more than 30 years and taught for five. She holds a BBA degree from Armstrong University. “Painting is my passion and I enjoy painting loosely and quickly. I look for inspiration in everything I see around me,” she said.

• Jody Miles was born in Yuma and attended school in Sacramento and Asuncion, Paraguay. She was an interior designer for 35 years, and began painting after her retirement. “Little did I realize how important the decision to learn to paint was to be for me. I am a very social painter and I love the camaraderie and the true friendships that bond artists,” she said.

• Ellen Rothbart was always interested in art but did not begin painting until 1999. “My desire to learn the techniques of the old masters, and my natural attention to detail led to a style of amazingly realistic portrait painting,” she said. “My greatest pleasure is to watch the joy on someone’s face when they first see their commissioned portrait. They are usually struck by the likeness, but more importantly, they sense the personality and love showing through the portrait.”

• Madeline Linsley Smidt received a degree in art history from Columbia University. She is a self-taught artist who has been painting in oil and watercolor since 1993. “I try to paint from the heart,” she said. “My art is abstract and emotional. I like to express what I’m feeling about my environment and human relationships. Besides, the smell of wait paint is delicious!”

•Vivian A. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in art and literature from Midwestern University, Texas, and did graduate work at UCLA. She was director of visual aids in UCLA’s art history department and an artist and scene designer in university and community theaters in Texas and California.

“My painterly style focuses on strong light and shadow juxtaposition using jewel-tone colors to achieve depth and subtlety in the final stage of painting,” she said.

Exhibit hours at ASU Gammage are 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, or by appointment. Due to rehearsals, event set-up, performances, special events and holidays, it is advisable to call (480) 965-6912 or (480) 965-0458 the day attendance to ensure viewing hours, since they are subject to cancellation without notice.

Parking is available at meters around the perimeter of ASU Gammage. Entrance is through the East Lobby Doors at the Box Office. For more information call Brad Myers, (480) 965-6912.