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Prints by Ariz. artist commemorate writing conference

February 09, 2011

This year's Desert Nights, Rising Stars writing conference will be commemorated by artwork commissioned from Arizona artist Jake Early.

The image, which will appear on the conference program and bookbags, boldly captures the conference theme with craggy, sunset-colored desert mountains silhouetted against a deep purple sky, as a violet moon rises.

The 2011 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference will take place March 3-6 at the Piper Writers House, Old Main and the University Club, in the historic district on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

Faculty include Gretel Ehrlich, Andrea Barrett, Robert Boswell, Naeem Muur, Antonya Nelson, Jem Poster, David Shields, Tony Hoagland, Connie Voisine and C. Dale Young, who will teach classes in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Early, a California native, graduated from the graphic design program at California State University, Chico, and studied at the School of Fine Arts in Seville, Spain. His images of California, including his series of sights along Highway 1, have been highly sought after by collectors for many years.

His simple illustrative style, bold color palette, and strong depiction of place all resonate with collectors. One of Early’s trademarks is the use of metallic inks, which are created by mixing powdered metals into a clear ink base. These inks pick up and reflect light, often changing the mood of the print as natural lighting conditions change.

Early produced a limited edition (50) of his 18-by-24-inch silkcreen prints for Desert Nights, Rising Stars that are signed and numbered. They will be available for $40 before and during the conference, and $80 after the conference, if supplies last.

"This year's writing conference introduces a number of changes in scheduling and programming designed to enhance the experience for all of our participants. Jake Early's bold visual image is a striking announcement of our new direction; at the same time, it reinforces the conference's connection to place," said Peter Turchi, director of the Piper Center for Creative Writing.

To purchase a print, contact the Piper Center for Creative Writing at (480) 965-6018.