The work of artists Diana Creighton and Ann Simmons-Myers are now on display at Tucson International Airport (TIA).
In the Center Ring Diana Creighton's oil paintings from her Animal World Series is on exhibit through March 31 in the TIA Center Gallery, center ticketing level.
Her whimsical paintings position anthropomorphic animals interacting with humans and each other in every day situations.
"I have always used figures and animals in my work, usually to tell a story. I set up a narrative that lets me comment on actions and motivations and explore emotions without the paintings becoming maudlin or sentimental. In my cast of characters, the women are nurturing, or controlling, or both and often take charge of things," explains Ms. Creighton.
"The bear is modeled on a life-sized stuffed animal that lives in my studio. He is a stand-in for various human traits, a kind of everyman. He intends to do things right but gets into scrapes, or is lazy, or gets distracted. Sometimes he is just tired.
"The rats are -- well - rats," she continues. "They boss people around and are sly. The horse and cat are new characters for me. Both are vulnerable and a little frightened about what is happening, but basically solid citizens."
Ms. Creighton is a member of the Figs, seven painters and sculptors living in Oracle, Arizona, who meet regularly for critique and discussion.
She has a degree in literature from Stanford University, where she also studied art. She received additional training at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and Arizona State University.
The second new exhibit, a body of work by Anne Simmons-Myers, is on display adjacent to the Concourse B security checkpoint through May 31, 2010.
Featuring a selection of landscape photographs of Japan and Sri Lanka from the series Prior Vision, the exhibit includes images from two trips to Sri Lanka that documented the effects of a tsunami on the war-torn country in 2005, and a 2006 trip to Japan. During this period Simmons-Myers' studio burned down, destroying her ability to make photographs, causing her to question her own artistic beliefs.
As digital technology overtakes film and photo chemistry, Ms. Simmons-Myers says she is suffering from 'digital distress.' An expert in 'alternative processes,' the 19th and early 20th century methods of making photographs, she mourns the loss of making an object with her hands.
Not only is sitting at a computer to make images unfulfilling to her, she is too independent to accept the insertion of a virtual world between the artist and the finished photograph. However, in her show Simmons-Myers shows us a range of possibilities by combining these two antithetical ways of making pictures, abrading, over painting and burnishing her straight digital photographs, creating something entirely new.
All of the hand worked images of Prior Vision were made with this process in mind.
Ann Simmons-Myers has lived in Tucson for the past 30 years where she runs the Photography program in the Visual Arts Department at Pima Community College. For more information about Simmons-Myers visit http://www.ethertongallery.com/.
The temporary exhibits program at Tucson International Airport is open to artists living in the airport's trade area: Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Santa Cruz Counties in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Since the Authority initiated this community outreach program in 1991, it has hosted exhibits by hundreds of artists in the region. Details about the Tucson Airport Authority Arts & Culture Program can be found at www.tucsonairport.org.