Mystical Journey, the newest exhibit at Tucson International Airport (TIA) on display through November 30 in the Upper Link Gallery, features the work of three talented Tucson painters: Sue Betanzos, Catherine Eyde, and Janet Miller.
Sue Betanzos' love of nature, especially wildlife, is expressed in her sweet portrait of Little Scout, the desert mouse, peeking through cracked glass and framed with a stained glass mosaic.
"Art is my lifestyle. Thinking about and creating art is what I do 24/7," she explains. Reverse glass painting, mosaic, and clay all figure in the work presented in this show as well as the permanent installations at the entrances to the baggage level restrooms she created for Tucson International Airport in 2008.
Ms. Betanzos is currently working on a public art commission for the Port of San Diego, a mixed media mosaic picnic art table top which can be seen at Sea Port Village. Details about her work are available at http://betanzosdesigns.blogspot.com/.
Catherine Eyde's anthropomorphic figures and wide-eyed humans decorate dreamy landscapes. "My artwork is about place - reflections on life, culture and the signs of our times," she explains.
Inspired by the art of Persia, India and Arabia, Ms. Eyde's paintings continue to evolve in eastern oriented work. Some of the paintings work without a figure as a central focus of the picture. In these paintings of idealized landscapes, she has omitted the figure to encourage the viewer to escape to her surreal places of mystery, beauty and intrigue. See samples of her work at http://www.catherineeyde.com/.
These works are rich with color, and lush landscapes surround places of comfort in the forms of tents, boats and bedding. Mountains are carved with passages, swirling clouds encircle the skies of red, yellow and blue, and trails of water flow throughout the work. Curious trees are a part of the painting, their unique forms lead the viewer through the picture, conveying a human quality by the way they are positioned within the work.
Janet Miller claims, "to be inspired by food, maps, written and spoken language; travels in Yemen, Syria and the Sinai; my vividly remembered childhood and dreams, and the stark landscapes and extreme weather of the desert where I live."
All those themes are expressed in the current exhibit at TIA, which feature a number of her reverse glass paintings including tourists, tour guides, Loyal Fatty the dog and his drooling germ laden buddy. Reverse glass painting is an obscure process involving painting backwards on the wrong side of clear glass.
Self taught, Ms. Miller encountered reverse glass painting in Senegal where it is a traditional art form known as peinture sous verre. "I was enchanted by the paintings I brought back from Senegal. I loved the luminosity and depth that the glass gave the colors. For years I thought about trying to paint on glass, and finally tried it in 1993," she says.
?I am often asked if it's tedious or frustrating working inside out and backwards, but I'm left-handed and dyslexic, and for me it feels natural and comfortable. It was very liberating to discover this technique.?
For more information visit: http://www.janetkmiller.com/.
The temporary exhibits program at TIA 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 TAA's Arts & Culture Program can be found at http://www.tucsonairport.org/.