A year ago I set a goal for the continuing development of my art. I affirmed I
would work towards getting my name out for creating my art. At that time, I
was producing ceramic pieces which were rather lumpy. The glazes were
muddy or black. But, I did have seven large women and children. Glazes
were undistinguished, but the pieces I created were tortured and
I joined with Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and developed an exhibit,
featuring these women, called “To Restore their Dreams.” I wrote a poem
and divided it into six segments, one for each figure, and put them on large
posters. I displayed these first in my studio. We organized a film to be
shown at Mingus High School. Then I took this show to the Camp Verde
Library for three months, from May through July. Overall, several hundred
people were moved, some to tears, by the horrendous practice of
Having success with one library, I found a way to get my art into a second
library, the Clark Memorial. I arranged to put 30 pieces with the theme
“Visions of the Verde.” there for July and August. Forty people came to a
reception, and received the art positively. Their comments included
“beautiful,” “unique,” and “fun.”
I took three classes at the Reitz Ranch during this year. In January I
worked with Ben Roti on slab building. In May I took a class with Jeff Heeg,
“Finding your Voice in Clay.” In November I studied glazes and surface
decoration with Dexter Woods. Each of these classes brought on significant
growth in my art.
In the summer, when much of my art was visiting local libraries, I closed
down my studio, changed the name, and my refocussed my artistic
direction. I began the year doing ceramic assemblages with desert wood.
By the end of the summer I focussed my art on ceramic sculpture. My
studio changed from “Adrift” to “Ann Metlay Art.” Ann Metlay Art features
sculptures with definite shapes and bright colored finishes.
I reached into the art community. My art was recognized by Sedona
Monthly Magazine in January and February. Since June I have had wall
hangings in the Old Town Center for the Arts. I participated in the annual
show for Sedona Visual Artist Coalition in February. In April and October I
participated in Open Studios with SVAC.
Two of my pieces were included in the Sedona Arts Festival. And quite recently I
participated in Made in Clarkdale, a four-day celebration of the many artists of Clarkdale. Since May, my art has been displayed in the Muse Gallery in Old Town Cottonwood. In October I contributed three fountains to their outdoor
I have developed several muses for my art. Ongoing has been primitive art,
particularly African. Many of my masks demonstrate this inspiration. I have
spent much time studying cubist and expressionist abstractions, including
Picasso. And recently, after receiving a lithograph of an etching by Ynez
Johnston, a Berkeley artist, I have been looking at abstract art created in
the mid 20th century.
My most important inspiration for my art continues to be this local area. The
landforms: mountains, foothills, valleys, riverbanks. The skies, clouds,
sunsets, mist. the colors and seasons. All these can be seen in my pieces.
I frequently take photos on my trips to and from the Reitz Ranch. I use
these photos as I create my art. I incorporate poetry in about 1/3 of the
pieces I make.
Not only have I put significant effort into continuing my art.I continue to
write. I write monthly poems for a Shabbat service in Sedona. Twice a
month I publish a blog on my webpage. My writing for this has included
poetry, essays, recipes and short stories.
A final successful writing project for me has been offering “Memory Writing
Workshops” at the Clark Memorial Library. Beginning in February five to
eight women (not that we exclude men) have gathered monthly to share
their memory snippets, each time around a particular theme.
For 2020, my intention is to expand my artistic expressions. I will focus
more on my process, smoothing edges and joints. I will ferret out public response to my work, and use this in planning future artwork.
As solstice shadows deepen,
gauzy mist, like angel
wings of finespun silver,
hover, then drift over
the shoulders of the mountain.
Messengers from the Divine,
they whisper their secrets.
They have seen the glow.
Somewhere in the silence
of a wintry disturbance,
lie the harmonic chords
for an etude of Peace.
A sliver of the new moon
drifts across our darkening skies.
The promise of light returns
to the depths, where we stumble
in search of shared truths.
With hope, we portend
Days will lengthen.
Nighthawks will return to skim
across our folds of chaparral.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"