Green Valley artists join for exhibit

The Hilltop is very proud to feature the works of, not one, but SEVEN Green Valley artists this month.  Georgia Dublar, Donna Garven, Susan Hanon, Jeanne Mekelburg, Eva Rios, Laura Rowley and Lee Taylor have joined together to bring fine examples of their work to our walls.  This represents the first such collaborative effort by the Hilltop, and we welcome these artists and guests to see this unique exhibit through the 28th.

Scholarship awarded to College



Hilltop Scholarship

Hilltop Board member Curtis Kraushaar shakes hands with local Cochise College’s art department head Tanya Borgensen after agreement for the Gallery to award a $1,500 scholarship deserving art students for the Fall term.  An awards celebration for two student recipients already identified is planned for November.  Cochise’s director Gabriel Galindo emails us: “Words cannot describe how grateful we are…”  Stay tuned for more news about this exciting new program,  Also, check out our special guest exhibit at the College featuring photography from George Thomson (see previous posts) (Hilltop scholarships are made possible in part by generous donations from United Way, Santa Cruz Community Foundation and our  members.)



A lotta cars


Both art and car buffs were satisfied this last Sunday during Luis Preciado’s themed exhibit opening:  “Cars”, or the art of autos. 
 A festive crowd showed up on a beautiful afternoon to enjoy grilled hot dogs with all the trimmings, plus delicious salads, desserts and other goodies generously contributed by members.  Outside, a few antique cars and their aficionados celebrated Spring.  There was also “El Rey DJ” playing 50’s favorites…and even some young enthusiasts in retro costume.
…And, did we mention the pictures were also delightful??
(read previous post to learn more about this very talented and beloved local artist)


Sonoran talent joins our own

Abel Aguildar
“Pato” Aguilar chose shades of gold and black for his collection
It’s not often the Hilltop showcases several artists in one show, filling up all available wall and counter space,  but this last weekend we saw that the multiple formula added to the impact.
While headliner and frequent Gallery exhibitor Abel (“Pato”) Aguilar took over the main gallery rotunda with his show commemorating a “golden anniversary” with pieces  all in gold and/or black,  Sonoran artists Carlos Mal, Alma Rodriguez and Christian Gomez took over the rear gallery with their colorful scenes and politically-themed inspirations.
Alma Rodriguez opted for bright colors
Made possible through a partnership with the Mexican Consulate, this is the first time in recent memory that artists from Mexico joined local talent to exhibit together.
The four-artist exhibit will hang until March 31.


Class act

This month we are focused on community outreach, and are proud to announce our first partnership with Pierson Vocation High School in Nogales as part of our new Arts With Schools program.
Teaching this four-week session starting mid-month will be Faith Posey, a Chicago native and now Nogalian with extensive teaching experience and expertise in drawing, painting, stained glass and glazing.  Listed in the “Who’s Who of American Women”, Faith brings a strong passion for her work, plus impressive architectural and construction credentials from Chicago.
Faith Posey
Acclaimed artist Faith Posey to lead classes
“We’re very pleased to have Faith lead this partnership”, noted Gallery Board president Derwent Suthers, “We hope this is the first of many similar programs in schools which have cut their arts program in recent years.”  Only 40% of schools in Santa Cruz County are listed as having arts program, and art teacher jobs go begging for lack of local qualified teachers.
In addition to the classes at Pierson, efforts are underway to launch weekend print-making workshops with Board member Alex Jones (see previous post here. ) Janice Johnson will continue to lead the Wednesday “drop in” classes and Saturday session for kids,  with Anne Jehle taking over for Friday’s painting sessions.
The Gallery is also hosting field trips such as the recent group of visitors  from Silver Springs senior center in Green Valley and local Boys Scout Troops.  During the summer, the Gallery holds kids classes via special partnership with the Superintendent of Schools.   In the Fall we like to support local events, such as the Tumacacori Fiesta, by holding art demonstrations.
In all, our commitment to arts awareness and education  is now stronger than ever, and we thank our members, community supporters and grant-givers for making this initiative possible!

Scouts scout us out

Nogales’ Boy Scouts Troop 555/Den 4 visited the Hilltop today to preview the new Cowboys exhibit, which opens to the public this weekend.  Troop Leader Adriana Granados accompanied the dozen or so young art enthusiasts and their parents who learned from Janice Johnson how to tie Western knots and other useful skills for outdoorsmen.

Kids (of all ages) make art

Our art classes for kids have even “roped in” Moms and other adult enthusiasts (like our intern Marilyn Leon!) Join us for this popular series when we start again January 16, 23, 30 and February 6th., from 10:30AM to 12PM . (Kids 4+ please).
It’s only $2.00 per class, and the top 10 to sign up for the series gets a free apron.  Refreshments post-class included. 
On Wednesday’s  at noon we host “Adult Art”.  Not what it sounds:  just grown-ups painting together, enjoying some refreshments and camaraderie.  Hope you can join us!

Remember:  Our Holiday Market is open 30th and 31st for unique last-chance items.  Happy Holidays!

Award to Shipley Family Foundation

Hilltop FOMA 15

Last Thursday at a private Board and  members’ reception, The Hilltop gave its Friends Of The Arts (FOTA) award for 2015 to the Shipley Family Foundation for their support of our Gallery and local arts programs.
Gallery president Suthers (left) presented the award to Foundation principal Karen Sykes (née Shipley) and her father, Robert Shipley.
The Hilltop’s FOTA Award is given each year to one local organization that has most supported the Gallery financially and/or through their volunteer efforts.  Mosaic artist and former Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino also presented the Shipleys with a gift of his framed artwork as a special thank you.
Karen commented that her children always used to love coming up to the Gallery to do art on weekends, and she wanted to support this long-standing program. We are very fortunate to have committed community members like the Shipley and other families, and thank them for their generous gifts!

Holiday Art program for kids



Hilltop - Janice classes
Janice Johnson is organizing the new art program for kids.

In collaboration with the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Alfredo Velasquez, the Hilltop is pleased to offer a new arts education opportunity for community children to “get creative” in preparation for the Holidays.

Held on three consecutive Saturday mornings starting December 5,  from 10:30 to noon, the new Art for Kids program answers the needs expressed by local parents for something new and fun for their children to do on weekends.

As a special incentive to sign up early, free aprons will be given out to the first dozen students.

The flyer, below, is being distributed in schools to announce the new program:


Fall classes schedule

Gallery artist Janice Johnson and volunteer ready for Fall art classes. The schedule will be announced soon.
Artist and instructor Janice Johnson and volunteers readying for Fall art classes.
Fall/Winter art sessions will begin at the Gallery September 30th funded in part by the Community Foundation for Southern AZ.  The seven-week sessions are as follows:
Anne Jehle's
Anne Jehle’s “Cats” series was very popular at our Members’ show last year. Learn how to draw and paint animals from this pro!
WEDNESDAYS, Open Studio with pro Janice Johnson (drop in and paint) 1-4 PM.  Cost:  $5 per class or $25 pre-paid for 7 classes.   FRIDAYS, 3:30-5 PM:  Back to Basics:  Learn to Sketch & Paint, with local artist (and frequent exhibitor) Anne Jehle.  Cost: $5 per class or $25 pre-paid Ages 8+.   SATURDAYS, 10:30AM-12PM:  Art for Kids, with Janice Johnson,  Ages  4-10Cost: $2 per class or $12 pre-paid.  
Hope to see you here!