Submitted photo
Wes Hartin, an abstract acrylic painter explains that he often doesn’t know what he’ll end up when he begins painting and that the ability for different people to view the same painting differently should be celebrated. The Anthem resident has a studio in Cave Creek.


Anthem gallery puts area artists on display
Staff Report ~ 5/25/2010

A Cave Creek photographer that hand-colors black and white photographs, an Anthem woman who creates handcrafted glass tableware and an Anthem acrylic painter are among the featured artists at the Anthem Art Gallery through
the month of June.
“The show features a variety of creative interpretations of uniquely Arizona art,” Anthem Art Gallery Curator Dawn Kirchner said. “Visitors will enjoy an interesting range of two- and three-dimensional art on display from artists who live and create in our community.”

Alan Lowy- Photographer
For more than 30 years Alan Lowy has been teaching classes on photography. After starting his career in Michigan he and his wife Penny moved to Arizona where he decided a different tact would need to be taken to stand out in his field
“All the photographers were doing the southwestern imagery,” he said. “Everybody shoots Sedona, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, mountains, cactus. To me it started looking all the same.”
Instead of following the crowd Lowry decided to go in a different direction with his art as a photographer.
Among the projects he focuses on are shooting environmental nude as well as western items.
For the display at the Anthem Art Gallery Lowry offered some black and white photos that he believes appeal to the equestrian crowd in the North Valley.
“I’m fascinated with saddles,” he said. “A lot of them have great detail and I prefer shooting the more rugged ones, the ones that have some wear and tear. That’s what we were looking for.”
Another image includes some spurs from a unique angle, as Lowy was laying down
and shooting up.
“One of the things I talk about in the classes I teach is vision,” he said. “I tell students to set their camera down on a tripod and then walk around the tripod. That gives them a chance to see the subject matter from all different vantage points, whether it’s high, low, right or left. It’s not hard to teach composition, but sometimes it’s hard to obtain vision. Most people learn to look. They see the whole picture, but sometimes they miss the bits and pieces within that picture that make the scene interesting.”
The other main feature to Lowy’s display is that his black and white images have been hand colored using pencils.
“We shoot the digital prints in color, then take out the color using the computer,” he said. “I could shoot using black and white film, but with that process I’d loss a lot of the subtlety we get shooting color. People then ask why if I wanted color photos why didn’t I just shoot them that way to begin with. Doing it this way you can use selective color. If you really want to highlight something, maybe you only color that focal point and leave the rest in black and white. You also have the freedom to display the photo in the mind’s eye. It’s your interpretation of what you saw. You’re making the image your own rather than just recording what was there.”
For information on Lowy’s work go to

Karen Ledin – Glass Mosaics
Karen Ledin’s introduction into the art world came in 2001 as a way to humor her mother.
“She came out to visit and announced that I needed a hobby,” Ledin recalls. “We looked at a variety of different things and I wasn’t really excited about any of them, but one day we were walking through Target and I saw this mosaic table that I liked. I looked at the price though and was blown away. I thought, I can do that.”
After taking some classes, learning how to cut glass, learning how to use kilns, she knew she had really stumbled onto something.
“It was amazing,” she said. “I finally understood what it was to have a real
passion,” she said.
Whether it is vases, bowls or platters Ledin said she loves what she is doing.
“It has to be functional,” she said. “Whatever it is I do I want it to be something people can use, but at the same time, when they aren’t using it I don’t want it to be something that is sitting in a cupboard. I try to make things that people will want to
put out on display.”
Ledin, an Anthem resident since 1999, said inspiration for her patterns spring upon her from an array
of different places.
“It’s really everywhere I look,” she said. “You see interesting patterns all over the place. Sometimes I just have to remember them, but often I’ll take pictures of them. I really enjoy using bright colors. Those seem to be popular. I want the customer to smile when they buy it and still be smiling when they look at it ten years later.”
For information on Ledin go to

Wes Hartin – Abstract
Acrylic Painting
His art is such that Wes Hartin no longer signs his name on the
front of his paintings.
“I don’t want to bias people as to which is right side up,” he said. “I have learned things from people that have viewed my art. I had one piece that I thought was a sailing ship on fire. They looked at it and saw four horses. That’s what is so amazing. It’s part of the wonder of art. Every time you look at a piece you might get something different from it.”
The Anthem artist said that upon retiring from an IT position he knew he wanted to do some painting.
“My interest in art goes a long way, but I really didn’t know if it would be oil or acrylic or what that would inspire me,” he said. “I ended up reading a book by Jackson Pollock and decided to use one of his techniques.”
Hartin said he often begins painting only with a mood.
“I’ll want something cool so I’ll work with blues and green,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be moody. Then I’ll used black and white and red. Black is a color a lot of artists shun, but to me it’s a very powerful color. I have a pretty good imagination. I feel my strength is the blending of colors and textures. I feel pretty comfortable in those areas.”
Like Pollock, Hartin said there’s no such thing as an accident.
“I don’t know how to really describe the process, but I get into a zone and things start talking to me. Sometimes I think I’m done and I’ll look back and see something else I can do,” he said. “I’ll hang it on a wall and sometimes I’ll rotate it for a week and look at it for hours before it comes to me. It’s the most amazing thing. It always happens that it will give me its name. That’s when I feel fulfilled.”
Hartin said he’s never been concerned with how people view his pieces, just so long as they enjoy them.
“That’s what is so amazing,” he said. It’s part of the wonder of the art that people can see the same things so many different ways. I feel good knowing that every time you look at a piece you might get something different from it. That’s what makes such great emotional ties.”
For information on Hartin go to
The exhibit, which also includes Robert and Carolyn Thomas of Surprise exhibiting landscape oil paintings and hand-made, southwestern-style baskets, runs through July 1. It is open to the public Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and by appointment by
calling 623-533-5810.
Anthem Art Gallery opened in 2009 as a component of The Caepe School, a private, nondenominational college preparatory school. The Gallery is located next to The Caepe School at 42212 N. 41st Drive in Anthem. For info about the gallery go to