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Everyone Needs Beauty

11/1/16

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

The American Naturalist John Muir wrote in The Yosemite, “Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and places to pray in where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” Words local painting and ceramic artist Casey Cheuvront sets to motion each time she takes to the hills with her plein air equipment and determination for capturing a bit of nature’s magic.

Casey's favorite activities growing up in Ohio were her adventures traipsing through the woods, fishing and target shooting, bow and arrows in hand, with her dad. Back home, her mom, the “girly girl,” pursued her own interests in creating crafting products and turning out delectable baked goods. When Casey was 12, her family moved to California. This would change her outlook on her world, she instantly fell in love with California's sweeping vistas, golden, rolling hillsides, vast stretches of beach, towering redwoods, and the magnificent Yosemite highlands. 

Luckily, in grade school Casey had an art teacher who, “...opened my eyes to color, she showed me there is more to a shadow than gray, and I never stopped looking for the 'secret colors' from then on.” Casey attended Fresno State University for her undergraduate degree in psychology with parallel classes in studio art. In her studio classes, Casey dabbled in papermaking, bookbinding, sculpture, life drawing, architectural drawing, painting, and design, but it was love at first site when she discovered clay. College prerequisites dictated starting with a hand built ceramics class, but she longed to learn how to throw on a potter’s wheel. After some persuasion, the professor allowed her to enroll in his throwing class. As a result, Casey spent every spare minute perfecting the art of throwing. The department finally gave her clandestine permission to lock up the studio when she finished late. Casey worked her way through school supplementing her income selling her ceramics, art, and jewelry in local boutiques around town.

Recently, Casey completed a professional internship with Ken Willingham, a master potter/ceramicist, out of Horseshoe Gallery in June Lake, CA. She learned the ins and outs of running a production studio first-hand. She also discovered the Scottsdale Artist School, and was thrilled by a color workshop taught by Camille Przewodek, who studied under Henry Hensche, a student of Hawthorne’s. According to Casey, “The course was invaluable, once you learn to see color that way you can’t “unsee” it.”
  
Currently, Casey's indoor painting studio is in her home, and ceramics studio in one of the larger bays of her garage in Rio Verde; expansive views of Four Peaks, Bartlett Dam and the gorgeous desert skies provide inspiration enough for a lifetime. She just completed the 30-day painting challenge offered by Strada Easel, painting at least one plein air painting a day for 30 days. (Proceeds from these paintings are donated to her friend Heather's husband’s late stage cancer treatments not covered by insurance.)

Casey is a Juried Member of the Arizona Art Alliance and participated in the Art In PArtnership show at the Holland Center in Scottsdale in October. She just completed a showing at El Pedregal Gallery as a member of the Sonoran Arts League. The last two weekends in November, she will be at Studio #29 during the League’s annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour. Casey is submitting for the SAL Small Works Show during November, and will participate in the Sage Market Holiday Sale in December, also at the Holland Center. Her ceramics have been seen in northern Arizona at Esteban’s Gallery in Sedona, and occasionally at Cave Creek Olive Oil Company in Cave Creek. Future showings of Casey’s oils, acrylics, and pastels are scheduled for El Pedregal Gallery, Catitude Gallery in Avondale, and Moonshadow Gallery in Lake, CA.

For a full list of scheduled exhibits, to view samples of Casey Cheuvront’s work or to contact her, visit her website at www.caseycheuvront.com. She can also be found on Facebook at Casey Cheuvront Ceramics and Fine Art.

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.