2012 Great Glass Competition sponsored by B.I.--1st Place/Grand Prize winner, m. m. menefee-johnson
article by Charles Hall
Artist, mother, professional. All words that can be used to describe the four women whose art will be on display at the Pilates Body Arcadia Studio.
Four artists will be on display, artists that not only maintain an active portfolio but also maintain households and raise children. These artist/mothers all have a full plate, whether it is getting the kids ready for school every morning or working on their latest masterpiece.
Eugenia Carceller will be displaying her paintings at the Arcadia Art Show on October 21 at the studio, 4222 E. Indian School Road.
Carceller was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she lived a very family-oriented lifestyle in her close-knit community. Carceller moved to the United States after she had obtained a bachelor’s degree in Buenos Aires and after she had already joined an art studio.
When she first moved to the U.S., she worked for the Torpedo Art Studio in Alexandria, Virginia. Upon her arrival in Arizona, she studied first at the Shemer Art Center and then later at the Scottsdale Parks and Recreation.
Carceller likes to do landscapes. Somewhat abstract, some include images of people. Her paintings all have a texture to them, meaning they are not just 2-dimensional images.
Carceller also is raising three children ages, 10, 8, and 5 and is a full-time landscape designer. She uses acrylic paint for her mixed-media paintings, mostly on canvas.
Carceller’s paintings can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours. She will start one, put it down and pick it back up later to finish.
“I stop when I am happy with the result, not when a time has been reached,” she said.
“I also enjoy doing children’s paintings as gifts for baby showers, birthdays, things like that.”
The children paintings include artistic interpretations of the child’s name or more playful images, all while maintaining a healthy array of color and texture.
Carceller will have 15 paintings on display at the Arcadia Art Show and hopes to sell at least five of them. Her average for painting is $200-$1,200, she said.
Another artist scheduled to display her work has a very different medium but the same busy schedule.
Merritt M. Menefee-Johnson is a fused-glass artist. Born and raised in Lake Havasu City, Menefee-Johnson painted and drew often as a child. She always dreamed of becoming an artist.
Menefee-Johnson began her education at Northern Arizona University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. Her career in glass began with a minor set back in her interior-design job.
After being released from her first job, Menefee-Johnson found herself jobless and somewhat panicked. She had always had an interest in fused glass and collected it, but never had time to do it herself. She began taking classes at Mesa Arts Center and began creating pieces herself.
Menefee-Johnson also has children, two boys ages 3 and 7.
“I am a mom first,” she said.
In order to manage her schedule she likes to wake up early to work on her glass. Menefee-Johnson works on most of her art in a multi-kiln studio in Gilbert. She is making progress on creating her own studio inside of her garage so she does not have to travel.
She also does some large-scale pieces at the Mesa Art Center.
“As a stay-at-home mom, it is important to get out and interact with other people,” she said.
Her pieces take at least four days: a day for cutting the glass, another for bending and another for fusing. The last day is for shaping and smoothing until you have a finished product.
“It is a good day when you break something or cut yourself,” said Menefee-Johnson.
Menefee-Johnson will have seven pieces on display at the Arcadia Art Show, pieces like the fused-glass American flag that she created special for a Veteran Clinic in Carson City and Las Vegas, Nevada. She also will be displaying designer dinnerware and ornaments.
The two other artists scheduled to display work are Colleen Steinberg, a painter, and Jill Jungkeit, a jewelry artist.
Lisa Bettini Moro, who runs the Pilates Body Studio, said, “I just wanted to use my space, to help artists who are my friends.”
Admission to the show, which will be 6-10 p.m., is free, and there will be light food and wine.
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