By Carson Ralston
Library Specialist-Adult Programs
Verde Valley News – Come to Camp Verde Community Library this summer to view our newest art exhibit, “Double Take”, from the incredibly talented husband and wife duo, Debbie and Larry Gallagher.
In the view of many, art may be seen to be a solitary endeavor: the artist working alone to create their work of art, then sharing it with others. For Debbie and Larry Gallagher, creating art has recently become a more collaborative process. It all started after Debbie took a workshop from Claudia Hartley several years ago. She saw one of Larry’s photographs and asked if she could paint the scene that Larry captured. Since then, they have collaborated on several pieces.
Born on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota, of a Chippewa father and New England mother, Debbie received a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Portland. Her work incorporates many of her experiences with American Indian culture. With each painting Debbie strives to create a sophisticated balance between her emotions and the world she paints. In her art, Debbie hopes to express the concept of beauty, serenity, and awe: to capture the essence of the natural world and those that inhabit its realms. She spends a considerable amount of time observing the ever-changing land and its people. They never fail to inspire her, speaking to the qualities that form the core of the natural world. Debbie’s paintings depart from a traditional style, using a subjective response to nature, expressing landscapes in a bold, undisguised design using rich, vibrant colors to tell the story of the beauty around her. As you walk the journey with Debbie in her paintings, seek to listen with your eyes and heart, seeing the true spirit of the scene she portrays. She is a signature member of Northern Arizona Watercolor Society and a member of El Valle Artists Association, where her work has received awards and recognition.
Larry began taking photographs in the early 1980’s. He enjoys taking landscape images that portray the beauty and wonder of nature. As a resident of Camp Verde, the Verde River holds a special place in his heart, often serving as a subject of his photos. Whenever a chance permits, Larry will be out at first light or sunset, and sometimes in the middle of the night for Milky Way photography, capturing images of the southwest that convey the essence of the area. To him, photography is a way to celebrate our natural environment.
Debbie and Larry often find inspiration for their art while spending time camping and hiking with family in Arizona and the Southwest. Their collaborative process begins with a beautiful place, one in which they live to hike, have a picnic lunch, or just hang out. Larry will explore the area looking for interesting compositions for his photographs while Debbie will sketch or paint plein air. Later, Debbie will look through Larry’s photographs, pick one that she likes and interprets the scene using her own unique palette of colors and style. This process has resulted in collaborative work of the Verde River, the Grand Canyon, Watson Lake near Prescott, Joshua Tree National Monument, Big Lake in the White Mountains, and the high desert woodland of northern Arizona.
All paintings and photographs are for available for purchase by contacting Debbie and Larry.
Camp Verde Community Library is located just off Montezuma Castle Highway at 130 N Black Bridge Road in Camp Verde. The library is open Mon-Thu 8:00a-7:00p and Fri-Sat 9:00a-5:00p. For more information about this or any other library program, visit the library’s website at www.campverde.az.gov/cvcl or call 554-8380.