4/29/2013 1:40:00 PM It's In My Nature' -- New works by Raina Gentry at Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery
Artist Raina Gentry's current series of new works -- “It’s In My Nature" -- promises to be a highlight of the Verde Valley’s spring art season when it opens at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery on May 4.
Fire on the Mountain by Raina Gentry
In the past 10 years, artist Raina Gentry has become a dominant force in Northern Arizona's art world.
Her vibrant mixed-media and acrylic paintings engage the viewer with their keen compositions, play of patterns and figural representations of animals, humans and robots.
"It's In My Nature," her current series of new works, promises to be a highlight of the Verde Valley's spring art season when it opens at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery on May 4.
"As with much of my work, the theme is nature," says Gentry. The title has another meaning as well, she explains, "It is in my nature to paint in a certain way. I have a unique way of seeing and expressing nature."
Part of Gentry's nature is her use of brilliant colors and layering of patterns and textures in the ever-evolving themes she explores, all which maintain the continuity of her distinct style. Though she never starts a series with a plan in mind, each piece informs the next.
Gentry says, "I started this body of work with the piece, 'Symphony in the Desert.' This painting happened very spontaneously, and I was very pleased with the results and wanted to create more like it with the desert theme, but I have little control over this stuff." Instead, she allows the art to travel wherever it takes her and the series continued to develop a good momentum.
"I wanted to really see what I could do with this very simple composition. Color is the driving factor in all of these," she said. Many of the paintings also feature rabbits, perhaps an appropriate harbinger of the spring season. "Not sure why I chose rabbits," said Gentry, "They just seemed appropriate for the 'story'."
Raina Gentry is a Prescott resident and has been both student and teacher at Prescott College. The school was her initial impetus to move to Prescott from California in the 1990s. A rock climber, she was in pursuit of an outdoor education degree and, remarkably, had no serious aim towards art until heading off to the University of Arizona's art department in the year 2000.
The creative floodgates opened in Tucson, and Gentry's success grew in leaps and bounds.
With a previous background in business management, she is adept at managing her art professionally
Her work may be seen in numerous venues throughout the state.
"It's In My Nature" opens Saturday, May 4, at the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery and runs through the end of June. The opening-night reception takes place from 5-8 p.m. in conjuction with Jerome's popular ARTwalk.
The gallery is located at 502 Main, in the historic Hotel Jerome building, and open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information. call 928-639-4276 or visit jeromecoop.com.