As a lifelong artist, Robin Parnell is constantly emerging. Her exploration and work with a variety of media continues to expand. These have included mixed media paintings full of texture and color, vibrant alcohol inks on tile, and handmade paper clay bowls that incorporate found elements such as flowers and shells. In addition to her privately commissioned pieces, her art has been displayed at many galleries and juried venues throughout New England and the Southwest.
In 1972, Jerry Gwin began to design furniture and kitchen cabinetry for his own company The Woodpeckers Custom Woodworking Inc. in Tucson. After leaving the Air Force, Gwin found inspiration and joy in craftsmanship. Gwin was never formally trained in woodworking, but that worked to his advantage, and his free-spirited approach to the craft set him apart. By the 1980’s, Gwin had designed a wide range of wood furniture and custom kitchens.
Gwin’s customers included Tucson Electric Power, Kelly Electric and the University of Arizona. Gwin has been an active member of his community, volunteering at several organizations, especially with The Habitat for Humanity where he helped build homes in Tucson, The Marana Food Bank and The Town of Marana. Notably he received the Jim Kolbe Award for “Community Development Block Grant – Building Blocks for America” in 1994. Fundamental to Gwin’s designs are his specifications regarding dimensions, material type, finish, and construction of each piece. Gwin’s quality remained high throughout his career and involved the expertise and hard work of his master craftsmanship. After retirement Gwin has continued to produce his love of woodworking through Kokopelli Art designs. Each piece is handcrafted and originally designed by Gwin.
Anja Leigh has lived a creative life, continuously exploring and expressing her many artistic talents. This includes writing, photography, composing, folksinger, musical theatre and poetry performances, and teaching. Now in her 70s these multi-faceted interests and talents are combined in her visual artwork. Anja was one of the first three women photographers to exhibit her work at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in the 1970s (she had a completely different name then and has, in fact, used various names in many different venues). In addition, two of her photos have been published in Contemporary Issues and Decisions: Reading, Writing, and Thinking in Today’s World (2004). Most currently her photos and poetry were published in the Fall/Winter 2017/2018 Cababi Art & Literature Magazine. At the age of 52 she started her academic pursuits, earning her Bachelor of Arts in English: Creative Writing (magna cum laude) at the age of 60, and her Master of Arts in the same discipline at the age of 62. She then taught university and college level writing classes in the Los Angeles area before moving to Tucson in 2010, where she taught at Pima Community College until “retiring” in December 2015. Her poetry has been published in many journals, and she’s read her poems at countless venues throughout the United States.