For over 25 years Arts Prescott on Whiskey Row has provided great local art as a cooperative, artist-run business. Many of the gallery artists have collectors who come in regularly to see what’s new. The gallery has more than survived, and sometimes thrived, even during the recent pandemic.
Asa gesture of thanks to the community for its support, every December Arts Prescott hosts a fundraiser art show to benefit a local nonprofit. The gallery has done this since it opened in 1994, usually alternating between animal-focused and a people-focused charities. Joy Herhold, a member since 2019, said, “Your heart goes out and you want to contribute to the well-being of others. If we can do that through art, it’s a win-win.” This year the gallery has chosen to raise funds for Operation Deep Freeze, an overflow shelter for unhoused individuals when the outdoor temperature falls to freezing. All proceeds from the sale of these pieces will go to ODF.
Donations from Arts Prescott member artists include jewelry, paintings, ceramics, photography, gourd art and a unique medium used by Joy Herhold, who often sews pieces of handmade paper into framed art using her sewing machine, but is also a printmaker. Our cover piece, “Pouring Love,” is a 20” by 16” a linocut print on rice paper.
Ann Ramsey also knows her way around a sewing machine. Her donation is a lap quilt or child’s quilt in greens and blues, and even has a pocket on the back for a child to stick her feet in and get cozy on the couch. It comes with the children’s book Old Turtle, which many of us know and love as a classic. (Spoiler : this item has already been sold— it never even made it into the show!)
One of the unique jewelry donations is a pendant called “Button It Up” by Leslie Parsons, made from an antique abalone button from Afghanistan on an etched sterling-silver backplate with a citrine on the front.
Long time co-op member Marjorie Claus has donated a mixed-media piece called “Compassion” for the fundraiser. “As an individual, when I see a person in a situation that is beyond my means to help, I turn to organizations that are already doing the work. Operation Deep Freeze is doing just that. I felt moved to donate my painting out of a desire to help ODF raise money and awareness for their good work.”
Shelley Fletcher is known throughout the Southwest as an accomplished gourd artist, recently featured in this publication. Her donation is a standing gourd, etched with a burning tool, painted with stains and decorated with turquoise inlay. Shelley’s gourds all have lids cutout to follow the graphic design of the piece so that when you liftoff the lid and put it back on, the cut disappears into the design. Very sneaky, and a great place to hide things.
There are 31 members currently at Arts Prescott Gallery, and all will be donating pieces for the fundraiser, including the other artworks featured here. To view them all, visitArtsPrescott.com.
Operation Deep Freeze
ODF is an emergency shelter offering beds and warm meals when the weather is expected to be freezing or below, 5pm-7am. Existing local shelters don’t have enough room for all of those living without homes, so some must sleep outdoors when they can’t get a spot in a shelter, and some prefer to sleep outdoors for various reasons. ODF exists to insure that everyone has a warm place when it’s really cold.
The organization started over a decade ago in response to a local person freezing to death with only a flyer for a free meal and 72 cents in change. This prompted the Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ)to open an emergency shelter for unhoused people on freezing nights. After five years the program closed down due to lack of funding.
Last winter the Quad City Interfaith Council (QCIC)stepped up to organize bringing back this important service to the community. QCIC is a group of faith-based organizations working together under the mission, “In all our efforts we strive to promote human dignity.”
Having to spend nights outdoors in the winter is no joke, even with a decent sleeping bag. People get sick, which can get bad when their health may already be compromised by circumstances. Having a safe, warm place for anyone who needs it, plus an organized way to transport them to the shelter, takes pressure off law enforcement, the fire department and hospital emergency departments.
Overflow shelter on freezing nights is available for men at the Salvation Army and at Prescott Area Shelter Services (PASS)for women and children. When freezing temperatures are forecast the word goes out to local law enforcement, the library and all local shelters that overflow emergency shelter is available that night and where to access it. Last year on average 10-15 people were sheltered each night, to as many as 30.
The CCJ is the fiscal agent for ODF. Money raised for ODF goes toward providing beds and meals specifically this year for women and children at PASS, and will help provide meals for the Salvation Army shelter for men, which will be running a cold-weather overflow shelter of its own outside the auspices of ODF. To make a donation to Operation Deep Freeze, visit YavapaiCCJ.org/donate or contact Allison Lenocker at QCICprescott@gmail.com.
We at 5enses feelthe importance of sharing stories of small local businesses giving back to the community, and encourage our readers to shop at Arts Prescott Gallery during December to support and keep safe our unhoused neighbors. You can go home with a beautiful piece of art, knowing that you helped keep someone warm on cold Prescott nights.
The opening reception for the ODF fundraiser show will take place at the Arts Prescott Gallery, 134 S Montezuma, on November 26, 5-8pm, coinciding with the monthly 4th Friday ArtWalk. The show will be up till December 28.