Sea of Cortez Wrap-Up: What A Weekend!

One of the banners which uses an image from my frigate bird triptych
One of the banners which uses an image from my frigatebird triptych

Most of us who have traveled in groups have experienced the phenomena of everyone swearing undying friendship and promising to stay in touch and then, after awhile…crickets….as the participants all go back to their daily lives and routines. There was no reason to believe that this group would be any different or that very many would make the effort and spend the money to come back from all over the country for a one-day opening reception and group dinner. But I, and they, did! Every artist in the show was at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on March 16!

I didn’t take as many photos I as probably should have or could have, but sometimes one just wants to be a part of an event, not a recorder of it, and this was definitely one of those times. As seems to be the case with events like this, there’s never enough time to see and talk to everyone else although I did my best.

Dr. David Wagner greets a guest. My triptych "Magnificent Flyer" was chosen for the "title wall" for which I am very honored
Dr. David Wagner greets a guest. My triptych “Magnificent Flyer” was chosen for the “title wall” for which I am very honored

It’s an amazing show we’ve collectively created and I am honored to be a part of it. I think we really captured the spirit of the Sea of Cortez and the area where we spent a week in March of 2010. Yes, it’s been two years since the trip. You can read about it and the creation of two of my three paintings in the show here.

Guy Combes and Andrew Denman
Guy Combes and Andrew Denman

As enjoyable as the opening was, the REAL fun began at the home of the couple who put their fishing yacht at our disposal on the trip (without which there would be no Sally Lightfoot crab or magnificent frigatebird paintings) and then hosted us all for dinner in the evening. It was warm, a nice break from the cold or rainy winter weather elsewhere, and there was a even live mariachi band to accompany the delicious Mexican food.

John Kobold, Ronnie Williford, Paula Williford, Mary Garrish
John Kobold, Ronnie Williford, Paula Williford, Mary Garrish

As a way to show our appreciation to Dr. Wagner for all his hard work and organizing of the trip and then the exhibition (definitely an exercise in cat herding at times), after dinner a number of us presented a light-hearted, but sincere tribute roast.

Paul Rhymer and Carolyn Thome
Paul Rhymer and Carolyn Thome

Yours truly kicked it off with a “media analysis” of the tremendously conscientious (a steady stream of emails month in and month out for over two years) communication on the part of Dr. Wagner. Then followed a recreation of The Incident of the Stingray Sting (hoping to post the link to a video when available), the Sting Ray Song and the presentation of various gifts and awards. Our hosts were also put on the spot recognized and then, as the finale, Andrew Denman sang, with new words, “We’ll Do It Our Way”, which tells the story of the trip and some of the memorable things we saw. The video for that is available for viewing here. You can see photos of the reception and the evening’s festivities here.

Here are the credits for the cast:

David Wagner Gets Roasted

Andrew Denman, as The Singer
Kim Diment, as Chorusline Dancer
Susan Fox, as Media Analyst
Mary Garrish, as the mild-bedside-mannered Physician
John Pitcher, as the wayward Artist and Co-Producer
Rachelle Siegrist, Chorusline Dancer
Featuring Wes Siegrist, in the lead role as victim, David Wagner
and Sue Westin, as Choreographer and Co-Producer

Molly Moore, one of our merry band of artists, put together a 38 minute slide show of trip, which you can view here.

Susan Fox with "Up Close-Sally Lightfoot Crab"
Susan Fox with “Up Close-Sally Lightfoot Crab”

For more about the trip and images of one work by each participating artist, go here.

"El Tigre-Nacapuli Canyon"
“El Tigre-Nacapuli Canyon”