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||Thursday, June 09, 2005 |
|AHHA! Art Gallery|
Gallery in Hillside Sedona offers spectacular views: inside and
|Courtesy image: 'PETUNIA' by Anni Adkins|
Outside the gallery is one of the most inspiring
views in Sedona. Step inside, and you'll see that inspiration
turned into breathtaking works of art.
Adkins and photographer Joe Hoover chase light throughout the
Southwest. Subjects and canvas and film are only tools the
artists use to give form to that light.
Now the artists'
works are featured in their own gallery: AHHA! Art Gallery.
The couple started AHHA! Productions in 1980, specializing in
television commercials and print advertisements. Anni and Joe
changed their artistic bent in 1995 and founded the Adkins
Hoover Gallery in Dallas.
Joe creates both realistic and
A former cinematographer
and combat cameraman, Joe now focuses his medium- and
large-format cameras on the landscapes of the Southwest. "I only
shoot transparencies," he said, explaining that he often uses
tungsten film for night shots of mountains using a
high-intensity spotlight to paint the scene while the aperture
on his camera remains open.
He travels the Southwest
searching for near perfect combinations of landscapes and light.
"It's all about being at the right place when the light is
magic," Joe said.
He said being a gallery owner has
affected his photography. "Not the way I do things," Joe said.
"But now that sales take place on a regular basis, I really have
to be on my toes." He said the gallery has made him more
critical and more productive.
Anni does not allow the
business side of owning a gallery to change her art. She admits
that getting the gallery up and running has cut down on the time
she has to paint. She said she'll correct that by spending the
rest of the summer hiding in her studio. But she won't allow
owning a gallery to change her art.
"I've never been
influenced by other people," Anni said. "I'm influenced by what
Anni and Joe know they contribute to the
gallery's success more by pursuing their art than working retail
shifts. That's why they've hired Diane Devoe as the gallery
manager. Some unavoidable time constraints aside, Anni and Joe
are thrilled to be selling their art through their own gallery.
"This is an artists' gallery," Joe said.
Anni said the
control that comes with owning the gallery is important. "We
don't like anyone else to handle our work," she said.
have an artistic statement," Anni said. She describes herself
and Joe as basically modern artists.
"As artists, we want
to be able to choose the direction our art goes," she said. "We
want to control how it's shown."
Anni and Joe agree that
the gallery might be open to showing other artists' work. They
currently represent a few pieces of furniture by Merle Tech.
"He's kind of the Frank Lloyd Wright of the furniture world,
Upon entering AHHA! Art Gallery visitors
first see one of Anni's most spectacular landscapes, the Swirl
in Antelope Canyon. Like her other large-scale paintings of
landscapes and contemporary flowers, Anni interprets realism
almost to that fuzzy edge between reality and abstraction. She
paints recognizable subjects, but she does so by painting them
up close and out of context. The result is artwork not easy to
characterize as either realism or abstraction.
goal is to create art with simplicity, beauty and balance. Her
life experience has prepared her to do just that. At 13, she won
a full scholarship to L'Ecole De Beaux Arts in France.
After working in display art, she and Joe started a modeling and
advertising agency in Florida. It was during this time that she
started creating photorealism paintings. After growing tired of
working in black and white, Anni started painting abstracts with
Finally, Anni and Joe left Florida in a
recreational vehicle to search for their art. The couple spent
time in New Mexico and opened an art gallery in Dallas. But it
still wasn't everything they hoped to find.
McCullough, an abstract expressionist, told Anni about Sedona
and said she would find her art there. The light in Arizona
overwhelmed her, and after seeing Michael Fatali's photographs
of Antelope Canyon, she knew she had found her art.
Joe and Anni still search for the light. They take two and three
day trips around the Southwest, often hiking together with
"We go exploring," Anni said.
AHHA! Art Gallery is in Hillside Sedona at Arizona 179.