Art Salon Society celebrates second anniversary with two art events

Creator of Arizona’s Art Salon Society, the first event of Jerre Lynn Vanier’s organization, was staged in March of 2017.

Two years later, after numerous salons held at her home in the Town of Paradise Valley, as well as one in the Verde Valley area, the 2019 anniversary is being celebrated with two events featuring the works of painters Merrill and Jeanne Mahaffey, according to a press release.

Rocks & Roses:  The Art of Merrill and Jeanne Mahaffey is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at Cattle Track Arts Compound, 6105 N. Cattle Track Road in Scottsdale.

Painters Merrill and Jeanne Mahaffey. (Submitted photo)

“Saturday’s opening reception and short video presentation at the Scottdale’s historic Cattle Track Arts Compound promises to be a lively event,” Ms. Vanier, who is also the Director of MAINVIEW Gallery in Scottsdale, said in a prepared statement.

“Also staged the following afternoon at Cattle Track Arts Compound, Sunday’s art salon will offer guests the unique opportunity of hearing Jeanne and Merrill discuss their work on a more intimate level and hear about the artistic journey they took together.

Recipient of recent honors from Arizona organizations such as 2018 Shemer Art Center Honoree and 2019 Arizona Historical Society Honoree, Merrill Mahaffey, 82, is continuing to make art with landscapes such as Down Canyon.

“I have always been attracted to peaks and canyons,” Mr. Mahaffey said in a prepared statement.

“I have a rock collection; as a matter of fact I have an edited slide file of rocks collected over a lifetime of travel and exploration. I’m always asking myself what makes these strange rock formations? First of all there is water and water is an element of change.

“How does external element influence the shapes of rocks? This is the internal dialectic that continues to drive my work.”

It is a dialectic that attracts the attention of the art world, a release claims.

“Mahaffey could also have chosen to paint abstract art, or nudes, but instead he has staked a claim to the land, betting that unsuspected artistic riches can be unearthed from long-exploited territory,” Smithsonian Curator Harry Rand in the February 2011 issue of “Southwest Art.”

“Merrill Mahaffey is one of those rare artists whose love of nature translates effortlessly from his vision to his art,” Mark Sublette, President/CEO Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, said in a prepared statement.

The paintings of 72-year-old Ms. Mahaffey also celebrate an intense love of nature cultivated from early childhood.
“I grow roses as well as paint them,” she said in a prepared statement.

“The women in my family created with crochet hooks and needles, repeating stitches to make something larger. This idea along with a love of fabric, patterns and historic design permeates my work.”

Ms. Mahaffey has exhibited widely throughout the Southwest in such cities as Santa Fe, New Mexico; Boulder, Colorado; and Denver as well as Phoenix and Scottsdale.

“I like puzzles and mysteries,” she said. “Combining pattern and flowers is for me a metaphor for visual understanding of making sense out of chaos. I like looking at everything closely and find that view intriguing.”

Ms. Mahaffey said she looks at her paintings closely. When one is 80 percent complete, it is set up in her living space, she says, to be viewed as half-birthed and vulnerable.

If the painting is fortunate enough to be returned to the easel, it is likely to survive further self-critique, Ms. Mahaffey claims..

The event is staged with the assistance of salon associates Suzanna Moroles, Bianca Philippi and Betty Barber-Hughes, all of whom share backgrounds in the arts.

Ms. Moroles is a Texas-based art advisor, consultant, manager and curator as well as sister of sculptor Jesús Moroles.

Ms. Philippi brings more than 20 years of experience in business development, education and international marketing; she is a board member of the Los Angeles Jonathan Art Foundation.

Ms. Barber-Hughes, an avid and longtime collector of contemporary Southwestern art, has served as board member of the National Society of Arts and Letters as well as International Friends of Transformative Art.

“We feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to share the magnificent works or Jeanne and Merrill Mahaffey with our guests,” Ms. Vanier said.

“A monumental and historical exhibition, it represents the culmination of a lifetime of painting for two important artists and is infused with their vision for the future.”

For more information, call 480-232-0073 or visit

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