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Recent transplants to open home studios during tour

Copper Basin News of Kearny, Arizona

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Barbara and Jim Cowlin lived in Phoenix for 35 years.

After their kids moved out of the house they wanted to make a change in their lives. Barbara was teaching art and Jim had a commercial photography business. Jim wanted to pursue full time fine art photography and Barbara wanted to paint more.

In 2007 they moved to Ajo where they lived in the 90-year-old school building turned into the Curley School Artisan Lofts. Curley School is an artisan live/work apartment designed for artists, artisans and creative home businesses. "It was a great way to make the transition," said Jim.

Barbara was painting more and needed more workspace. She wanted a studio so they started looking around. Jim wanted to find an affordable place along U.S. Highway 89 which is an ongoing project of his.

Jim had a show at the Tucson Airport and saw an ad for a place in Oracle. Barbara had been to Oracle before when her art was part of a group show at Rancho Linda Vista. Oracle was 10 miles from Highway 89 and the realtor showed them a place large enough to have a studio and workspace for both of them.

This will be their first full year in Oracle.

Barbara Kemp Cowlin has been a working artist for over 30 years. She is also a printmaker and bookmaker.

She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts degree from Northern Arizona University. She has worked many jobs to support her "arts habit" including working as a graphic designer, arts administrator and teaching art at every level from first grade to college. She is currently teaching Basic Design at Tohono O'odham Community College in Sells, Arizona. Her works have been displayed throughout the United States in numerous exhibits. Some of these include the City ofPhoenix Arts Collection, the Arts in Embassies Program at the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia, Sky Harbor Airport and the Arizona Gallery at the University of Arizona. Recent exhibits include her "Nooks & Crannies" show at Central Gallery, Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix. She currently has an exhibit "Four Seasons" Feb. 3 - March 27 at the University of Arizona Kachina Gallery. One of her works will be at the Art That Heals show March 11 - May 16 at the Tohono Chul Park Exhibit Hall in Tucson. Barbara works in both acrylic Museum for 10 years. She now offers workshops at her studio for one or two students at a time.

Judy also makes jewelry. About five years ago it was so hot that she couldn't work with the beeswax as it tended to melt. She has always liked working with her hands so she started working with beads and making necklaces. Making jewelry allowed her to keep busy when she couldn't do encaustic work.

During the Oracle Artists Studio Tour, Judy's work will be displayed at the Diana Creighton Studio. There will be some of her jewelry and small encaustic pieces. If you are interested in Judy's art or would like to learn encaustic at one of her workshops, you can contact her at (520)896-2079 or Email: heyjude@

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Original Publication Date: March 3, 2010

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