Once a month, Arizona Oddities features a Q&A with a talented Arizona artist who is influenced by our state’s people, places and history. This month, a husband-and-wife team share their inspiration for utilizing one of Arizona’s greatest natural resources.
Featured Artists: Sheri and Ralph Meldrum of Meldrum Art
City of residence: Cave Creek
Hometown: Rancho Cucumonga, California
Current shows/exhibits: Currently showing at the Celebration of Fine Art through March 25
How did you get started as an artist?
My wife has been an artist most of her life. She started weaving textiles, and then we both got into steel sculptures and worked with several other artistic mediums before finding copper.
Where do you find inspiration?
Definitely from our surroundings. Arizona is so diverse and the desert is such a beautiful place. We’re also inspired by the diversity of copper. There are so many different ways to manipulate it and create unique pieces with various tarnishes and patinas, which we enjoy experimenting with.
How does living in Arizona influence your art?
We’re using one of the “five C’s,” which is such a major part of Arizona’s history. The colors of the desert also inspire our color pallet and much of our work is an abstracted view of the natural lines and forms found in the desert.
What’s your favorite part about what you do?
We get to work with such an inherently beautiful medium and we get to work together. He (Ralph) cuts the sculpture pieces, and I weave the pieces. We’ve been doing this together for more than 10 years.
Favorite Arizona getaway or adventure:
Snowboarding in Sunrise
Favorite Arizona restaurant:
El Encanto in Cave Creek
I live in Arizona because…
…of the weather. It’s such a diverse state… you can go from the desert to skiing in four hours.
How would you describe Arizona to someone who has never been here before?
It’s a diverse state with incredible sunsets.
Best Arizona sunset:
Our back porch