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, Cheryle hoover Davis shares her deep appreciation for the Arizona landscape and the inspiration behind her ceramic collection.
City of Residence: Flagstaff, AZ
Hometown: Prescott, AZ
How did you get started as an artist?
From the day my artist mother placed a crayon in my hand, I’ve been involved in art. My interpretive artwork really started when I began painting ceramic figures in the early 1980s when I began my apprenticeship in a ceramics studio. I learned the trade from the ground up, from mixing clay slip to casting molds, all the way to the finished product. Glazework became a sideline when I found the magic in acrylics and oils. Later, I worked with John Coleman in his studio in Prescott, AZ, painting his bronze sculptures. After moving to Flagstaff, I’ve begun work in my own ceramics studio.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from all around me especially in the natural beauty of my home state, Arizona. I’ve always treasured our wildlife here, and paid particular attention to the details of feather and fur. Our Native American culture here in Arizona has always fascinated me with its rich history and beautiful spirituality, hence influencing my ceramic interpretive art.
How does living in Arizona influence your art?
Living in our varied landscapes of Arizona – from desert to mountain… from extreme heat to snowy-cold mountains… gives me an appreciation for the great diversity of our natural resources. How can a fiery red sunset or snow-capped mountain not influence one’s art? When such beauty is all around, art abounds.
Favorite Arizona getaway or adventure:
I have a secret getaway, not far from my home. When I need a break, a rest and inspiration, I walk the trails of the wet-lands near Flagstaff. With birds singing, elk gathering, and water flowing, I am renewed.
Favorite Arizona restaurant:
I’d have to say El Charro in downtown Prescott. I have gone there since childhood and return every chance I get.
I live in Arizona because…
I grew up here, my family and longtime friends are here. I’ve moved away, experienced other places, but Arizona will always be “home.”
How would you describe Arizona to someone who has never been here before?
Arizona is a place of rich diversity…not only in the geography and climate, but peoples. It’s a place of great beauty and varied lifestyles.
Best Arizona sunset:
In Prescott, my hometown. Some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen!
Favorite Old West icon:
The Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, which used to be Arizona’s Territorial Capital from 1864 to 1867.