Nancy Matus: "Southwest Reflection / Connection"
Paintings Exhibit January, 2010

           Arizona's Sonoran Desert botany and geography offer a rich study in contrast, aspects of which Chandler artist Nancy Matus explores in her paintings. Art works by the Arboretum annual member were exhibited in our visitor center gallery during January, 2010.

              Born in Wichita, Kansas, Matus has called Arizona home for over three decades. "This hot, dry landscape didn't appeal to me much in the beginning, but over the years it has become precious and almost spiritual to me" she admits.

          A childhood filled with drawing and painting foreshadowed an artistic future: she attended and graduated from Phoenix College, in Phoenix, AZ, and continued her studies in art and architecture, drawing and painting in oils, acrylics and watercolors at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. She worked in the field of drafting, computer-aided design and GIS mapping, while continuing her painting both in the field and her studio.

           Paintings reflect her inspired appreciation of the Arizona landscape. "The Sonoran desert is especially inspiring to me. The weathered, stark geology is challenging and compelling. It dramatically chronicles the passage of time, and I am attracted to the relationships that develop following the erosion. I am also attracted to the way that nature rejuvenates and renews, bringing colorful plants and flowers to life in the desert, especially in the spring. My delight with this rich display of color was best expressed in watercolors. Such contrast is exhilarating to me. Reflection on these extremes is part of my process of connection to this landscape."

          "I travel with my sketchbook and watercolors, or with equipment for field painting in oils. Sometimes I focus on creating field sketches for use in the studio on larger, finished paintings; other times I work en plein aire for a small, finished piece. In the hottest summer months, I focus on indoor studio work. I usually work out in the desert, but also work in State Parks and various botanical gardens and preserves. I am honored to be featured at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and thrilled to be able to share my work with those visiting."

          Nancy holds Signature Membership in the International Society of Acrylic Painters, Signature Membership in the National Acrylic Painters Association - USA, and has been past Vice President of the International Society of Acrylic Painters. Her work has been featured in books "Creative Inspirations" and "Best of Acrylic Painting" by Rockport Publications. She is a Juried Artist Member of the Arizona Art Alliance, and an active juried member of the East Valley Art Guild in Mesa, Arizona. She lives near the edge of the open desert in Chandler, AZ with her husband Ken Walker. Pieces in the show include acrylics and watercolors. Prints and notecards are also available for purchase at the show. To see more of her work visit the websites and or correspond with the artist by email to

     Boyce Thompson Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, a drive of about 45 minutes due East of Mesa. January visitors are admitted from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the Arboretum closes at 5:00 p.m. ( summer month hours are daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) New exhibits begin each month and may be seen daily during business hours; the Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where our gallery is found. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit. To review other recent gallery shows from...

Barbara Cox December, 2009

Margaret Whittaker
November, 2009

Artists of the Superstitions
October, 2009

Marilyn Barton
September, 2009

Gila Community College August, 2009

Deborah A. Lee June, 2009

Margie Porter May, 2009

Timm Chapman January, 2009

Paul Kinslow December, 2008

Maggie Leef November 2008

Sharon Sieben October 2008

Nicole Royse September 2008

Judy Bottler Photography May 2008

Bob Estrin Photography April 2008
Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008
Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008
Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008
Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007
Jean Sullivan November, 2007 Sue Cullumber October, 2007
Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007
Pima College print-making students July-August, 2007
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007
Fred Charlton May, 2007
Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007
Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004