Henderson Fine Art Gallery

Ar.tis.tic Sensitive to Beauty

September 17, 2010 - October 15, 2010

Reception: Friday, September 17 – 6 to 8 p.m.

Paintings capturing rugged southwestern landscapes and the quietness of wildlife, in harmony with the enchantment of Raku pottery, will be featured as the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center Gallery presents “Ar.tis.tic Sensitive to Beauty,” September 17 – October 15. The opening reception is slated for Friday, September 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit showcases the paintings of John Cogan and James Trigg, and the pottery of Don Ellis.

Thompson Creek Greens

Cogan sees painting as storytelling without the words. He captures the viewers’ attention through the composition, values and hues. “I try to gently guide each viewer into and through the story, as well as the inspiration that led me to choose that particular scene as my subject matter,” he explains.

Cogan’s landscape and wildlife images have been published as posters by Images of America, while many others have been used on greeting cards, calendars and post cards. His work is in the permanent collection at San Juan College and Citizen’s Bank. He has been invited to join 14 other nationally known landscape artists to paint the interior of the Grand Canyon, resulting in showings at Forbes Galleries in New York and San Francisco.


Trigg draws inspiration for his paintings of the southwest from the West’s mountain vistas, 100-mile visibility, high altitude skies and spectacular cloud formations. “Working in plein air and in the studio, I believe both disciplines complement and enrich one another,” he says.

Some of his favorite subjects are the small mountain villages of northern New Mexico, many of which were founded 300 years ago. He is drawn by the organic character of the adobe buildings and the color harmonies created by using the local earth. His work has been shown in several juried exhibitions in New Mexico and Colorado. His work was also included in the National Academy of Professional Plein Air Painter’s “Nature Observed” national show at The National Arts Club in New York City, as well as other national shows in Colorado, Texas and Nebraska.


Ellis sees pottery as an extension of the person creating it – it becomes a part of the artist.

“I work almost extensively in high-fire to create functional stoneware that not only will be pleasing to look at, but also will be of some use to the person owning it,” he says.

Ellis uses the Raku technique in his copper matte creations. The process involves rapidly cooling a glaze-fired pot. The bisqueware is fired to 1,800 degrees then lifted out with a combustible material such as straw, leaves, newspaper or, in Ellis’s case, pine needles. Flames from the ignited material create the flash effect and crackle patters that make each piece unique.

He and his wife Donna owned a pottery shop in Cloudcroft, N.M. An instructor at San Juan College, he has taught ceramics at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and at the New Mexico State University Alamogordo campus. He has taught and exhibited throughout the United States.

The Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
and on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For further information about this exhibit or other Gallery events,
contact Cindy McNealy at 505-566-3464 or mcnealyc@sanjuancollege.edu.