MESQUITE – The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery has announced Geraldine Zarate will be the gallery’s December artist of the month.
Zarate began her study of art by majoring in art history at Dixie State University and Southern Utah University.
Her senior paper was about early renaissance architecture in Florence, Italy, which she researched during two summers of travel in Europe.
While traveling, Zarate visited major art museums in England, France, Spain, Italy, Holland and Austria. In the United States she visited museums in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles.
As part of her university courses Zarate took classes in drawing, painting and printmaking classes and she studied under Gerald Olsen, Glen Anderson and Thomas Leek.
In her weaving classes with Hannah Wells she discovered a real appreciation for textile art. Zarate concentrated on the research involved in art history and this experience led to the position of librarian at the Mesquite Public Library where she worked for 27 years.
After retiring in 2004, Zarate got a passport and a box of paints and began to pursue her love of travel and art.
Zarate’s roots are firmly planted in Mesquite where two sets of her great-grandparents were early settlers and the sixth generation, her grandchildren, are growing up.
In 2009 she was contacted by a publishing company and asked to write a book about the history of the area. She spent nearly a year writing and collecting vintage photos for the 2010 publication “Mesquite and the Virgin Valley.”
Zarate is pursuing a style of painting that reminds her of illustrations in children’s story books that she loves and used for years in presenting story times at the library.
Her use of ink to outline her acrylic compositions reminds some people of stained glass or mosaics but she feels the drama or sometimes whimsy that is achieved enables the viewer to see detail in a new way.
The lines can isolate and emphasize a certain color or shape that enhances the composition. Zarate loves to paint regional landscapes that reinforce her deeply felt connection to the sand, rocks, and light of the area.
Zarate is a member of the Virgin Valley Artists Association and has won numerous awards including Best of Show. Her work can be viewed at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, 15 W. Mesquite Boulevard, through the end of December.
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