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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Joyce Dodd Harcharik: An International Artist Who Colors the World

Joyce Dodd Harcharik
An International Artist Who Colors the World
by Ruth Muñoz-Hjelm

You may know her as the artist who does those beautiful, colorful paintings, of people from Latin America. Joyce Dodd Harcharik began painting because she felt inspired to travel to Ixtapa, Guatemala, Yucatán and all over Mexico to learn the ways of the people in her paintings; from the people in the markets to those in some of the most remote towns and villages, including the Sierra Madre Mountain villages and Antigua. She takes an average of 3,000 pictures per trip and also sells some of her enlarged photographs. She is often the only English-speaking person in areas where she has been welcomed with burning of the sage cleansing ceremonies, and because of this, she feels that she paints “the people you will never meet.” She looks forward to traveling to more countries and primitive villages to collect material for her paintings and to share her experiences with others.

Some of her inspiration comes from Victor Martinez’s Peruvian children, De Grazia from Arizona and Villaseñor from Mexico. Her colors reflect the special weaves and color spectrums that are unique to each Guatemalan village and she has learned to appreciate the fact that “those children who have nothing and indulge in creative play are the happiest.” She does not consider painting a job, but rather “a fun way to spend her time and a means to find herself.” She likes to paint subjects that show the most emotion and the spirit of the people, feeling that “you have to be the photographer of the moment to capture their spirit” and “every picture has a story.” She paints on location and from photographs, mainly houses, objects, pots and people, done mostly in oils but also in pastels. Her latest work is doing “retablos.”

Joyce Dodd Harcharik is a successful artist, she is also generous, donating a percentage of her sales to the Larry Large Foundation in Puerto Peñasco, to “The Taste of Peñasco” event and to Puerto Peñasco Lions Club. She is a member of all the art leagues in Phoenix and does the Litchfield Park and Wickenberg shows in Arizona, but her work may also be found in Ajo, Arizona, on a Sunday at a monthly event and at Marcela’s Restaurant. In Puerto Peñasco her paintings reside at Galería Luis y Gaby at their new art gallery location on Alcantar #16, at Casa Bonita, at Mercedes’ Rusticos, and at Victoria’s Hormigas. All her original paintings, however, are “being held hostage” at her own home in Phoenix, where she has her own gallery to display and sell originals and where she resides with her husband and her two boys. Art enthusiasts may browse her website at www.joycedoddharcharik.com