2017 Viola Award Nominee for Excellence in the Visual Arts
Flagstaff painter David Christiana presented the new solo exhibition, Portraits of Petrichor, at the Museum of Northern Arizona. The show opened March 11, 2016, and remained on view for several months. Alan Petersen served as curator.
Portraits of Petrichor features 30 works of art completed by the former Museum of Northern Arizona artist-in-residence. During his residency, Christiana set out to capture fragments and details of this unique landscape. Representing the artist’s intensive exploration of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and its surrounding area, the exhibition creates an intimate portrait of this volcanic wonderland through drawings as well as watercolor and oil paintings.
David Christiana, born in Huntington, New York, has illustrated more than twenty picture books for children and authored four for international publishers such as Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Harcourt Brace; Little, Brown; Henry Holt; and Scholastic. Reviews of his work have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, People Magazine, Publishers Weekly, etc. He currently teaches Illustration at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
I begin lost. Less than lost. Completely absent – a chrysalis underground. I dig with swoops and turns as a shaman or priest might gesticulate summoning spirits. The tip of my pencil wags like a tongue. Once in a while an idea takes hold and pulls me out of the dirt. Content begins to form. My materials: egg yolk or oil, powdered pigment, a soft white clay-covered surface, pieces of wood (perhaps on fire), a sliver of graphite, all conspire to squeeze, as if through a pastry chef’s funnel, “a religion reassembled from fragments of our daily life.