Photos courtesy of Hidden in the Hills

Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour, Hidden in the Hills, returns for its 27th year during the last two weekends of November: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 17 to 19 and November 24 to 26. This year’s free, self-guided tour features 164 artists at 41 studios throughout North Scottsdale, Cave Creek, and Carefree.

Two Scottsdale artists have their work featured in the event’s four-color, glossy artist directory. Ceramic artist Sharon Albrektsen’s fanciful sculpture, “Bee Free,” graces the directory cover. The surreal piece depicts a fairytale-like woman setting a bee free. And glass artist Jacki Cohen’s bright, colorful “Blaze” wall panel is featured on the directory’s back cover.

A Narrative Artist Who Loves Clay
Sharon Albrektsen grew up in an artistic family who encouraged her to explore her imagination. Being dyslexic, she struggled to read, but she thrived in her art classes. She earned her BA and MA from Adams State College in Colorado, and MFA at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. She owned and operated a coffee house, and she also taught art in grades from kindergarten through college.

“I am a narrative artist who is in love with clay,” Albrektsen says. “Clay gives me the placidity to capture my thoughts when it is wet and permanency of the form when fired. My work is layered with meanings of who I am now and who I was.”

Using borrowed symbols from the Christian religion, other cultures visited in her travels, and those from history, she combines all to make her own personal symbolism.

“Previously, I made a vague reference to the figure in my imagery. Lately, the figure has become of grave importance to the story-telling nature of my work,” she says.

Albrektsen will exhibit and sell her work at glass artist Sandy Pendleton’s Studio No. 22 in Cave Creek.

Passionate About Fused Glass
Jacki Cohen discovered her passion for working with fused glass more than a decade ago.

“I’ve worked in painting, drawing, and ceramics. Fused glass is the single medium that allows me the full expression of my unbridled creativity,” Cohen says.
Inspired by the beauty of nature, she creates functional and decorative glass art.

“I love color, vibrancy, and bold design. These are what ignite my soul and fuel my spirit,” she says.

In addition to incorporating circles and other symbols into her work that celebrate life, she often mixes in dichroic glass, which is a metallic glass that sparkles and shines.

Cohen’s wall panel “Blaze,” is featured on the back cover of the artist directory cover. Measuring 12 inches wide by 32 inches high, the stunning fused glass piece was inspired by the beauty of Arizona’s sunrises and sunsets.

Cohen will exhibit and sell her new work at Wesley Hartin Art Studio No. 8 in Carefree.

Jeweler Kelly Charveaux and abstract painter Carol McDonald also have their work featured on the back cover of this year’s artist directory.

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