Richard de Maledón displays "Owl," a mask created with collaborator Terry Moss for the food bank's Mardi Gras.


No matter what two-dimensional medium you favor - oils, watercolors, acrylics, photography, handmade paper - you'll find a fresh work of art to fit it at Fresh Paint.

The Feb. 26 event, which features a one-day exhibition and sale of specially made original pieces, is a collaboration between more than 150 local artists, the University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) and the UAMA Partner's Board, a museum fundraising group.

All proceeds support the museum's education programs, special exhibitions and programming.

"Support and camaraderie are the first words that come to mind with Fresh Paint," said Genii Pell, who is chairing the event, as she did in 2009. "The older, established artists support it and that gives so much hope and excitement to the younger artists, and the younger artists keep the older ones enthusiastic."

Earl Wettstein, 80, is representative of the diverse talent that will converge at Fresh Paint. The owner/creative director of local Wettstein Bolchalk Marketing for 36 years before retiring in 1996, Wettstein is also a playwright, illustrator and artist of narrative paintings. He has donated "Easy Chair," a 24-inch square painting in vibrant colors.

"I think it is inviting. It makes you want to walk into the painting and sit down," he said.

The UAMA, which is home to the Altarpiece of Ciudad Rodrigo (circa 1492-1499) and a portion of the Kress Collection, boasts about 6,000 pieces in its permanent collection, including late medieval to modern European and American paintings, sculptures, prints, antiquities and other works of art.

Docent Judy Nakari, a local plein-air watercolorist and oil painter who teaches at The Drawing Studio, said the museum is a resource for students, residents and visitors from around the world.

"Our lives are enhanced by having a museum of such quality, but I think it is a treasure that not many people know about," Nakari said.

Partner's Board chairwoman Jaime Burke hopes Fresh Paint will help sustain the museum's quality while promoting awareness of it. Due to budget cuts, donations, underwriting and sponsorships are more essential than ever to the board's mission of education, research and services related to the visual arts, Burke said.

If You Go

Fresh Paint, a fundraiser for the University of Arizona Museum of Art

• When: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 26

• Where: University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road in the Fine Arts Complex at the northwest corner of the University of Arizona campus, across from the Center for Creative Photography. Free parking is available in Visitor Parking at the Park Avenue Garage at North Park Avenue and East Speedway.

• Cost: $60 per person ($20 is tax-deductible)

• Etc.: Festivities include appetizers by Fox Restaurants, Janos, Pastiche, Redington Catering and Vivace Restaurant. Entertainment will be provided by the University of Arizona School of Music's Rosewood Marimba Band, and an exhibition and silent auction of more than 150 works by local artists begins at 6 p.m. A live auction featuring the top five artworks from the silent auction will begin at 8 p.m. All proceeds benefit the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

For tickets or more information, or to register for Fresh Paint Workshops and Demonstrations that will be held prior to the event on Feb. 24, 25, and 26, go to or call Christine Aguilar at 621-5676.

Contact freelance writer Loni Nannini at