Jim Waid received the Governor's Arts Award for Individual Artist. Waid was the only Tucsonan to receive one of the six awards presented earlier this month in Phoenix.

Jim Waid has another notch on his palette.

Earlier this month, Waid received the Governor's Arts Award for Individual Artist.

He was the only Tucsonan to take home one of the six awards given out at the annual event. The program began in 1981 as a way to recognize artists, educators and others who have made an impact on the arts in Arizona.

"It's wonderful," Waid said of the award, which was presented at a ceremony in Phoenix.

"It's the third time I've been nominated."

Making it even sweeter was the fact that last year's winner, Ed Mell, handed him the award. Waid and Mell are longtime friends who had exhibits together in the early '70s.

Waid, 70, was born in Oklahoma, studied art in New Mexico, and lived in New York before he and his wife Beverly settled in Tucson in 1968.

"We were going to stay just a couple of years," Waid recalled. "But then we got seduced by the Sonoran Desert."

Waid, who taught at Pima Community College from 1971-80, is one of those rare people who can make a living with his art.

His large, color-and paint-saturated works are abstract celebrations of the desert he loves. They have brought him a national reputation and high praise.

"The colors are so vivid - and so alive for Waid's careful juxtaposing of them so they exaggerate each other - that you can forget to notice the shapes and textures," said a review in The Arizona Republic. "The landscapes are busy with articulation, fairly buzzing in the eye. Color alone makes a flat painting. Texture adds depth. You can walk into them, live there, at least for a while."

See Waid's work

Jim Waid's work will be featured in an upcoming show at Etherton Gallery. "Natural Seductions: Jim Waid, Jane Abrams, Robert Cocke" opens April 20 and continues through June 8. There will be an artists' reception 7-10 p.m. April 20. Etherton is at 135 S. Sixth Ave., 624-7370.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@azstarnet.com or 573-4128.