Artist Sharon Brening | Photography by Herb Cohen
Local artist Sharon Brening began painting as a child and has since honed her talent to create award-winning works. She is the first woman to win the prestigious gold medal award for oil painting at the Annual Western Artists of America Show and Sale in Texas, an honor that many of her long-time collectors could have predicted given the exquisite vision and skill she brings to her portraits of Native American children.
Sharon’s canvases allow her viewers a personal glimpse into the lives of people that help shape the American landscape. She is an accomplished Western artist who loves to paint people, especially children. Painting her subjects she has an eye for detail, documenting the Native American way of life as she experiences it first hand. The viewer can also find horses and wildlife that grace her landscapes. She is known as a Traditional Realist painter with a gift for finding the true soul of her subjects.
Native people utilized many desert plants for a myriad of uses, including pharmacological. Benefits the Pima knew from their experimentation has been confirmed by studies today, such as Mormon tea stimulates the heart and prickly pear lowers blood sugar.
From inexpensive tintype photography, popular from the Civil War until the 1950s, to gelatin film to digital, the museum looks at the means to illustrate memories and document events.
Learn about the remarkable critters and plants that resist blistering heat and exist on limited water as you examine the Desert Awareness Committee’s display of animals, plants and desert ecologies. Don’t miss the saguaro cross-section which shows some of the ways this Sonoran Desert signature plant survives in the desert. Dig into the hands-on baskets for closer looks at some local wonders, or go on your own.