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Fourth featured artist added to gallery lineup

Samantha P. Hawthorne

Staff Writer

The Blue Goose Gallery of Artists in Chester has added a fourth featured artist to its July lineup and “Red, White and Blue” art reception slated for July 5.

Donna Johnson will join Gayle Bower, Pat Neely, Billie Colson and woodcarver Gary Spence in displaying their Independence Day-inspired artwork during Saturday’s show that continues throughout the month.

The reception will also include similarly themed artwork from nearly 35 other gallery members from 5 to 8 p.m. Guests will have the chance to chat with the artists, enjoy like-minded company and participate in the perennial favorite game “guess how many are in the jar.”

Like the other artists, Johnson has an extensive background turning ordinary things into extraordinary pieces of art.

As a child, she said she would turn thread and brightly colored buttons from her grandmother’s sewing basket into jewelry. She currently designs one-of-kind natural stone jewelry at her east shore Lake Almanor home and studio.

She and her husband realized their dream to relocate to Lake Almanor in 1982. It was then that she began a 25-year career in banking. Upon retirement in 2008, she was given a gift certificate to a jeweler’s catalog by one of her coworkers. Then she visited Santa Fe’s Indian Market and “rekindled the jewelry maker within,” she said.

She bought a necklace from the market, brought it home and promptly redesigned it.

Since retiring, she and her husband have attended many art shows, with the highlight being the 2011 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, she said. She also stopped for a visit at the Kingman Mine Processing Center, where 90 percent of the turquoise that she uses comes from.

She has participated in local arts and crafts shows, and has sold her work in local retail stores and the Blue Goose Gallery.

“My goal is to share an appreciation for the beauty of natural semi-precious gemstones, their history and lore. I am always looking for the new and unusual. The stones really are the designers of my jewelry.”

Mini-biographies for the other three artists are available in last week’s newspaper.



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