Hotel St. Francis is thrilled to feature a number of local artists this winter through Santa Fe's Artists in Residence program!

Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 4 and 7 p.m. in November, December, January and February you can com meet these wonderful artists and watch them create right in our grand lobby.
Cheri O'Brien

Cheri O'Brien - November 2017

American narrative artist Cheri O'Brien is a Pacific Northwest native residing part time in Santa Fe. A self-taught painter, O'Brien's seemingly casual aesthetic shifts emphasis from outrageous and funky to tender and charming.  Re-creating child-like images such as stuffed animals, flowers and religious iconography O'Brien attempts to understand her world with finding humor in beauty and the beauty of humor.  A closer look reveals the layers of meaning, sometimes a pernicious sense of humor is exposed. O'Briens recent works show her love for the 'wild west' with wacky cowboys, confident cowgirls and real cow 'girls' contemplating the New Mexican landscape.
Dusk by Cheri O'Brien
Born in Wallace, Idaho, the epicenter of the "Big Burn," to the rolling hills of the Palouse and then surrounded by the beauty of the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound, now currently the high desert of the Santa Fe area, O'Brien paints daily inspired by her surroundings and many muses.

Cheri O'Brien's work is in public and private collections throughout the country and in Europe.  For the past several years, she has entered the public art realm creating fused painted glass murals, and, in 2009, was awarded an $110,000 Community Transit commission in paved colored concrete. O'Brien has also been creating whimsical papier mache sculpture for over twenty years.

Bette Yozell

Bette Yozell - December 2017

“I have considered myself an artist since I have considered myself at all. I recall a drawing I did on the wall next to my crib.”  BHY

Bette Yozell grew up in Marblehead, Mass., and graduated from the Pingree School in Hamilton, Mass. in 1966. She then attended Arcadia College, the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy, and then the Boston Museum School, where she majored in painting and printmaking. Yozell holds a Bachelor of Science in art education from Tufts University.

While in Boston in the early 1970’s, Yozell taught figure drawing and stained glass at the Boston Center for Adult Education and Vision in Action High School while maintaining a stained glass, painting and printmaking studio. She has always been drawn to media that demand mastery of challenging techniques. Within this framework, the artist enjoys pushing limitations with both tight and loose techniques.
Aspen Vista by Bette Yozell
In 1976, she married astrophysicist Richard Epstein and moved with him to Copenhagen, Denmark, where they spent the next seven years. Yozell established a studio, exhibited, and taught in the Danish Adult Education system. Returning to the United States, the family settled in Santa Fe.  Bette taught first at the College of Santa Fe and then at Santa Fe Prep School, where she was Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and taught for 27 years. Yozell retired from teaching in 2012 and is now working full time in her studio.

While her work has always derived inspiration from the human form, the transition from glass work to painting and etching provided a certain linear context with clean vibrant shapes, and often including window forms. She has been featured in The New Mexican Pasatiempo, THE Magazine, East Santa Fe Life, the Santa Fe Studio Tour catalog, and has published four books of her work.
Cindy Fry

Cindy Fry - January 2018

When she was 10 years old, somebody gave Cindy Fry a "Learn to Draw with Jon Gnagy" drawing set.  Working through that book, she discovered a talent for drawing.  As a teenager, Fry loved to draw portraits from my friends' class photos and from collected pictures in magazines - always working in black and white - and delighted in the realism achieved.  But not unlike many budding artists, she pursued a different professional path, putting a passion for art on the back burner, where it simmered over the decades. 

Fry earned a Master's degree in accounting, became a CPA and worked in corporate tax. But, she didn't go into a completely catatonic artistic state. Every so often, she added a little something to the pot on the back burner and give it a stir; starting with photography, which she pursued over those many decades. Photography taught Fry a lot about observation and composition, and she became obsessed with capturing light and shadows; all of which continue to influence her work.
Joshua's Octotillo by Cindy Fry
Turning the simmer up just a bit, Fry took a series of watercolor classes in her late 30's and rediscovered the joy of creation (and COLOR!!). That was when she turned her focus to capturing landscapes with color and she never looked back.

Now that she am retired from the corporate grind, Fry's passion for art sits squarely on the front burner and she have added pastels to the now boiling pot. She loves the luscious colors and the depth, complexity and mystery that can be achieved when the colors are layered with pastels. Fry also loves the clean, fresh transparency and the ghostly images produced by watercolors. Even better, she found that combining the two mediums adds a wonderful element of spontaniety to the process.

Fry works primarily from photographs, but her goal is not to reproduce the photo. To capture what the photo can't - the very essence and feeling of the place - that is her goal.

Fry has participated in the Santa Fe Studio Tour over the past three years, and enjoyed meeting and interacting with the public. Having the opportunity to share her work and process with them has been rewarding and fun.
Melinda Silver

Melinda Silver - February 2018

Melinda Silver began her artistic career as an illustrator and graphic designer for print media; pen and ink were her best friends. Over the years, she expanded her range of media and artistic styles. She now concentrates on painting with acrylics and encaustics (hand-prepared oil tints with wax formulations) as she ventures into the abstract. Silver also use pieces of old paintings, collected ephemera and graphic sensibilities to work in paper collage – mixed media.  All works are abstracted, and her method of creation requires that she face and embrace change and the unexpected. 

Artwork by Melinda Silver
Recognizing the tensions that occur from historical, political, social, religious, and geological forces, Silver confronts the unknown and challenges herself to listen to the painting and go where it takes her. Painting layer upon layer, often destroying or obscuring one layer to create the next, she is guided by the words of Gerhard Richter, who challenged himself to keep moving forward through the process until the painting was "fully baked" and "right." 

Silver is also drawn to the fluxos philosophies of collage artist Cecil Touchon, with whom she has studied and who inspires her to continue to live and work with the flow.  While she is often terrified by what she is doing, she has also learned to recognize that this method of creating new works of art mirrors life and has the potential to produce a final image that is richer and more nuanced than any painting that she might have planned with precision. As an activist, she seeks to make positive change in her community.  As an artist, she seeks to channel that energy into abstract works of art that will provoke thought and discussion by the viewers.

Silver enjoys demonstrating her collage technique, as she selects and rips apart many paintings and papers that she has created, along with posters, copies of posters, book pages, graffiti works and photos of graffiti.  She then tosses the items in the air and lets them fall across her work surface.  Then she takes a frame and travels through the mass of colors, shapes and textures to discover the beginnings of a story.  She calls this process “action-collage.”