Sculpting Paper into Unique Wall Compositions
Sedona artist Ross Mazur is new to this year’s show but not to Thunderbird Artists. The talented artist, who is spiritual in his Jewish faith, began exhibiting in Thunderbird Artists’ weekend festivals in 1987. He credits the family-run business with helping him gain valuable exposure for his mixed-media work.
Ross started his career in photography. A Chicago native, he served in the Korean War and later received a scholarship to the Chicago Art Institute. He then spent more than 20 years working as a commercial photographer, shooting everything from food to fashion but specializing in furniture.
“I became an interior designer by virtue of the furniture photography,” says Ross. “I was always setting up rooms for photo shoots and I had a good feel for design.”
Concurrently, Ross collaborated with his wife, Marcia, first sculpting clay, then creating handmade paper and mixed media sculptural wall compositions. They were an instant success.
“We were perfect together, always knowing what the other was thinking and working so well together,” says Ross. “People could not tell which one of us created a piece.” He adds that Marcia had a great spontaneity to her work.
The couple opened an art gallery, Mazur & Mazur, outside of Highland Park, Illinois, and watched their careers soar.
“At that time, hand-made paper art was just exploding. It was really phenomenal,” he says. “We sold all over the world and we even had our paper wall sculptures in Christie’s gallery in New York.”
Then everything stopped cold after 9/11.
“It was a very tough time,” says Ross. “I started doing large, air-brushed paintings and abstracts. I’ve really had many different styles during my career,” Ross says.
While Marcia had retired, she still created small pieces while Ross continued creating larger, more complex artwork. “I kept challenging myself to create better pieces each time,” he says.
Sadly, Marcia passed in 2004. It was a huge loss, not only for Ross and his family, but for the art community and collectors worldwide who loved her work.
“She was a fantastic talent. She really changed our lives when she took her first paper-making workshop in 1980,” he says. “Because of her, I am doing work that I love. I’ve worked with a lot of media, but I really love the tactile aspect of the paper.”
Ross creates textured sheets of pressed cotton fiber matrix, resulting in a heavy, durable paper lavishly embellished with acrylics in an infinite range of colors and sizes. Multiple pieces are layered, four to seven inches in depth, to create freeform sculptural paintings in a large format.
During the Arizona Fine Art EXPO, Ross will exhibit colorful, contemporary mixed-media wall compositions, sharing a booth with bronze artist Paula Yates.
Season passes for the Arizona Fine Art EXPO cost $10, $8 for seniors and military and are free for children under 12. Parking is free. For more details about participating artists or events during the show, call 480-837-7163 or visit ArizonaFineArtEXPO.com.