Lunar Dreams exhibit at CCC part of Flagstaff Lunar Legacy celebration


CCC student Delmy Payne (left), internationally renowned artist Ulrike Arnold (center) and visual artist and photographer Victor Van Keuren (right) show their submissions to the Lunar Dreams exhibit.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Flagstaff resident Delmy Payne, a student at Coconino Community College, is studying graphic and web design.


As part of the requirements for an art class she took last semester, she completed a charcoal drawing of a serene, snow-covered rural landscape with a full Moon hanging in the night sky. Little did she know her drawing would make its way into a public art exhibit.


“I’m excited that people can see the beauty that I saw,” Payne said. 


Payne’s drawing will be part of the “Lunar Dreams” exhibit at CCC’s Lone Tree campus. The exhibit begins March 25 and runs through April 18, with a public reception Wednesday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m. The exhibit is part of the yearlong Lunar Legacy celebration organized by the city of Flagstaff and Lowell Observatory. Other stakeholders include Meteor Crater, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Flagstaff Unified School District, CCC and more. The Lunar Legacy celebrates the 50thanniversary of the first human’s walk on the Moon and Flagstaff’s role in helping prepare the astronauts who made the journey.


“We were looking for submissions that celebrate the Moon,” said Alan Petersen, Fine Art faculty at CCC, adding that submissions include paintings, drawings and photos from students and local, national and even international artists.


One featured artist, the internationally renowned Ulrike Arnold, travels to locations throughout the world to use rocks and colors found in those locations. For the “Lunar Dreams” exhibit, she has offered an original work of the Moon, called “Cosmovision: Flagstaff, Arizona,” or “Heaven and Earth,” that was painted with meteorite dust and material that came from volcanoes near Flagstaff.


Arnold, who spends her time in Germany and in southern Utah, said she got the idea to use meteorite dust after a chance encounter at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff with a scientist who collects meteorites from all over the world for NASA.


“I thought, ‘It would be nice to paint with space material,’” Arnold said, adding that the scientist agreed to give her the dust from meteorite cuttings he makes.


Payne, in creating her drawing, used a photo of a scene she enjoyed while visiting Idaho, she said. It was near sunset, and sunsets are a particular favorite of hers to capture. She has thousands of photos of sunsets.


“I wanted to use my own picture in my assignment – I guess to be more original,” she said.

The Moon, to her, means that there is light in the darkness. Sometimes, she added that people feel darkness around them, but there is always a light that they can find. It is a metaphor for life, to be sure.


Petersen said that the Moon, its pull on the oceans and the internal workings of all living things, has always held a sacred place in the hearts of humans throughout history. It’s an iconic image, depicted since ancient times in all its phases. Famous artists who have featured the Moon in their work include Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Winslow Homer and many, many more.


“I think that it represents a broad symbol of the unconscious, or the subconscious, mystery and romance,” Petersen said, adding that the Moon and its presence concretely offers viewers the sheer magnitude of the Universe and the smallness of humanity within that vastness.


“I think it sort of represents the unknown as well – familiar, but unknown at the same time,” Petersen said, “which is a comfort, because it’s always our companion.”


Payne, who is not only a student but a Creative Services Intern at the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that her journey to art and to a creative occupation began about 10 years ago. She was struggling emotionally and she started art as an outlet. While raising her children, she wanted to do something productive from home, so she began teaching herself graphic design from video tutorials. Now, with her three children in school, she decided it was time for her to go back to school and formally learn skills to give her the certifications she needs.


“I would like to continue creating traditional art as a hobby and also find ways to use it to enhance my graphic design,” Payne said.


With her unexpected success in the “Lunar Dreams” exhibit, Payne said she is considering submitting work to other exhibits and shows planned at CCC in the near future – including the annual Palette to Palate event and the Student Art Exhibit in April.


Petersen said the “Lunar Dreams” exhibit will feature work that will appeal to just about everybody’s artistic palate.


“It’s a broad range of artistic styles exploring the Moon from a variety of perspectives,” Petersen said, “from the scientific to the poetic.”


CCC’s Lone Tree campus is located at 2800 S. Lone Tree Road in Flagstaff. For more information about the multitude of events that are scheduled for the Lunar Legacy celebration, visit



Monday, 1st April 2019

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  • Monday, 1st April 2019