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Java.April.2017

perspective on shore

perspective on shore life. The people on the beach exude tranquility and seem personally calm. The chaos comes from nature: jagged rocks, choppy waters and sharp edges. Rather than simply observing, there’s a component in Davis’ work that seems to say that it’s okay to just let things be as they are. “Red Day on Blueberry Bay” perfectly captures one of nature’s powerful moods, as it tornadoes together humans, birds, winds and waves, with a deep and striking red that adds movement and force. Another piece in this exhibition is “The Game,” which features a seemingly nude couple engaging in a game of hide and seek, though it appears that they are both hiding. Their outlines are stark, while the weight of the piece is contained in a tree centered in the painting. The tree’s colors are deep and dark. It is thriving, full of resting birds, but somehow it seems to bear the emotion in the scenario. It feels as if the tree is taking a comforting look at life’s inherent complexities, that frolicking and hiding are options of existing that help as we muddle through harder moments. Davis’ masterful paintings, despite their emotion, seem to whisper a reminder to take things in stride. As Mountain Shadows begins its new life, the Davis paintings—along with a few of his etchings and drawings—add a grace to the resort’s minimal and airy lobby. Though the décor is scant, the building’s warmth comes from the natural light and mountainous backdrop that feels as if it is cradling the entire structure. Reyes said that he “couldn’t think of a better artist to populate the resort’s inaugural exhibition.” William Nassikas, president and CEO of Westroc Hospitality, which owns this property—along with other vacation stunners like the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Hotel Valley Ho—couldn’t agree more. “We wanted a gallery and artwork that would relate to the community,” he said. “James Davis is a great part of our Arizona art history, and it’s an honor to have the work as part of the Mountain Shadows rebirth.” The original resort, of approximately 80 acres, opened in 1959. The ubiquitous Del Webb brought in architect Martin Stern Jr., who’d worked on some popular Vegas casinos, to bring a mid-century design with a little whimsy to the predominately Western landscape. At the time, they wanted to highlight a more modern lifestyle and bring in a bit of what Nassikas called “the ‘Mad Men’ aesthetic.” When the original mid-century resort opened, it became a happening destination. It was even used as the location for a network television show, “The Brothers Brannagan.” The crime drama focused on two detectives, brothers, who shunned a traditional office setting for an operational home base in the lobby of the Mountain Shadows resort. Though the 39-episode show aired for only one season, it featured some well-known names, including Burt Reynolds, James Coburn and Jackie Coogan. The property closed in 2004 and was sold to a development group that had intentions of giving it a renewal but were never able to turn it around, so it remained dormant until 2014. Westroc purchased it and brought in architect Mark Philp, of Allen and Philp, to create the new version of the resort, which Nassikas says has a “modern sensibility.” They renovated the golf course and in certain places on the site have incorporated concrete blocks from the original building. A thoughtful union of art and architecture, the pairing of James Davis and Mountain Shadows highlights timelessness and transformation, as well as providing a chance to immerse yourself in a present moment that is rich with the fruits of the past and the possibilities of the future. The James G. Davis exhibition runs through the end of April. “Personal Particular Pursuits’ “The Game” “Sensual Sienna Sea” “Self Portrait- 1972” “Red Day on Blueberry Bay” 36 JAVA MAGAZINE

37 JAVA MAGAZINE