Max Bunnell graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree, majoring in Art and Education. Later he finished a Master of Fine Arts degree at the same school. He was awarded a Ford Fellow Leadership Scholarship, which amounted to a year studying in various places and different schools in the Southwest. This included a study of Indian Jewelry at Santa Fe and silversmithing from Alvin Pine at California State, Long Beach.
Mr. Bunnell taught in Clark County, NV public schools for 29 years, and more recently, spent ten years as a full time professor of art at Dixie College. He has taught in the extension program for the University of Nevada at both the Las Vegas and Reno campuses and currently conducts workshops in both Nevada and Utah. Max loves to teach and share what he has learned with others, as he has done for over 50 years.
For many years Max painted professionally and is represented in various collections throughout the Southwest and the U.S., as well as in some foreign countries. He specializes in painting landscapes in watercolor and oils; however, he works in many media. He has experienced success in shows throughout the Southwest, winning awards and commissions.
Max has been the driving force in starting art guilds in Nevada. In 1959 he founded the Moapa Valley Art Guild. He was instrumental in starting the successful Dixie Invitational Art Show, which earned over $300,000 towards a new art museum on the campus.
He married Julia E. Lewis, and they are the parents of two daughters, Leah Mae Rieske of Orem, UT, and Edith Ann Luce of Overton, NV. Max loves his family and grandchildren, and loves to paint or draw on location with his painter friends, whenever possible.
Makenzie Bush graduated from BYU last December. Her passions for horses and art had early beginnings. She began riding horses at 2 years old, and in elementary school developed a love for drawing horses as well as riding them.
Her artwork won her two first prizes in the elementary school “Reflections” program. In middle school her equine art work was chosen to be displayed on the school’s “Mustang Dollars” currency. Her friends began noticing her talents and asked her to draw/design the shirts for the freshmen class of 2014.
In high school she began to try to draw (people) faces. At first it seemed difficult and not fun at all! But persistence paid off. She eventually became successful and began to love it. Recently one of her profile sketches won Reserve Champion in her division at the Clark County Fair. She also won Reserved Overall Champion for her mixed media display at the Moapa Valley High School Art Show, and she was asked to design/draw the cover of the Moapa Valley High School Yearbook for 2012-2013.
Makenzie is a well-grounded person with many interests including volleyball, rodeo, track, and playing piano, guitar, and drums. Now that she has learned to draw more than horses, she is excited to learn new art techniques and experiment with different media. Art continues to be one of her passions.
Although Catherine is a novice as a visual artist, she has been involved in the arts since she was about 9 years old. She began as a singer in her native Montana and soon traveled to Seattle, Kansas City and Hollywood where she continued her studies and career. Catherine sang in the ensemble with the Los Angeles Opera Co., the Pasadena Opera Company and the Redlands Bowl as well as being a soloist in various churches with orchestras and in recitals.
Moving back to Montana, she became involved with the Bozeman Opera Co. and the Musical Theatre in Butte, Montana. To help “feed her habit” of singing, she worked for many years in the clerical field. Upon retirement, she and her husband became snowbirds and have flown between Montana and Nevada for the past 11 plus years.
Catherine was involved in the musical scene in Overton and recently has begun to transfer that creative energy into writing and the visual arts. “I am trying every venue,” she states, “from acrylics to watercolor to charcoal to drawing. I believe my forte will be in finger painting! But it is a wonderful transition and a great way to spend more time with my sister, Helen Caraveo, who is a professional artist.”
Bonnie Koopman, born in Indiana migrated to Chicago after high school and worked there as a secretary. Then followed marriage and a move to Las Vegas in 1963. She and her husband moved to Overton 33 years later when her husband retired.
She joined the Moapa Valley Art Guild in 1998. Although not a painter, she enjoys crafts such as crocheting, embroidery, and sewing. Her other pastime is scrapbooking.
She gave valuable service to the MVAG by serving as secretary for seven years. She is now sharing her talents by keeping up the MVAG scrapbook.
Aimee was raised near Salt Lake City, Utah and from a young age was creatively inspired, interested in drawing, coloring, and doodling. This eventually evolved into sketching, painting, and designing. She is clever with her hands and enjoys sewing, crocheting, jewelry making and eco-crafting. She attended Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) and studied Art and Interior Design. She has continued to develop her artistic skills as a member of the Moapa Valley Art Guild, attending workshops and being coached by Gerrie Barton and others.
Aimee’s cheery smile, warm personality and enthusiasm add a lot to the Guild and its members. She and her children are tireless helpers at Guild Art Shows and at the yearly Pomegranate Arts & Crafts Festival.
Marshall graduated from Moapa Valley High School. His special passion is sketching, and he has remarkable powers of concentration when he’s working on something. He keeps busy musically as well, playing the cello and bass guitar around the Moapa Valley.
Mercinia Potts, sometimes called “Mimi,” is a student at Moapa Valley High School. School work keeps her busy, and when that is done she often helps her Mom by looking after her two younger siblings. She enjoys sketching and is heavily influenced by Japanese Anime and Manga. Her favorite genre is fantasy.
Lynn Rigoni was born in Glendale, California and spent much of her childhood at the beach. This gave her an early awareness and experience with nature and the out-of-doors. Making her home in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1962 gave her yet another insight into nature, making her aware of the many wonders of the desert southwest. Ghost towns, stage stops and rural areas became a part of life for Lynn as she explored historical areas and documented old buildings. Absorbing these surroundings gives her a unique understanding of the past.
In 1998 Lynn left Las Vegas to move to the rural town of Overton, Nevada. This has given her time to enjoy life in the country.
When her busy schedule permits she finds time to attend classes at UNLV and workshops throughout the U.S. in order to continue developing and expanding her artistic talents. She is a student of life. Each day is an adventure.
Whether in her studio or on location she enjoys working with watercolors, oils and pastels; however, she is always in the pursuit of new challenges in the field of art. Abstract, Collage, and Impressionistic art also find a place in Lynn’s work.
Lynn is a signature member of the Nevada Watercolor Society, Moapa Valley Art Guild, the Catalina Art Association, St. Mary’s Art Center and art associations in several states. She is also a Charter Member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Lynn Keeps on the move with commissions, art shows and teaching at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City, Nevada. She also donates her time teaching children and adults in rural areas in the Western states and Mexico
She enjoys the outdoors and captures the beauty of the southwest in her paintings. Her membership in the Catalina Art Association has given her an opportunity to paint colorful seascapes. Lynn also enjoys still life and portraiture
Marya Romero has lived in Moapa Valley her whole life. She has enjoyed drawing since she was a small child. She started learning different techniques in Elementary, Middle and High school, and enjoys learning from all the artists she meets in the Art Guild. She plays the viola, enjoys learning and playing new music, performing solos and in ensemble.
The summer before her senior year, someone suggested she join the Moapa Valley Art Guild. Being in the Art Guild introduced her to watercolor painting and watercolor techniques. She graduated from Moapa Valley High School, class of 2011. She is a 2011 scholarship recipient of the Art Guild and studied Art at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). She loves working with pencil, watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink and enjoys turning everyday items into pieces of art.
Tammy is a member of the Moapa Valley Art Guild and Portrait Artists of America. She minored in art at the University of Southern Utah and at Weber State College. She completed a week-long portrait class with Del Parsons, and studied with famed portrait artist Daniel Green while attending a Portrait Artists of America Convention in Philadelphia
Tammy works successfully in several media: acrylics, oils, pastels, and pen and ink. She has also completed several sculptures. She enjoys doing studies of both people and animals.
Elizabeth (Betty) Trombley is a recent transplant to the Moapa Valley from Glens Falls, New York, a community surrounded by the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. She moved to Overton, NV in 2005 to be close to her children. Although the green has left her landscape, she is again surrounded by beautiful mountains from which to draw inspiration for her artwork. But it is the people who inspire her the most. Betty has always studied faces, finding each unique and beautiful in its own way. In combination with desert backgrounds, she has incorporated many of those new valley faces in her art.
While living in Glens Falls, she served as President of North Country Art Center for four years and Vice President for two years. She was also a member of LARAC (Lower Adirondack Regional Art Council). She studied extensively at the Hyde Museum at an early age and continued her studies with area artists throughout her career as a medical product and tool designer.
Betty’s love of the arts followed her to Overton and in 2006 she joined the Moapa Valley Art Guild. She has just recently begun to paint again in both watercolors and oils. Also, she loves the art of clay modeling and recently taught a class sponsored by MVAG. She has also been inspired to write two novels which await publication, as well as a storybook about growing up during the great depression, which she has written to pass on to her family.
Colleen was born in Texas, but lived most of her life in Utah. She and her husband moved to Overton, NV when they retired. They have traveled extensively and always enjoyed the art of the areas they visited. They made it a habit to purchase some form of art from each of the various places they have been. Needless to say, it is a very eclectic collection but fun to look at and talk about.
Art has always fascinated Colleen. She has dabbled in several mediums; pencil, chalk, ceramics and sculpture. Learning different techniques and mediums has always been interesting and a personal challenge to her. Currently she is trying her hand at watercolors.
Jackie was born and raised in Utah. At age four her aunt taught her to crochet, and she has been doing it ever since. She regularly crochets baby clothes for her church's Humanitarian Aid Program.
When she was nineteen she added knitting to her list of skills. She began creating ceramics in her thirties and has actively pursued it since.
In 2001, she and her husband, Jim, moved to Overton. She formed a friendship with someone who was taking watercolor classes from Char Lang. Upon her friend’s invitation, she attended a class and found that she enjoyed working with watercolors.
Later, when her husband’s health declined, she turned her attention from her arts & crafts in order to devote more time to him. Since his passing she has begun to recoup and is beginning to paint again. She still enjoys it and hopes to improve her skills.
Jackie says she appreciates the Moapa Valley Art Guild and all it does in promoting local artists, and is proud of the scholarship program. She believes it is a great group of people to work with. Jackie has been serving in leadership positions in the MVAG for many years.