Joy Weddle on the go at 80

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At almost 80 years of age, Joy Weddle is currently building a rock wall in her back yard and refinishing her kitchen cabinets.

“My life just seemed to have provided the ideal settings to inspire me, but mostly I have just always created things for the joy of it, not struggling to become anything,” she said.

Joy’s early artistic story begins on a ranch in the Arizona desert near what is now Peoria. “Our Daddy taught us to draw,” she said. “We would sit around our big oak table, each with a stack of typing paper and draw for hours.”

At the age of eight, Joy’s father moved the family to Horse Mesa Dam, “When I wasn’t swimming or climbing, I was drawing and painting pictures of the mountains,” she recalled.

After high school graduation, Weddle took a correspondence course in oil painting in 1958. “People began wanting to buy my paintings,” she said.

Her father moved the family to the San Carlos Reservation where he took a job at the Coolidge Dam.

“I began drawing and painting the Apache children and the Crown Dancers; I took a class from the Indian school in clay and ceramics and began sculpting,” she said.

A few years later, Weddle began her work in bronze. “You could do more detail and make editions and still have one to keep,” she reasoned. “Because of the expense, my husband and I learned to do most of the work ourselves.”

Her husband did all the casting, helped with sandblasting and made all the bases for her bronze sculptures. Over the years, Weddle has received numerous awards for her works of art and sold pieces through the El Prado Gallery – Tlaquepaque, in Sedona.

Weddle has worked with many mediums including ink, watercolors, oils, clay, stone and bronze. Today, Weddle creates many pieces in paper clay.

Her sculpture, Dragon on Manzanita,” will be for auction along with many other beautiful pieces created by many local talented artists at the Gila County Fairgrounds, Nov.3 at 5 p.m.

The CVRMC Foundation raises funds in support of Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center to purchase equipment and technology specifically for patient care and staff training which strengthens the healthcare services in the community.

A silent and live auction will be held along with several wine tasting stations, a beer garden, photos by Come Alive Photography, and a fun carnival atmosphere!. Tickets are now on sale for $10 or $12 at the door.

For more information or to donate an auction item contact Dianna Jernigan at (928) 402-1197 or Jessica Morgan at (928) 402-1230.

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