Best Painting Exhibition

Nancy Tokar Miller: In Retrospect and Natural Selections: Jim Waid Paintings (TIE)

Two longtime giants of the Tucson art scene—both MFA grads of the UA—had major painting exhibitions over the winter. Tokar Miller had a well-deserved career retrospective at the UAMA. She filled its first floor with her luminous near-abstractions based on landscape, rendered in simple strokes and radiant color that conjured up her Asian sources. Waid, as usual, stuck closer to home in his joyous desert paintings. Thick acrylic impasto and delirious colors turned his saguaros and ocotillos into surreal figures gyrating in the Southern Arizona light.