Best Of Tucson®

Best Local Visual Artist

painters Barbara Rogers and Gwyneth Scally

READERS' PICK: Both these sterling painters are serious, productive and talented, and about as different, say, as Mozart from Beethoven. UA prof Rogers, painter of glowing gardens of earthly delights, is the Mozart figure. Nicely displayed last winter at the Tucson Museum of Art, her paintings are big and elegant. They're filled with flowers and vines and other botanica, but they're don't tend in the least toward trivia. Rogers deftly combines painterly beauty with beguiling compositions that suggest layers and depth. Scally's work is much darker, tending more to the tenebrous Beethoven, but her gift for figurative painting is rare, even old-masterly. This spring, Scally had a magnificent show in, of all places, the basement gallery of the Museum of Contemporary Art. She paired her expertly painted figures with sculptural figures, using the strange roomscape to great effect. The 3-D figures stood in the dark niches, while the painted 2-D people hung on the walls in between. Kinda like a postmodern funhouse.