Behind Curtain Number One

Behind Curtain Number One Corinne Geertsen

Behind Curtain Number One

Many thanks to the Tempe History Museum, which offered me astonishing source photos for this new work.

Of course, we’re all wondering what’s behind Curtain Number Two. And Curtain Number Three! I don’t even want to go there.

Here’s a Library of Congress photo showing the train from a different angle. The caption is: 1902 VIEW SHOWING TRAIN WRECK ON MARICOPA AND PHOENIX RAILROAD CAUSED BY BRIDGE FAILURE RESULTING FROM FLOOD DAMAGE – ASH AVENUE BRIDGE. Hmm. A few years ago, but not far from my house.


Phillips Gallery Winter Group Show

Phillips-Gallery-Salt-Lake-City-UtahI am quite delighted to join the Phillips Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I’ll first show in The Winter Group Show from December 21st to January 9th.

The Phillips Gallery is the oldest gallery in the intermountain west. I’ve liked the Phillips Gallery and everything in it since I first walked in in 1971. We have two sculptures, a weaving and several lithographs we’ve picked up from the Phillips over the years. They have what you want.

There are three floors, outdoor sculpture spaces, and many happy surprises in nooks and around corners.

Please come enjoy the show!

Gamers – by Jenny Pace

Game Corinne Geertsen


I am so very amazed and delighted that Jenny Pace has written the poem, Game. Could there possibly be a better name for a rhino than Rhynette? Enjoy!


Sadly, Lizabetha lost again,

Out maneuvered by her one-ton friend.

Bravely putting on her gaming face,

Lizabetha tried to lose with grace.

Hoping for a rematch, she inquired,

“Shall we play again, or are you tired?”

Rhynette, quite embarrassed, could retort

Only with an agitated, “Snort”.

So, knowing that she was the thicker skinned,

Took the disadvantaged spot downwind.

Lizabetha, strong in arm and fist,

Could not match Rhynette’s suppleness of wrist.

This respected skill was legendary,

But she knew it was hereditary.

Springville Exhibit by Amber Foote

Party Game Corinne Geertsen

Party Game

See Amber Foote’s wonderful Herald article on my Springville show here. Or enjoy it right on this page:

The Springville Museum of Art’s latest exhibit pulls viewers into a world of dreams and whimsy mingled with history.

“Beyond Memory: The Daydreams of Corinne Geertsen,” opened this month and explores the imagination of Arizona artist Corinne Geertsen. Inserting old photos of ancestors into digitally assembled images, Geertsen creates pictures that blend fact and fancy and tell visual narratives about her subjects.

“Her work is magical, it draws you in,” said Rita Wright, director of the Springville Museum of Art. “We called this exhibit ‘Beyond Memory’ because you feel like you should recognize these pictures. They feel familiar, but you can’t quite remember where you’ve seen them before.

Geertsen, who lives in Mesa, Ariz., was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Great Falls, Montana. Her roots, however, go back to Springville, where several of her ancestors lived. It was her ancestors who launched her on an artistic journey to create stories that went along with their vintage photos.

“I have always enjoyed our large collection of old family photos,” Geertsen said. “I would study them and wonder what this or that person had been doing before the photograph and what he would do later that day. I wondered what they were thinking right when the shutter snapped.”

In 2006, Geertsen took a Photoshop class at a local college. “My idea was to learn to restore my old family photos,” she said. “A few weeks into the class I began to see the people in the photos as characters in dramas. I’ve been making these pictures ever since.”

Geertsen starts with a photo of an ancestor and after digitally removing the person from the photo, places them on a white background and moves on to what she calls the “Yikes Method.”

“I add in another person, a violin, a hippo, a fish,” Geertsen said. “It‘s very random. I call it auditioning. If the new addition doesn’t look good with the person I began with, it’s “yikes” and I move it out and try a new one. I’m looking for something or someone that looks quite good visually with what’s already there, and perhaps suggests a story. The story gradually materializes out of thin air while I’m choosing objects for the picture.”

Using a digital brush, Geertsen then paints layer upon layer of color, texture, light and shadows until there are over a hundred layers in her picture.

“It’s photoshopping at its most glorious and inventive,” said Wright. “The feeling you get with these photographs is that you’ve entered a time machine and you’re looking out the window and seeing contemporary landscapes or subject matter, and yet the vintage photographs she uses are warm and inviting and take you back in time.”

Geertsen expanded her availability of photo subjects when she received permission from Brigham Young University to work with the school’s George Edward Anderson photo collection. Anderson was an early photographer who lived in Springville and was also at one point a business partner of Geertsen’s great-grandfather.

“I feel like I’m completing a circle by being partners with George Edward Anderson now,” said Geertsen.

She also hopes the people in her pictures — who she places in surreal and often humorous predicaments — can appreciate their role in her artistry.

“I hope all these ancestors have a sense of humor,” Geertsen said.

Springville Art Museum Show Now thru April 26, 2015

Beyond Memory Corinne GeertsenMy solo show, Beyond Memory – The Daydreams of Corinne Geertsen opened the evening of October 8th. There are 30 pictures grouped in four rooms: The introduction above, Hide and Seek (games), Along the way (travel), and Déjà Vu. The pictures are elegantly spaced with a nice vertical rhythm.

Lots of people came. We were all happy. Rita Wright, the director of the museum, used the word “magical”.

20141008 Beyond-Memory-Corinne-Geertsen

20141008-Springville-Show-Corinne-GeertsenThe museum was built by the WPA in the depression. It’s huge and gorgeous. Wonderful floors. Springville has always had a strong arts presence. I have lots of relatives there I’ve never met. I just say I’m a Crandall and they go, “OHHHH” and I’m left to wonder what that means.

Play Along Corinne geertsenThey laminated George Edward Anderson photos, so people could pick them up and walk around the museum, comparing them to the pictures they are in. My great grandfather and George Edward Anderson were business partners for a while. I have special permission from Brigham Young University to use their collection of George Edward Anderson images. BYU has a portfolio of my work using the G.E.A. photos in their special collections.

Clouded Corinne Geertsen


The Museum hung Clouded on the wall, found a rug that closely matches the flying carpet in the picture and laid it on the floor in front of the picture. Be sure to check that out if you go.

20141008-Springville-Show-tableIf you would like to see more of my work, have a seat at the library table. There is a book on it of most of my work and also books about George Edward Anderson.

There is plenty of time to come see the show. It’s up until April 26, 2015. Come on down!

The Borrower Bird

The Borrower Bird Corinne Geertsen

The Borrower Bird

Sometimes I make pictures of things I would like to see.

Questions come to mind: Is he moving his home? Why? Climate change? Wait, wait, if he’s borrowing it, is he going to bring it back?

Come see my show at The Springville Museum of Art (now through April 26th) and see The Borrower Bird in person.

Showing at the Springville Museum of Art

Corinne Geertsen Springville Museum of ArtHere is your official invite to my show at the Springville Museum of Art, Springville, Utah. There will be 30 works.

The reception is next Wednesday, October 8th from 7:00-8:30. The show runs through April 26th, 2015. As you can see, there will also be a display of children’s portraits from the LDS Permanent Collection. We would love to see you there.

All in the Family

Mother, daughter Corinne Geertsen

My daughter and granddaughter have posed and contributed arms and legs and hands and even closed eyes to my artwork. (See my daughter’s arms in The Crossing.) Many thanks to them!

We took pictures one evening last week. When you are as photogenic as these two are, all you need is a doorway!

Meyer Gallery Affordable Art Stroll

Birdwalker Corinne Geertsen

Join the fun at the Park City inaugural “Affordable Art Stroll”. I am proud to be at the Meyer Gallery, which will feature 100 quality works under $1000. I’m showing in the front room on ground level. Come and see!

I am delighted the Meyer Gallery used my work “Bird Walker” on their invitations. The gallery stroll will be Friday, September 26th from six to nine in the evening. Naturally, treats will be served and all are invited.

The Ringmaster – Philip Curtis at the Mesa Arts Center

Oh boy, one of my favorite artist at one of my favorite museums. Philip Curtis: long Victorian figures, barren trees and sparse landscapes, parades, caged animals, such a lovely touch with a horizon line. His paintings stop me in my tracks and I can’t stop looking.
Philip Curtis, The Parade

Philip Curtis’s show of circus art, The Ringmaster, opened last night and continues through November 30, 2014. Hurry on down. It’s free too.

Last night The Mesa Arts Center threw a cirque-ish season kick-off. There was an aerial hoop dancer, a strongman, a juggler (flaming hatchets, yes!) a fire-eater (with a beard. Imagine!), a steam punk-robot-dancer ( a lovely man), a contortionist, and stilt -walker. You could take your photo with a mermaid. That’s the kind of night it was.

The 18 year old tightrope walker was charming. After she finished her walks, she walked straight into her audience, held the hands of young girls and visited with them.

20140912 Tightrope Walker

I took a lot of photos. Delightful!