Shil Hózhó (With Me There Is Beauty)
58 x 38 inches, oil
$12,000 | SOLD
Limited Edition giclée prints on canvas are available.
Beneficiary: Grand Canyon Conservancy, Grand Canyon Village, 928-638-2481, grandcanyon.org
Photo by Debs Metzong, mouse over the image to see original photo from
Arizona Highways July 1985.
The Art of Our Photography
November 12, 2021 - January 16, 2022
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale
About a year ago, we reached out to a group of artists to see if they’d be interested in working with us on something we were calling “The December Project.” The gist of it was simple: Poke around our extensive photo archive, select one of the many images, set up an easel and paint away. The response was overwhelming, and the artists’ interpretations are spectacular. What’s more, each one of them has agreed to donate at least half of the sale price of their paintings to a charity of their choice.
EDITED BY ROBERT STIEVE | TEXT BY KATHY MONTGOMERY | ARTIST PORTRAITS BY PAUL MARKOW
Of all the places she’s traveled, Marcia Molnar loves the Navajo Nation the most. “I’m not sure why I connect to it so much,” she says. “But I do. There’s that flat horizon and big sky. Maybe it’s the freedom of that big sky.”
But what drew Molnar to Debs Metzong’s photo was the girls.
Born to a family of artists, Molnar grew up in California and recalls that her grandparents always kept copies of Arizona Highways on their coffee table. She met her husband, George, when she was 14. They married at 19 and decided to be painters. Her father was a gallery owner and told her, “All you have to do is sell one painting a month, and you’ve got a career.”
“So, I believed him,” she says.
George wanted to move to Arizona to paint Navajos and cowboys, so the couple came to Prescott for the Phippen Museum’s first show. They’ve stayed for 40 years. But while Molnar appreciated Western art, she never felt its masculine subject matter spoke to her experience. “When I paint women, I’m painting myself,” she says. “So, when I saw these girls, I related to them.”
Within minutes, she saw the image just as she painted it: the Three Sisters formation, representing the ancient and the timeless, and the sisters herding the sheep in the present, all set against that expansive turquoise sky.
Her love of that big sky was partly behind her decision to support Grand Canyon Conservancy. “I got really on board with them as they took on the dark-sky initiative,” she says. Aside from feeling a connection to the sky, the stars and the moon, she also believes it’s important for children to see the stars.
As for her grandparents, she says, “They would have been thrilled to see my painting in the magazine.”