I recently fled the Phoenix area for a cool mining town-turned-artist colony tucked away in Arizona’s southeast corner. The eclectic community of Bisbee is not exactly Barry Goldwater country; on my first visit in the ‘90s I saw the only car to share Arizona plates with a “Nader for President” bumper sticker.
The times have changed, but Bisbee’s politics haven’t. Navigating the steep, narrow streets, we found ourselves behind the Hillary Art Car. I couldn’t resist taking a quick photo of the bedazzled auto before we headed to lunch at a local café.
As fortune would have it, the same car pulled into the restaurant a few minutes later. The owner graciously let me take more photos even though she smelled the stink of “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” all over me. The car is decorated with bottle caps, dominoes, colored stones, and other found objects, in addition to multiple beaming visages of Ms. Clinton herself.
The artist’s name is Gretchen Baer, a self-styled “traveling art ambassador to Hillary Clinton” and full-time “paintress.” She runs a Bisbee studio called The Cleopatra Lounge West; not to be confused with The Cleopatra Lounge East, which she owns in her birthplace of Martha's Vineyard.
She kindly handed me her business card and it turns out I like many of her paintings. For the time being, I think I’ll stick with the landscapes over the more partisan work.