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Impressions of Vulture
City Winners


contest gallery 1


Artist: Carolina Baertsch

Photograph, 12×18

Photography of the reassembled building with mine shaft equipment and Vulture peak in the background.

youth category

contest gallery 16


Artist: Violet O’Herron

Photograph, 8×10

When I walked into this room, I immediately noticed the placement of the windows. I couldn’t help but wonder what had led the builders to put them so close together, seemingly almost on top of each other. I admired the subtlety of the light, and the way it hit the glass bottles delicately balanced on shelves. I could see a little bit of the outside of the building through the windows, just barely, and I wondered how many other people had stood here admiring the windows and wondering about the same things.

contest gallery 21


Artist: Manon Prunier

Photography, 8×10

This picture shows an office with an old and dusty table, rocks, and science equipment. Light comes from the windows behind and shines and reflects on the glass bottles. This Picture made me think about an old set of experiments done by the people who lived there and I want the people to feel the age of the office and be intrigued by what was happening there.

contest gallery 18


Artist: Luna Kenney

Photography, 8×10

Playing with your doll all day as a miner’s child. During the afternoon, the curtains create a blue cast over the room. “What should I do now?” The soft glow from the curtains drew my eyes to the doll. Her position made me think of being small, when I would stare aimlessly out the window clutching on my own doll.

contest gallery 7


Artist: Lilianna Masel

Photograph, 18×12

Inspired by the desert scenery and old west atmosphere, I wanted to personify the tumbleweed. Tumbleweeds flow freely through the desert looking for new adventures at every saguaro… until their car breaks down. This tumbleweed woman is stranded in the desert attempting to hitchhike to her new life. Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.

contest gallery 17


Artist: Kelsey Carpenter

Photograph, 8×10

This photograph makes me think about the people who once walked through this room and how empty it is now. It has a cold feeling but also gives me a sense of calm when I look at these objects from the past.

contest gallery 22


Artist: Karina Gorden

Watercolour, ink & colored pencil, 15×16.5

This painting is a portrait of the artist’s mother in one of the houses in vulture city. Her reflection is shown in a broken mirror mounted on an old and weathered wall. The mood of the piece is carried out onto the frame made of 100+ year old barn wood.

contest gallery 13


Artist: Genevieve Higman

Photograph, 8×10

I was in the assay building, wandering, Until I saw it. A lonely table sitting by a single window, it felt sad as the old white paint chipped from its ancient wood. The red patterned tablecloth, which reminded me of home, layed on top of the melancholic table, cups and newspaper which looked older than the table were randomly laid out on top. I was entranced by how welcoming this table was and just how gorgeous the teacups were. Though it’s old it brings a nostalgic and welcoming feeling that could not resist to capture.

contest gallery 19

“Color Brick House”

Artist: William Cox

Colored Pencil, Crayon, 10×13

William wanted to bring color back to Vulture City.


contest gallery 10

1st Place

Artist: Pat O’Brien

Oil, 24×30

Can you image how it would be to walk or drive into the mining city of Vulture City in its day? This is the image I wanted to create for people today. The metal surfaces on the buildings, gravel roads, foliage with points and spikes and rustic dirt walls and ridges. This was the town of Vulture City. I wanted to create that first impression as you enter city with all its activities in contrast to the vast wilderness that surrounded it. The brilliant blue of the sky, rough pointed mountains and the unending openness of the landscape. Here I created a little area where activities would be centered amidst a few random buildings, miscellaneous tools, a walkway and vegetation. The sign depicts your location, in case your confused. This painting was created in oil and I used multiple techniques to create the textures of the land vs. the creations of man, such as signs, buildings, and tools. The man made creations showing the effects of time on the buildings and tools are in contrast to the landscape, with shows little or no effect of time.

contest gallery 26

2nd Place
“Bring It On Up”

Artist: Carla Palermo

Acrylic, 18×24

This scene instantly reminded me of my husband. He was an engineer and was often down in mines designing transfer and conveying systems to bring up various materials. For many years, he was a horse shoer and he makes bits and spurs by hand. Needless to say, he has used virtually every piece of equipment currently displayed at the blacksmith shop. I can easily picture men of the past operating the machinery to bring up material from the mines. Meanwhile others fire up the forge, to heat up some metal.

contest gallery 15

3rd Place
“Around the Corner”

Artist: Julie Hindmarsh

Oil, 20×16

One of my go-to outings for family and friends when they visit here in Wickenburg AZ, is a trip to Vulture Mine City. It amazes me how it captures a piece of time of what was, where you can see and feel how hard it was in years past, as we roam through the buildings around every corner is a gem to be found.

contest gallery 31

Honorable Mention
“What’s For Dinner?”

Artist: Donna Mund-Gustafson

Colored Pencil, 14×11

During a long and tiring day of working in the cold, dark mine, I’m sure the miners looked forward to a hot meal and the light of day. The sun shining through the window onto the stove gave a feeling of peace and anticipation important for me, as I created this picture, to remember the families who lived and worked here to create the memories that still remain.

contest gallery 12

“A Peek Back In Time”

Artist: Donna Mund-Gustafson

Colored Pencil, 14×11

This picture challenges us to take a look beyond the old, tattered cactus, which has been around for many years, to a well-known symbol of the past here at Vulture Mines. It was inspiring to me how this piece of equipment, which stands tall in the midst of the city, can help each of us to visualize the miners working to fill those cars and bring them up to the surface from below.

contest gallery 27


Artist: Hristi Wilbur

Acrylic on Canvas, 20×16

This work has similar characteristics to most of my landscapes- layering of the canvas with a variety of acrylic gels and mediums for texture and balancing between unfinished and very detailed areas. In this composition, I did try to have a clear distinction between foreground, middle ground and background. Coloristically, the rusty red of the background and the old machinery contrasts with the blueish green of the cactus and the building. For me the rusty relics of the past carry a romantic, timeless beauty, so unique to the Southwest. Each of my paintings is a small attempt to capture it.

contest gallery 25

“Morning Light”

Artist: Hristi Wilbur

Acrylic on Canvas, 20×16

I absolutely loved visiting the mining town. I found it so inspiring! I’m obsessed with old machineries and rust and enjoyed working on my pieces. I spent a long time preparing the surface with modeling paste, fiber paste, and crackle paste, layered with a paint on top. My main goal in all my paintings is to find the sweet spot between freedom and control, abstracted and very realistic. It was hard to choose which views to work with, but the saguaro with its sculptural, monumental beauty was my first pick.


contest gallery 1

1st Place
“Idyllic Mine”

Artist: Carolina Baertsch

Photograph, 12×18

Photography of the reassembled building with mine shaft equipment and Vulture peak i the background.

contest gallery 28

2nd Place
“Storm Over the Old Mine”

Artist: Paul Dolter

Photography, 17×21

The old Vulture Mine Head Frame was used to haul Gold ore the the mine’s surface for further processing. After Vulture Mine was no long used, mother nature started reclaiming its components which lead to its demise and removal.

contest gallery 8

3rd Place
“Room For A Night”

Artist: Janeanne Rinaldi

Photography, 12×18

Oh the stories the typewriter, keys and the rooms could tell. One night, never to return, gold fever, lust got the better of em… Hardened, happy to have a respite, but keep yer boots close n yer pistol closer…

contest gallery 14

Honorable Mention
“Dreamy Brothel”

Artist: Carolina Baertsch

Photography, 12×18

Infrared photography of the brothel prior to renovation.

contest gallery 32

“Window To The World”

Artist: Karen Martin

Photography, 10×8

I envision this window as a time machine to the rugged past of the late 1800s Old West. The stucco and stone frame the artifacts, keeping watch on a bygone era.

contest gallery 2

“Vulture Mine Flexes Its Muscle”

Artist: Jay Chatzkel

Photography, 18×12

The story of the Vulture Mine is the story of the mobilization of power. Mining gold and silver required powerful machinery to do the hard work of crushing the raw ore to recover its precious metals. This 100-year-old plus monster was on the cutting edge of its time. It was built to last under the harshest conditions, transported to often desolate and isolated locations, and powerful enough to “deliver the goods” to bring the mine to life. Think about the breakthrough technology that went into the forging of this machinery. The prominent nameplate on this piece shows the pride of the company that created it. The crusher was an essential part of the constellation of equipment enabling the Vulture Mine to become the most productive gold mine in Arizona history. This image tells the story of the magic all the coming together to enable that.

contest gallery 5

“The Ghost Bride”

Artist: Mary Andrade

Photography, 16×12

The ghost bride is an ethereal creature trying to see herself in her wedding dress. The mirrors help others capture a glimpse of her, but she cannot see her own image. She wanders the room, from mirror to mirror, trying in vain to see her own reflection. This image was inspired by the stories of paranormal activity at Vulture City Ghost Town.


contest gallery 23

1st Place
“The Caretaker”

Artist: Gabriel Vinas

Clay, Steel, Wood, 18x9x9

This portrait was sculpted from life in the image of Vulture City’s own Stephane Cerutti, the person who most maintains and embodies the history of this magnificent site. This is the clay original that can be arranged to be made into a permanent bronze casting with a marble base upon request.

contest gallery 9

2nd Place
“Ore Cart Vulture City”

Artist: Carol McRann

Clay, 12×6.5

Vulture City 1863 sitting on an ore cart My inspiration came from the entrance to the walking tour at Vulture City The entrance sign on my piece is slanted, as it is representing the current rise of Vulture city.

contest gallery 11

3rd Place
“Artifacts of the Past: Broken Dreams of the Glory Hole”

Artist: Kathy Patten

Ceramic Sculptures

I love ghost towns and history. I look at remnants left behind and wonder about the people who left things behind and what their dreams and hopes were. They left everything they previously knew to start anew. My vision for this piece was that when you first come upon an old town, there are remnants of life from yesterday. But the pieces are scattered so you have to gather them up to try and understand the entire story. Not all the pieces are neatly laying together, not all pieces are there, yet you still can create a story of what might have been. My medium is clay; all slab constructed. To retain the appearance of old history, the pieces are colored with oxide stains rather than glazes. The items I created were typical equipment for miners in the late 1800’s when Vulture City was active.

contest gallery 6

Honorable Mention
“Wood Picture of Vulture Mine”

Artist: Jerry Howe

Exotic woods for color effect, 18×15

I’m retired I have worked with wood all of my life. I was a framer and trim carpenter all of my adult life. I moved back to AZ six years ago. I like to make things by hand instead of relying on a machine like a CNC. I make it a point not to use paint or stain using the color of natural woods for the coloring. I like saying there is “no paint or stain “ I do this to inspire people that they can do anything with there hands and mine not be afraid to try anything. Besides its FUN

contest gallery 24

“Junkyard Bird”

Artist: Leiloni Designs

Found objects & metal, 32″Hx30″Wx12″D

Metal found-objects sculpture of a bird. “Junkyard Bird” was created prior to our visit to Vulture Mine City, but afterwards it seemed apparent that it would be a natural fit. I am drawn to and collect rusty old remnants of civilization that eventually find their way into my artwork.

contest gallery 3

“Wheels of Time”

Artist: Carla Fite

Clay, 15×11

After taking a self-guided tour I wanted to depict the full circle Vulture City has gone through, over the years from 1863 to 2022, having the gears and the wheels on the ore cart symbolizing “the wheels of fate”. The pan, pick and shovel depicting the start of mining. The closed mineshaft for the closing in 1941 and the “Destination” for 2022

contest gallery 20

“Menace or Guardian”

Artist: Thula Ewards

Mixed media/fiber & clay, 27x22x12

I found myself intrigued by the hanging tree and the implication of the vultures roosting there. Were they a deterrent to men contemplating stealing riches from the mine or were they simply the clean up crew hanging in the branches? Vulture City is an unusual name for welcoming residents but maybe the vultures were mascots guarding the miners and their gold? Is the vulture in this sculpture ready for flight or just settling in to keep watch? The sculpture is constructed of nylon fiber clay over an armature. It is covered with a sealant and finished with acrylic paint.The hanging tree branch is local hardwood, gnarled and twisted as the old tree appears. The trolley sits upon a pile or “ore” from the mine. It is sprinkled with “gold” flecks depicting the wealth that is still possible in this historic ghost town.

contest gallery 30

“Vulture City Dreamer”

Artist: Sylvia Armstrong

Fiber Clay, 20.5×7

This abstract sculpture in fiber clay was inspired by the guide we met when we visited. He told us about all the time he had devoted to making Vulture City what it is today, and also about his personal paranormal experiences. In my artistic impression of him, I added a few silver hairs as I’m sure he will indeed be there until his dream has been reached!

fan favourite

contest gallery 5

”The Ghost Bride”

Artist: Mary Andrade

Photography, 16×12

The ghost bride is an ethereal creature trying to see herself in her wedding dress. The mirrors help others capture a glimpse of her, but she cannot see her own image. She wanders the room, from mirror to mirror, trying in vain to see her own reflection. This image was inspired by the stories of paranormal activity at Vulture City Ghost Town.

contest gallery 29

”The Guardians”

Artist: Pamela Plummer

Photography, 16×24

I was on a tour of Vulture city walking among old building, mining equipment, old cars & trucks and trying to picture what this space looked like when it was new and alive with miners and the people of vulture City. I looked over and noticed the grouping of the Saguaro’s and thought “I bet they could tell me a good story” as I am sure they stood in the exact spot and little changed from years ago. The cars & trucks were now rusted, the buildings showing their age but the regal Saguaros still stool tall, beautiful; and proud. The Guardians. I did alter the photo in post by adding a sky enhancement filter.

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