Sandra Ashbaugh

Two Chandler artists’ works have been accepted in a new gallery in Cave Creek.

Both ceramic artist Sandra Ashbaugh and fiber artist Laurie Fagen have their work in The Finer Arts Gallery, 6137 E. Cave Creek Road.

Fagen, a former journalist who is also an author of several mystery novels, also is on Facebook with a talk with fellow writer Jessica Williams about their connection with Hawaii.

“My mother, Piilani, was born and raised on Maui, and I have been visiting the islands for decades,” Fagen said. “Jessica was born and raised on Oahu, so it’s one of many things we have in common. In the islands, ‘talk story’ means to shoot the breeze.”

The pair discuss how they write, what they write about, and about their shared interest in inspiring others – especially women – to pursue their dreams and interests.

They met through a communications organization for women, both have a son, and have been each other’s sounding boards and cheerleaders for years.

Williams has written a hardcover cookbook called “Turkey Savvy,” a self-help guide for making a turkey dinner from scratch.

“As an Asian-American growing up in Hawaii, we always had things like rice or sushi or other local dishes,” Williams explains. “But when I married this midwestern guy from Michigan, I had to learn how to cook everything. Then when my son said, ‘Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday,’ I realized it’s not just about the food, but also the sense of ‘ohana, which means family in Hawaiian.”

The two writers will also team up for a book talk on Kauai in December, where Fagen owns property.

In addition, Fagen, of Fox Crossing, will be guest speaker for Scottsdale Society of Women Writers at 6 p.m. Nov. 17 via an online video chat.

Fagen will release “Bleeder,” book #3 in her “Behind the Mic Mysteries” this fall. Fagen and her late husband Geoff Hancock published the SanTan Sun News for 13 years until his death in 2013.

The artist-owned gallery exhibits the work of 36 fine artists in mediums including jewelry, glass, fiber sculpture, ceramics, bronze, gourds, textile, photographers, metal sculpture, wood live edge, graphite, acrylic, pastel and oil.

“We are thrilled to be able to represent some of Arizona’s most accomplished contemporary artists in our gallery,” said Linda Lindus, an acrylic painter and one of the gallery managers.

 “The art transcends the rustic past with today’s contemporary fine art, yet still pays tribute to its history by including art with a Western flair.”

People can meet the Chandler artists and others at the grand opening from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 18. Light refreshments will be served and the event  is free and open to the public.

 The gallery will close at 4 p.m. that day for a private party. Regular hours will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and by appointment. 

Featured artists in September include live edge burl woodworker Rick Griggs; graphite artist Jack Schilder; and jewelry artist Marlene Sabatina. 

The Finer Arts Gallery is on the picturesque road winding through Cave Creek and Carefree, in the rustic building known as the Cave Creek Station. It’s still shaded by a grand, 150-year-old Tamarisk tree, fondly-remembered by residents as the “Treehouse,” Fagen said.

Other artists who have been accepted into the gallery include: Kathy Nelson, Merrily Kulmer, Joanne Gallery, Julie Gilbert, Sarah Curley, Patrick O Grady, Jan Stiles, Beverly Carlson-Bradshaw, Linda Paul-Sontag, Linda Lindus, Jack Schilder, Dennis Despois, Robin Ray, Bill Goren, Paulette Galop, Karen Friend, Joanie Wolter, Pat Isaacson, Carol Tenwald, Shannon Taggert, Marlene Sabatina, Casey Cheuvront, Jan Griggs, Dick Mueller, Nancy Breiman, Cynthia Eral, Kirby Plessas, Karen Chatfield;

Also, Sandra Hamilton, Robert Elenbaas, Anne Von Pentz, Karen Johnson, Rick Griggs and Beth Benowich.

For gallery details: or 480-488-2923.

For additional information and how to purchase Fagen’s book and other published works:

For Williams’ cookbook, visit:


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