With only two pieces left unsold, Claire Deveney’s debut art show in Salida promises to sell out. On view at Tenderfoot Health Collective through the end of April, Deveney’s creative illustrations include titles like “Discombobulated” and “Speak! Good Boy!”

From left, “Brainsucker,” “Reach” and “Speak! Good Boy!” by Claire Deveney (photo by Joe Stone).

Most of the 14 illustrations in the show were made six months ago after Deveney returned from hiking more than 2,500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. After the five-and-half-month trek, Deveney got “snowed off” 30 miles from the border. “I was bummed I didn’t finish, but it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve done,” she said. “A lot of soul searching went on. It transforms your thinking and it honed in my art. You can’t do that without walking every day. The details are clearer.”

Deveney hiked with “a motley group of guys for nearly the whole way.” Her only art supplies were two markers and a travel watercolor set. After returning home to Salida, Deveney needed a new outlet for her “pent-up energy,” so she translated it into art. “It was pretty easy. I had all the supplies right there.” 

Claire Deveney (left) and Kat McQuillan can’t help but smile during Deveney’s first-ever artist reception in Salida. Deveney sold eight pieces at the reception, hosted by McQuilan at Tenderfoot Health Collective (photo by Joe Stone).

Her first art medium, while living in Oklahoma City, was spray paint, which she said taught her to work quickly. Working in the “somewhat illegal” medium of spray paint meant she had “10 minutes to finish or you go to jail.”

Deveney presented her first art show in an Oklahoma City gallery. The medium was wire sculpture, and she sold one piece. So her reaction to selling 12 pieces this spring has been a combination of awestruck, excitement and “Holy shit, this is awesome!” April 7, the night of her artist reception, Deveney sold eight pieces. She said she plans to make art a priority this summer and is working on launching a website, but for now inquires may be emailed to her at claire.deveney@gmail.com.

“I’d like to give a shout out to Kat (McQuillan) at THC,” Deveney said. “No way I could’ve done this without her. She was incredibly supportive throughout the process.”

Deveney’s exhibit continues on display at THC through April 30.