Jobe exhibit depicts artist's work from early years on

From her arrival in Carson Valley 40 years ago, artist Mimi Jobe has established herself as an icon here in the Valley.

The Gardnerville resident's lifetime of artistic work is on display now through Dec. 1 at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center.

"It was like an autobiographical display in artwork," said Jobe, of a reception and birthday party for her held at the museum last Saturday, attended by more than 200 people. "It was not really a birthday celebration. It was a celebration of life."

Jobe said she didn't get a chance to talk to many people at the museum party, which was "jam packed." She is planning to be at the museum, 1477 Highway 395 in Gardnerville, from 2-4 p.m. again this Saturday to speak about her work to people who may have not been able to attend the reception or who may have not been able to talk to her last Saturday.

"We had a big turnout," said Jobe. "It was fabulous - absolutely fabulous."

Jobe's exhibit begins with early illustrations of women she created when she was 12-15 years old in the 1930s. Next to newspaper articles of Jobe, one showing her playing the lead in a production of "The Mikado" at Bladensburg High School in Maryland when her name was Miriam Johnson, are illustrations from when Jobe was working in fashion design.

"(Jobe) started designing clothes and won an art scholarship at age 16, but was unable to take advantage of it," states information on the display.

Newspaper advertisements from the 1940s show more of Jobe's work. In all, there are 24 illustrations from this period of her life.

"People were extremely surprised," said Jobe. "The exhibit starts with things from when I was very young. I had a lot of artwork from when I was a little kid. I went on into illustration and fashion design, then watercolors of areas where I lived."

From the 1940s through the 1970s, Jobe traveled with her husband, Harley Jobe Jr., and each place they made their home she would continue with her drawing and painting. From a watercolor of the "Virginia Hunt Country" to shark fishing in Florida, to scenes of Mexico, all are in the exhibit for museum-goers to see. Her watercolors depict everything from the bright greens and reds of the flora and macaw parrots in Florida, to Mexican street scenes. In the late 1940s she moved to the Nevada mines of Lapanta and Pamlico near Hawthorne, shown by her renditions of men at work in the mines. An example from the 1950s is illustrations of a little girl who wanted to see fairies - then she got her wish. The 1960s found her living on a farm in Illinois, where she and her husband built custom homes and harvested corn and soybeans. Along with this display is a sign she designed marking the Lincoln Trail Road for the Illinois Division of Highways.

Once she moved to the Valley, in the late 1960s and 1970s she did a flurry of pencil sketches of people and children, "some of (her) favorite pencil sketches." And the 1980's portion of the exhibit through today is full of originals from private collections and her acrylic paintings which became Christmas cards. This year will be her 29th year of making cards showing scenes of a wintry Carson Valley.

From the first year Jobe moved to the Valley, she became involved with beautification of the community and continued throughout the years, including involvement in doing a "facelift" on a caboose that was used for a chamber of commerce office, that is no longer here. Information on the caboose is provided at the exhibit, as well.

"There's all kinds of things that people didn't know I did," said Jobe, who says she has seen so many changes to the Valley over the years.

"I watched it change a lot," she said. "At one time we had no stoplights, then we got one stoplight and one McDonald's. Gradually it began to change. It's gone all out since 10 years ago."

On the backs of each of Jobe's Christmas cards are descriptions of the land and historical facts that she put a lot of time into researching, said Jobe.

"It's still pretty here," she said. "We still have a lot of open room."

Some of Jobe's original artwork is on sale at the museum, to benefit the Douglas County Historical Society in part. Raffle tickets are on sale for $2 or $5 for three for a 24- by 36-inch gicleƩ print on canvas, "Sierra Vista," valued at $1,100, with proceeds to benefit the museum. Tickets are available at the museum, Lone Tree Gallery and Joyce's Jewelry, Gifts & Antiques. The drawing will take place on Aug. 31.

Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call the museum at 782-2555.


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