Rhonda Kuntz grew up in Kentucky, moved to Texas where she raised her children and retired to Florida. As life changed, she found her way to SaddleBrooke, where her good friend helped her find her forever home.
Rhonda welcomed me into her home, which houses her art studio and showcases her own work, as well as the art that she has collected over time. It is abundantly clear that she embraces color and fearlessly takes on any type of art project. Gorgeous pin-weavings and fabric quilted art pieces embellished with beads and porcelain statement pieces adorn her walls.
I was giddy for a moment, as Rhonda shared her collections of beads and hand-beaded items, threads, fabrics and other supplies for her works of art. She rarely has to shop for items for a project, as she has a vast collection of most anything she might need. “It’s like being a kid in a candy-shop”, she said, to which I whole-heartedly agreed!
Rhonda learned to sew at three-years-old, making primitive clothes for her Barbie dolls, with an over-sized needle. She made her first quilt in High School, and improvised this Christmas themed piece by using batting and double knots to create it. She enjoyed sewing and went on to make her own maternity clothes as a young woman, and clothing for her kids as they grew, along with clothes for their Cabbage Patch dolls.
Aside from a love for sewing, she has tried so many other creative endeavors! She enjoyed fused glass and ceramic classes. Some of her favorite pieces included some interesting, poured wall pots. For a time, she enjoyed making exquisite, custom designed art dolls, with muslin faces created with pencils, paints and micron pens.
Close to her heart is being a member of the Northwest Tucson Art Quilters, where she is part of a private group currently working on one block quilt challenges. She shared a current work in progress which involves a Sonoran desert mountain piece, with a copper Kokopelli figure adorned with beadwork embellishments.
Rhonda is also a member of the SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild, as there are opportunities to participate in the Art Salon discussion groups with other creative people. She does enjoy more traditional art forms as well, and had taken painting classes in Florida. Her paintings are mostly abstract works on canvas paper and even sandpaper—an easier option to that of storing bulky canvases.
Rhonda’s true love is teaching others to create. She has played a big part in the SaddleBrooke Fiber Arts Group, (an off-shoot of the Guild) and is currently Treasurer and one of the teachers for some of the many projects that the group works on each month. She is generous with her materials and with her talents. She loves to give “how-to” tips and advice, which can take any project to the next level.
When asked what inspires her to create a piece, she explained, “Sometimes the materials—maybe it’s the beads, fabric or even a piece of wood. I like to learn new things, maybe I’ll see something in a new book, or get a new idea from my quilt guild.”
What frustrates her the most is not being able to finish everything in a timely manner. Life is busy in SaddleBrooke! But she doesn’t fear any project. If she doesn’t know how to do something, she figures it out by reading up on the subject. She doesn’t always follow a pattern and at times, makes her own rules.
Rhonda doesn’t have a favorite type of art, but she enjoys any new challenges. When asked if she sells her work, Rhonda said, “Well, if someone REALLY admires something, I will possibly make it happen!”
If you would be interested in meeting new people, learning new art forms, or taking some classes, consider joining the SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild. You can view their calendar of events and classes online at saddlebrookefineartsguild.com.