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Artist Debra Goley in her art studio

23 September . 2020

Meet The Artist: Debra Goley

The Best Places for Artists to Live Includes Estrella

Artist Debra Goley started teaching art in 2007 for members of the Estrella community in addition to her design and mural business. People were not spending money on murals or Arizona public art during an economic Recession, so teaching and exhibiting at the local artist gallery in the Presidio Residents Club became a primary focus for this talented artist.

Art is Debra’s language, and it speaks of how she is innately wired. As an inspirational artist, beginning with a career as an architect, she is now a full-time muralist, artist, art instructor, illustrator, and designer. With a brush and a pencil in hand, Debra begins her designs by sketching to scale and allowing the form to follow function. Her life’s work is a continued exploration which has its roots in a life lived overseas and the experience of a multicultural community. As a multimedia artist, Debra’s work and teaching style clearly represents a global influence. With each new project, her journey begins with research and analysis of a subject which takes her design from concept to expression.

During COVID-19, Debra began teaching art online, and offering a range of virtual art classes free of charge to Estrella community members, as well as residents of the City of Goodyear. Believe it or not, online lessons have put Estrella on the art map. People from all over the world are joining Debra’s classes!

“What Estrella is doing is amazing! They are supporting the artist community in Arizona, and giving increased exposure to the incredible artists living in the West Valley. They’re lending legitimacy and value to the arts by providing a platform for local community artists to share and exhibit their work,” Debra observed. 

The recent contest to decorate traffic boxes piqued Debra’s artistic interest, as well as the community’s. “I thought my experience as an architect would bring something special to this traffic box program. I understand the concept of how people interact with art from the street,” she added.

Her bold graphic concept was centered around the shared aspects of the Estrella community –– our gorgeous desert landscape. More than 1,000 Estrella community members voted over the span of 30 days on multiple concepts. Debra Goley’s Desert Landscape was the winner, followed by Starry Desert Night.

Traffic box before painting

The painting itself represents Estrella from Dawn to Dusk –– it can be either depending on how you look at it, and the time of day. It holds something different for every age group, including kids who are learning about their Arizona home. The dancing cacti can be seen as saying hello or goodbye. There are two quail in silhouette, both wearing their distinctive plumage hats, and the gorgeous mountains serve as their backdrop.

Debra Goley Dawn to Dusk painting

“When you walk the trails of the Estrella community, you’ll notice the coveys of quail.

These tiny desert natives traverse the same course each day, looking for food and water. If you take time out to watch their behavior, you’ll see that quail are playing a game. What game do you think they are playing?” Debra concluded.

Ready to tap into your inner artist and express yourself in new ways? Learn more about the Estrella Community Arts Council and programs here.

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