This article introduced Donna back to the Magic Valley and was reported in the Magic Valley Times. Check out the complete article here Magic Valley Times
TWIN FALLS • Before moving from the Magic Valley more than a decade ago, Donna Merchant-Crooks made an impact with her art as a certified drug and alcohol counselor.
Merchant-Crooks, 58, (formerly Donna Davis) now lives in Pagosa Springs, Colo., but will visit Twin Falls to present her traveling art show, “Can You Hear Me Now?” on May 3 at the Church of the Ascension.
“Idaho is a place that once you leave you’ll spend the rest of your life wanting to return to,” said Merchant-Crooks, who raised children in Hansen and still has family in the area.
The self-taught artist will weave stories while unveiling eight original pieces during the sit-down presentation. Although the female form is prominent in each, the variety showcases Merchant-Crooks’ talent as a painter, bronze sculptor and wood carver.
Her work has been featured at Pagosa Springs’ Art in the Garden Festival, Pagosa Center for the Arts and Wild Spirit Gallery, as well as the International Arabian Horseshow in Scottsdale, Ariz. Some of her pieces fetch several thousand dollars; a $4,000 wood carving of mustangs, inspired by her time as a backcountry cook in Idaho’s Frank Church wilderness, is listed on her website, Merchant-crooks.com.
Morgan Jeno of Twin Falls remembers working with the artist decades ago, through New Beginnings Counseling and Consulting in Twin Falls.
“Donna was an art therapist in the same building, and her work is incredible,” Jeno said.