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In the late 1960s, Phoenix Art Group was little more than a twinkle in the eye of an aspiring, young college student, John Douglas Cline. After earning a degree in Fine Art from Arizona State University, Cline set out to explore his growing passion for artistic expression–and make his mark on the art world. His journey led him to the San Francisco School of Fine Art, where he further refined his skills. In Los Angeles, he immersed himself in the area's burgeoning art scene. Cline explored a variety of mediums and worked on everything from album covers to avant-garde paintings to performance art. Though times were often lean, his reputation, skill and passion for fine art continued to grow.


After founding the successful John Douglas Cline Gallery in Los Angeles, he returned to Arizona and partnered with fellow artisan and frame designer, Joseph Grassia, to further explore old-world techniques and research new technologies and systems. Together, they operated a fledgling art studio in Cave Creek, Arizona; and established Accent Graphics (predecessor to Phoenix Art Group). The duo quickly earned respect for their stylized watercolor paintings. Along the way, they continued to network, evaluate new markets and refine their collaborative approach to the business.