Tag Archives: art festivals

Mayor honors Phoenix artists

Scorpius Dance Theatre must be doing their happy dance after receiving one of five Mayor's Arts Awards from Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton during Phoenix Festival of the Arts

Scorpius Dance Theatre must be doing their happy dance after receiving one of five Mayor’s Arts Awards presented at Phoenix Festival of the Arts

I’m what you might call a late convert. Though I moved three decades ago from California to Arizona with my husband James, I never felt truly connected to the state until I began exploring Arizona arts and culture, which is distinguished in both its breadth and depth of offerings.

For those truly passionate about arts and culture, no justification of their existence is needed. But we’re living in a time dominated by national conversations about the relative merits of austerity and investment. So folks who favor arts for arts sake need to do more than simply love art. They need to demonstrate its merits.

I’ve heard Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton speak several times about the role of arts and culture in building vibrant communities, citing concrete examples of the economic impact arts in Phoenix has on the city’s growth and development — including construction inspired by revitalization along Roosevelt Row.

Investments in arts and culture increase tourism revenue, create jobs in creative industries and attract businesses eager to settle in communities that provide a rich quality of life for employees. And they create more opportunities for youth to develop skills like critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration through the arts.

When thoughts of leaving Arizona cross my mind, I call two families to mind. My husband’s parents, whose roots in Arizona go back much farther than my own, and my arts family — all the amazing artists I’ve met while exploring Arizona museums, galleries, theaters and other venues from coffee shops to concert halls.

Folks eager to get a feel for Phoenix arts and culture can head to Margaret T. Hance Park near the Burton Barr Library in central Phoenix today for Phoenix Festival of the Arts, which runs through 5pm. It’s a free event featuring live entertainment, art exhibits and more — even the chance to help paint a community mural.

Mayor Stanton attended the 3-day festival yesterday afternoon, and presented five recipients with Mayor’s Arts Awards Scorpius Dance Theatre (dance organization award), Downtown Chamber Series (music organization award), Rising Youth Theatre (theater award), Hugo Medina (public art award) and Eugene Grigsby (visual artist award).

I’m delighted that Mayor Stanton appreciates the role of arts and culture in fostering strong communities, but none of us should imagine for an instant that his support alone can move the cause of greater investments in arts and culture forward. We’ve all got to advocate each and every day within our own spheres of influence.

Learn more about championing the cause of Arizona arts and culture from  Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts, and save the date for the next Arizona Arts Congress taking place Monday, Feb. 4 at the Arizona State Capitol.

– Lynn

Note: The next Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony takes place March 6, 2013 at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. Nominations are being accepted in six categories through 5pm on Friday, Dec. 14. Click here for details.

Coming up: Musings on mural art

And on the 8th day…

Mural located across the street from 8th Day Coffee & Culture in Phoenix
Mural located across the street from 8th Day Coffee & Culture in Phoenix

Ever wonder what might have been created on the eighth day? Seems it was coffee and culture, which you can enjoy by hitting “8th Day Coffee & Culture” during tonight’s “First Fridays” shindig in Phoenix.

Lovely entrance to 8th Day Coffee and Culture in Phoenix

Lovely entrance to 8th Day Coffee & Culture in Phoenix

I spied the lovely art and coffeehouse while lollygagging around central Phoenix last weekend in between theater gigs. It’s easy to spot just across the street from a mural that caught my eye that day.

Those heading to downtown Phoenix today, or this weekend, can join local artists working on a community mural as part of “Phoenix Festival of the Arts,” a first time affair that Phoenix Center for the Arts plans to turn into a yearly gathering.

Detail of artwork created on a door you'll spot when entering 8th Day Coffee & Culture

Detail of artwork created on a door you’ll spot when entering 8th Day Coffee & Culture

I enjoyed a lovely tour while taking in 8th Day offerings last weekend — learning about all sorts of art created by veterans, students, addicts and others. There’s a work near the coffee bar painted in chocolate — plus paintings, drawings and multimedia works throughout the venue’s open and tucked away spaces.

Entrance to the 8th Day Coffee & Culture performance space

Entrance to the 8th Day Coffee & Culture performance space

Tonight there’ll be several performers in the house, including Eric Bischoff and Amber Hunter. Also Sean Malakowsky in spoken word mode. I came home with Hunter’s “Freedom Steps” CD, which features 13 original songs sharing the 8th Day ‘hope with a hippie twist’ vibe.

Art meets recycled technology in this work at 8th Day Coffee & Culture

Art meets recycled technology in this work at 8th Day Coffee & Culture

Works by Alexa Gibson are featured at 8th Day Coffee & Culture, where you’ll also find art by Matt Seymour, Katie Barth, Che’rie Deneen, Rick Gonzales and Hope thru Art. You’ll find all this happiness at 828 N. 2nd St. in Phoenix.

Tonight’s “First Friday” runs from 6-10pm, though hours vary by venue. Those seeking holiday gifts will find plenty of galleries offering locally crafted works. Hazel & Violet will be printing holiday cards and coasters to order and MADE  will have works by local artists for sale in their courtyard.

Works spied in one of several 8th Day Coffee & Culture hallways

Works spied in one of several 8th Day Coffee & Culture hallways

An opening reception for Patrick Fisher’s first solo exhibition takes place tonight at the A.E. England Gallery right along the light rail’s path on Central Ave., and Mon Orchid is featuring works by Valley artists Dino Paul and Laura Spalding Best. Deus Ex Machina on Grand Ave. opens “Signs and Wonders” during First Friday festivities.

If images of religious iconology are your thing, head to {9} for a little something called “Saints & Sinners” meant to “reflect centuries of accumulated traditional icons by most major religions.” I’m guessing coffee didn’t make the cut.

Learn more about chocolate as an art medium at 8th Day Coffee & Culture

Learn more about chocolate as an art medium at 8th Day Coffee & Culture

Hit 1205 Space to experience works by Moisés, and Willo North to explore the “Youth” exhibition featuring works by Bob Adams. Fand of mural, aerosol and graffiti are gathering at First Studio, and folks eager to shop with a purpose are heading to New City Studio for “Shopping With Purpose” (look for Chicks Who Give a Hoot while you’re there).

Eye Lounge features works by Israeli artists from Agripas 12 cooperative gallery in Jerusalem, plus two additional exhibits — while greenHAUS presents “The Art of Poor” featuring new works by Isse Maloi. Dave Loves Nancy has artist-made gifts for the first 25 people through the door during First Friday this month.

One of several cheerful sorts doing barista duty at 8th Day Coffee & Culture

One of several cheerful sorts doing barista duty at 8th Day Coffee & Culture

6th Avenue Gallery promises a photo exhibit of silly (and sometimes naughty) elves, while the Latino Arts & Culture Center adjacent to Symphony Hall is presenting its 3rd annual “Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe” program complete with art and altar exhibitions — plus live music, dance and the traditional “Las Posadas.”

More art tucked away in cozy hallways throughout 8th Day Coffee & Culture

More art tucked away in cozy hallways throughout 8th Day Coffee & Culture

Folks who start their First Friday adventures at the Phoenix Art Museum can snag free shuttle rides to various venues, though $5 donations are appreciated to help keep these babies running. If good coffee and conversation is your thing, click here to find and print your own Artlink map of First Friday venues — then take it along to 8th Day Coffee & Culture, where you can sit and sip while planning the night’s next adventure.

– Lynn

Coming up: A tale of two concerts

Once upon a festival

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It’s never hard to find something fun to do at the Herberger Theater Center – where dance, music and theater gets made on a trio of stages and artworks get exhibited throughout a second floor gallery. But there’s only one day a year when dozens of artists converge for the Herberger Theater Center Festival of the Arts, and folks can enjoy all sorts of visual and performance art for just $5 admission — with all proceeds going to fund the center’s education and outreach programs.

I had the pleasure of thanking Judd Herberger personally for his family’s contributions to the community, after spotting him strolling through the art gallery with wife Billie Jo during yesterday’s festival — and found myself near the mascots for another couple of sponsors a short time later. Turns out the SRP water drop and APS lightbulb can really cut the rug. It doesn’t hurt, I suppose, to have an outdoor stage with different bands and musicians doing their thing nearby. While they danced with children, folks gathered in the art gallery watched a pair of ballroom dancers glide by, pausing for the occasional dip.

I chatted with several artists while enjoying the day’s lovely assortment of paintings, ceramics, photographs and more. I talked with Charles Taube, whose large wooden works wed elegance and whimsy, and with Roger K. Nelson – who graciously listened to my spiel about “The Agony and The Ecstacy of Steve Jobs” after we got to talking about his industrial strength iPad case.

Lured by a painting that practically purred, I enjoyed a lovely conversation with Freddie Tieken, whose giant glossy postcard features the following Picasso quote — Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Tieken’s “Limited Engagement” is one of my favorite works in the “Memory Play” exhibition at the Herberger Theater Center gallery. The exhibition includes visual art that “describes or makes reference to a play or musical; its characters, author, or staging.”

Folks who’ll be downtown for the Friday night opening of Valley Youth Theatre’s “How I Became a Pirate” or Black Theatre Troupe’s “Two Trains Running” can enjoy a tasty art appetizer beforehand by hitting the 6th Avenue Gallery in Phoenix for an artist reception celebrating a solo exhibition of Tieken’s work called “Freddie Goes Underground.”

I also met a psychologist and painter whose business card I’m still digging for inside the tote a gentleman from East Valley Children’s Theatre was kind enough to share before oodles of flyers and business cards had the chance to escape my weary arms. He reminded me that this weekend is the last chance to see them perform “Charlotte’s Web” at Mesa Arts Center, and I snatched a flyer about EVCT’s costume sale (starting at 8am on Sat., Oct. 20) before leaving their booth (costumes gathered in a child-safe trunk make a great holiday gift).

I started my own holiday shopping at the festival, with artist Halldor Hjalmarson, who gives small ceramic tokens as business cards. I might have gone home with a pair of owl paintings from Urban Art by Melody if they hadn’t been sold by the time I got around to shopping. I skipped the Put A Fork In It wine tastings inside Bob’s Spot, a lounge located on the center’s second floor, but spent some time enjoying keyboard fare from Lisa Pressman while there.

Along the way, I ran into several folks dressed in fairy tale or storybook costumes. Turns out they were Herberger Theater Center board members, adored by lots of little kids who saw them — as were a trio of stiltwalkers from Taylor Family Circus. I loved the low-tech circus acts they presented on stage later in the day, which elicited broad smiles from young audience members and happy sighs laced with nostalgic musings from folks old enough to remember circus times spent under a true big top. Watch for their “Circus Americana” opening at the center on Wed., Dec. 12.

I also saw an excerpt from Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” which opens the Arizona Opera’s 2012-13 season Fri., Oct. 12 at Symphony Hall — and a performance by All Rights Reserved, the youth improv troupe launched many years ago by Arizona Jewish Theatre Company that now has an alumna who’s part of the Saturday Night Live cast. Now that tough financial times are forcing AJTC to cease operations, Janet Arnold is helping the troupe transition to its new home with Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale.

The pet adoption and children’s areas for this year’s Herberger Festival of the Arts were plenty busy on Saturday, as kids spent time playing with Discovery Toys brought by Kathleen Noble and drawing with art supplies provided by Free Arts of Arizona. I chatted with a mom from Singapore whose son was trying out a couple of instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum table, and also discovered folks doing face painting, making balloons and such.

Thanks to the Herberger Theater Center, I’ve experienced a lovely launch of the fall festival season — which includes a new Phoenix Festival of the Arts this year. The three-day event, presented by Phoenix Center for the Arts, is scheduled for Dec. 7-9 from 10am to 10pm at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. But don’t get me started until I find that last business card…

– Lynn

Coming up: Let it grow

No need to BYOC…

One of many families who took part in "Chalk It Up!" last April

Public art meets performance art. That’s how the fine folks presenting Prescott’s 4th annual “Chalk It Up!” event describe the melding of concrete with pastel chalks within a festival setting — something you can experience first hand April 21 & 22 in Prescott’s Summit Plaza. Those of you who’ve long suspected you’d never excel in either visual or performance art now have a fun opportunity to try your hand at both. The results might surprise you.

“Chalk It Up!” presenters note that this unique art form has been around since the 16th century, though most individual works survive for only a few days. Seems their annual event is “family-friendly, community-centered, artistic endeavor to cultivate and support the creativity in people of all ages and cultures.” But beware of putting chalk into the hands of little ones still mouthing everything that comes their way.

We once had a home where the spacious tree-shaded patio was covered in square tiles perfect for chalk art, and our children (now in college) used to love drawing all sorts of designs both alone and with friends. Looking back, I suppose I should have spent more time doing the same.

It’s hard to go wrong with a piece of chalk. It’s plenty affordable and easy to erase, and the “Chalk It Up!” website offers tips — both practical and artistic — for folks who attend. The event is free, and everyone gets a 12-piece box of pastels plus a 4 x 4 ft. space for working their magic. No need to BYOC, though water-based chalks (not oil-based pastels) are welcome. The uber-ambitious can preregister if they’d like a bigger bit of canvas.

Those of you concerned that your chalk art isn’t yet ready for prime time are free to practice at home. In matters such as these, the fun of making mistakes sometimes tops the thrill of achieving perfection. Or so I’m told. Folks fond of people-watching can hit the event to see how chalk turns the common man into artistic muse. Though you do run the risk of contagion.

BYOC -- Bring your own creativity to the 2012 "Chalk It Up!" event in Prescott

Lest the Prescott landscape get awash in a sea of stick figures, “Chalk It Up!” has secured a few featured artists who elevate chalk art to fine art. Watch for the work of Chris Brake and daughter Kimberly while you’re there. Also Cyndi Kostylo and Holly Lynn Schineller.

In the meantime, send me some photos of your family’s chalk art creations — whether crafted on concrete or construction paper. I’d love to feature them in a future post.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about Prescott lodging and events — plus library, theater, art gallery, music and other offerings.

Coming up: A playwright gets personal

Scottsdale Arts Festival

Scottsdale Arts Festival continues this weekend with 181 artists exhibiting diverse works made of metal, wood, fiber, glass and more. Think ceramics, photography, drawing/pastel, painting and jewelry. Also digital arts, printmaking, sculpture and mixed media.

Many are local, but plenty hail from other parts of the country — including Colorado, California, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and beyond. Most are perfectly charming and happy to chat about both process and finished product. My favorite finds on Friday included furnishings made of metal washers and a palm fiber sculpture resembling a dress form. You can sit on the one, but you can’t wear the other. Art is funny that way.

There’s plenty to do beyond strolling down sunny paths lined with artist tents. Watch dance and music performances on the stage situated on a grassy knoll. Explore works of public art. Enjoy exhibits at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (admission is free for festival goers this weekend). Sample a few wines, wood-fired pizza or gourmet food truck fare. Play with art materials, hoola hoops and more.

Try your hand at journaling in the “Scottsdale’s 100 Journals” tent, or take your kiddos to the “Keep Scottsdale Beautiful” tent so they can create a poster to enter in the fourth annual contest for such things. Check out an online auction of works made by festival artists. Hit two gift shops. And enjoy interactive exhibits at SMoCA and the LOVE sculpture.

Photos near the sculpture are fine, by the way. But climbing it is not. A lovely sign in the grass makes that clear though few pause to read it. Don sunscreen before you head out, but don’t worry if you land without a hat. There’s a tent filled with charming hats, and festival gear includes both baseball caps and the floppy variety I came home with on Friday.

It wouldn’t hurt to bring at least a mental list of folks you’ll need to shop for in coming months. I spied several items that would make amazing Father’s Day fare — including beautifully crafted desk or tabletop kaleidescopes and marble runs with true artistic flair. Also plenty of jewelry and such for Mother’s Day. It’s okay, by the way, to be a little selfish in the art department.

I nearly found myself wishing — as I encountered beautifully-crafted works of original furnishings, table and wall art — that I had a law firm, swanky restaurant or other business where I could display them. I suppose it’d be tacky to call the dentist, orthodontist and such over the weekend, but it’s more than a little tempting.

Still, I’m happy with my humble blogging gig — which’ll find me hitting “Gypsy” at Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Poetry Out Loud finals at Phoenix Center for the Arts, “The Great Gatsby” at Arizona Theatre Company, “Green Eggs & Ham” with The Phoenix Symphony (and lots more) this month. It’s all in a day’s art.

– Lynn

Note: The Scottsdale Arts Festival runs 10am-6pm Sat, March 10 and 10am-5pm Sun, March 11.

Coming up: We take care of our own, Art adventures in NYC

Go Irish!

Natalie Irish poses with her self-portrait at the Scottsdale Arts Festival

Not that Irish, silly. I’m talking art, not athletics — after chatting with artists Natalie Irish and her hubby Dennis Bateman at the Scottsdale Arts Festival that runs through Sunday at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, where I suspect that sailing a football past the gift shop and such might be frowned on.

You’ll spot Irish’s white tent on a lush green lawn to your right not long after you enter the festival. She’s on one side of the center’s giant red Robert Indiana “LOVE” sculpture, and another one of my favorite tents — for Scottsdale’s “100 + Journals Project” — is on the other. The latter has a nifty place for kids, teens and grown-ups to create with all sorts of papers, rubber stamps, drawing supplies and such.

Elvis meets thumbprint thanks to Texas artist Natalie Irish

Irish gave me a guided tour of sorts through her work, most made with lipstick kisses but others with thumbprints. “One day I was putting on lipstick to go out,” she told me, “and I got lipstick on my fingers.” A new art adventure, informed by the work of Chuck Close, was born. “We don’t have kids,” Irish told me. The work is their baby.

A work of feminist art by Natalie Irish, shown at the 2012 Scottsdale Arts Festival

One piece in particular feels especially timely. In the lower righthand corner there’s a plain grey building — inspired by a Planned Parenthood site in Houston. The “feminist piece” also features a woman Irish considers a logo of sorts. It’s all a remarkable blend of new frontiers and the familiar.

Natalie Irish sharing her work at the 2012 Scottsdale Arts Festival

Irish offered the following quip after I asked when she got started making art — “In utero.” Irish speaks of growing up about thirty minutes south of Houston, and having a mother who does watercolor. “We’re all country folk,” says Irish — who still recalls winning a prize at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for a childhood painting of her aunt’s horse.

Tools of the trade for Natalie Irish

It’s hard for Irish to say just how many hours a day she devotes to her craft. Seems she’soften got art on the brain while doing everyday household type stuff, and the nature of her work necessitates working in “short spurts.” On the long table she’s got covered in various works, Irish has some odd tools of the trade. Vaseline. Baby oil. And a tub of mostly homemade lipstick. Best to keep her trademark tools tender.

Irish was especially excited to show me this new work

Irish studied art in community college and university settings, but seems to have found her bliss outside the classroom — except during summers spent teaching art to kids. The woman who kisses canvas for a living has another passion — throwing pottery. She’s done pottery for more than a decade but recalls that “for the first three months you make dog bowls.” Not a bad deal for the couple’s dog and four cats.

One of many Natalie Irish works at the Scottsdale Arts Festival

I asked Irish to share advice for parents on the subject of art. “Try everything,” she told me. “Have fun with it.” Bateman added that “half the battle is having parents who support it” — noting that “it’s all about parents getting them there and getting them supplies.” Good news for parents who feel they’ve got few art skills to share. Make time and space. Your child will run with it.

Look for Natalie Irish at the Scottsdale Arts Festival near the giant red LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana

So what of art in our schools? “More of it,” quips Irish. Bateman shares that Bad Religion, one of the couple’s favorite bands, has given scholarships to students — and says they dream of one day doing the same. “Any revolution of any valor was inpired by the arts,” says Bateman. Perhaps the next one will begin with kiss.

– Lynn

Note: You can watch Irish working on a different piece each day of the Scottsdale Arts Festival — which continues 10am-6pm Sat (March 10) and 10am-5pm Sun (March 11). Click here for details about parking, tickets and such. Click here to learn more about Irish and her work.

Coming up: More festival fun — in words and pictures

Art meets valentine

A work by Sherry Maguire of Tempe exhibited at the "Made in Arizona Festival"

Tucson artist Toni Matison-Horn won’t be spending Valentine’s Day with her husband because she lost him to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, back in 2005. But she’s creating art and selling art that benefits those living with the devastating neuromuscular condition.

These whimsical "Sofa Chicks" are the work of Tucson artist Toni Matison-Horn

I met Matison-Horn while strolling through the “Made in Arizona Festival” with my son Christopher on Saturday. The event runs through Sunday, so folks still have time to enjoy it. Matison-Horn is sharing a booth with two other artists, located near the Silverland shop that houses a museum called the “House of Broadcasting.”

Toni Matison-Horn works exhibited at the Made in Arizona Festival in Scottsdale

Her husband was a news anchor, making the loss of speech that eventually comes with ALS especially heartwrenching. I imagine it’s like being a writer who can no longer hold a pen, or a painter unable to wield a brush. Seems he had a large collection of ties, which Matison-Horn decided to incorporate into whimsical works of fabric art.

Toni Matison-Horn's "Tie Chicks" Angel Ties benefit people with ALS

Friends suggested she save Harry’s ties, and began gathering and sharing other ties for her creations. Together they donated about 1,ooo ties to the cause. Those of you still searching for Valentine’s Day gifts should explore the festival’s “Ties 4 ALS” booth where Matison-Horn is exhibiting her works.

Sherry Maguire of Tempe repurposes old materials to create works of art

It’s a lovely reuse of items that would otherwise find their way to burgeoning heaps of trash. So too are the works of artist Sherry Maguire, with Eye 4 Art of Tempe. She’s sharing a booth with Matison-Horn, and also creates works by reusing discarded materials. Sometimes, Maguire told me, she find just a single piece of an old toy or other object — and gives it a home until it fits into something she’s working on.

Christopher loved this work by Tempe artist Sherry Maguire

One of her artworks is a black rectangular frame, about the size of a sheet of notebook paper. It’s filled with items that washed up on a beach in Japan — before the devastating earthquake. Some look like fishing lures my dad used to keep in his tackle box. Other look like small parts of brightly-colored plastic toys — something the ocean habitat certainly doesn’t need floating all over the place.

This Sherry Maguire work is perfect for a valentine who loves Dr. Seuss

Like Matison-Horn, Maguire sometimes creates works of art with items donated by friends. Seems several of them know to gather washed up beach fare and bag it for her to add to her collection of materials. Once, she told me, a friend shared tiny starfish washed up in polluted waters. She’s keen on recycling objects that might otherwise land in oceans or other habitats.

A third artist, offering beautifully colored sets of pitchers and margarita glasses, is sharing their booth as well. We actually met her first, and were so pleased to find that all were truly gracious and committed to doing work that makes a difference for people and the planet. Her glassware would make a lovely Valentine’s Day gift for someone who loves to throw parties or entertain friends.

Artist Mary Beier also has several small paintings featuring hearts

We met plenty of other artists too, all in white booths lining either side of Fifth Avenue in Old Town Scottsdale. Artist Mary Beier is showing works from Metalworks Art and “Nana” is rocking adorable knits hat for babies and children. Her handmade Cutie Pie Hats include Elmo, hedgehog, cupcake and many more designs.

On our way out, we stopped for kettle corn. It’s standard festival fare that always looks yummy but sometimes doesn’t taste nearly as tasty as it looks. But these folks made the best batch of kettle corn I’ve ever tasted. It was hot, fresh, lightly salted (on request) — and they served it with genuine warmth and enthusiasm.

Shopping for Valentine’s Day is all good and fine, but there’s no reason we can’t treat ourselves to a litte something too. Plenty of small shops throughout Old Town Scottsdale, featuring everything from fashionable baby gear to turquoise jewelry, are welcoming folks to explore their wares during the “Made in Arizona Festival.”

Folks shopping for tiny valentines have lots of Cutie Pie Hats choices

The area is also home to all sorts of art galleries and restaurants, so it’s easy to make a day of it. Just promise me you won’t go home sporting a kitten hat.

– Lynn

Note: The “Made in Arizona Festival” takes place 10am-5pm through Sunday on Fifth Avenue in Scottsdale between Scottsdale Rd. and Goldwater Blvd. Feel free to bring your old ties along — Toni Matison-Horn of “Ties 4 ALS” is happily accepting tie donations.

Coming up: Along the parade route, More fun with festivals

Arizona SCITECH Festival

The Arizona SCITECH Festival features more than 150 events taking place throughout the state. It kicked off on Jan. 25 and runs through March 14. A pity, really, when you consider that’s just about the time we’ll be looking for someone to orchestrate cooler Arizona summers.

This month’s “First Friday” in Phoenix features a “Science Meets the Arts” theme. More than 70 venues are participating in the Feb. 3 event, which runs from 6-10pm and includes special experiences blending art and science along both Roosevelt Row and the Grand Avenue District.

Gallery 1301 at Bragg’s Pie Factory is presenting an Art Glass Phoenix exhibit titled “A Glass Perspective” during February “First Friday” and the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center is opening a documentary photo exhibition titled “Latino Arizona: 100 Years.”

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art opens its young@art exhibition as part of the Arizona SCITECH Festival Sat Feb. 11 from 10am-5pm. “Next Action: Art, Technology & Apprentice” features interactive artworks created using cutting edge technology by doctoral students in the arts, media + engineering department at ASU and local high school students.

“Pipe Organ Encounters” presented by the West Valley Arts Council leaves from St. Thomas Aquinas in Avondale Sat, Feb. 25. The 9:30am-4pm event features a visit to the state’s largest pipe organ, information on pipe organ history and the opportunity to crawl through the organ’s chamber.

“Night of the Open Door,” which is patterned after Germany’s “Long Night of Museums” and science laboratory open houses, takes place Sat, March 3 from 5-9pm at ASU in Tempe. Children, teens and adults can visit ASU labs, living collections and museums — plus participate in artistic performances, talks and hands-on activities.

“Adults Night Out: The Integration of Art and Technology” takes place Fri, March 9 at 7pm at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. The featured speaker is Gordon Knox, director of the ASU Art Museum. Several museums are taking part in the festival — including the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa, the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix and others.

“Science City” takes place March 10 & 11 at the Tucson Festival of Books, and several other festivals are taking part in the Arizona SCITECH Festival as well. Think “Glendale Chocolate Affaire” (Feb. 3-5), “Mesa Takes Flight” (Feb. 10-12), “Arizona Best Fest” (Feb. 11-12) and “Renaissance Festival” (Feb. 14).

Click here to search for additional Arizona SCITECH Festival events. You can search by audience (e.g., children, families, adults, science professionals) and region. Also by event type — including events focused on “arts, culture and social sciences.” Please note details like price (some events are free) before attending.

– Lynn

Coming up: Math meets musical

Free art classes for veterans

While so many of us were enjoying Thanksgiving with our families, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and her husband Capt. Mark Kelly were serving meals to military veterans at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. It’s a reminder to us all of the many veterans and active duty military personnel who deserve our heartfelt thanks not only on Thanksgiving, but every single day of the year.

Hal Stewart teaches sculpting to a Valley veteran

The American Healing Arts Foundation, founded by Judi Combs, is “dedicated to serving U.S. veterans by providing free art classes, including supplies, along with art therapy by certified and licensed art therapists.” They serve veterans of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army National Guard – who can sign up now for 2012 art classes and art therapy. Also horse therapy provided in partnership with Phoenix-based “Horses Help.”

Combs is CEO of  “Thunderbird Artists and Arizona Fine Art EXPO ” which produces several juried fine art festivals each year – including the “Talking Stick Fine Art & Wine Festival” taking place 10am-5pm Nov. 25-27 at the Talking Stick Stadium in Scottsdale.  The AHAF website notes that event proceeds are “going to AHAF to support U.S. veterans and active duty military personnel.”

To learn more about the American Healing Arts Foundation, visit www.americanhealingartsfoundation.com.

– Lynn

Coming up: The fine art of rock ‘n’ roll, Nods to nostalgia

The fine art of flags

Flag hung by Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zuccotti Park in New York City

After seeing the above flag flown by Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zuccotti Park in New York City last month, I felt inspired to search for other images of the American flag closer to home. Here’s a bit of what I discovered:

“Field of Blue,” a tribute to the Boy Scouts of America flag-folding ceremony, by Colorado artist George Lundeen, exhibited at Scottsdale Fine Art gallery…

Flag made of baseballs hanging in a Red Robin restaurant in Scottsdale…

Carving created in 2002 by Navajo folk artist Lorenzo Reed to depict the Navajo Code Talkers, who were instrumental to victory of the Allied forces in the Pacific theater during WWII (Part of the Heard Museum collection)…

“A New Sun Rising” by Jeanne Bonine, which will be exhibited Nov 25-27 at the Talking Stick Fine Art and Wine Festival at Salt River Fields…


Flag created by students at Herrera Elementary School in Phoenix…

LEGO flag by brick artist Nathan Sawaya of New York, currently exhibited at Mesa Contemporary Arts in the Mesa Arts Center…

“Pledge Allegiance” by James Poppitz, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rudy H. Turk to the ASU Art Museum at Arizona State University in Tempe…

Flag textile created by Navajo weaver Sadie Curtis and flown over both the Arizona and U.S. Capitol during bicentennial celebrations in 1976 (part of the Heard Museum collection in Phoenix)…

“Leading the Way” by Texas artist Kyle Polzin, exhibited at Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale…

“American” by California artist Robert Tate, exhibited at May Gallery in Scottsdale…

“National Unity Flag,” designed by Randy Cooney of Arizona, during a recent 9/11 exhibition at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts…

“4th of July Barn” by Cheyenne L. Rouse, exhibited at Ancient Light Gallery and available online at http://www.cheyennerouse.com/matted-prints

Thanks to all those who sent images for this post. Please stay tuned for additional works of art that I’ll be adding in the near future.

– Lynn

Note: Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website to learn more about the history and commemoration of Veterans Day, and to find related resources for teachers and students. Click here for details about today’s 11 am Veterans Day parade in Phoenix (several groups of students are participating in the parade).

Coming up: Valley veterans find healing through the arts