Tag Archives: Central High School

Contemporary art meets Comicon

Potential by Laura Favela of South Mountain High School

My youngest daughter Lizabeth, who’ll turn 18 next month, will be enjoying one of her holiday gifts next weekend — tickets to Phoenix Comicon, taking place May 26-29 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

I’ve encouraged her to swing by the SMoCA and Scottsdale Public Art table while she’s there, so she can get the scoop on comic book-themed tandem exhibitions conceived by Phoenix artist Jon Haddock — showing at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art May 21-Oct 2.

The comic exhibition is titled “Idios Kosmos: Koinos Kosmos” — meaning “Us Versus Them” and “Masters of Collective Reality.” Seems a fitting exhibit in light of the fact that we’re all still here today despite predictions to the contrary.

If you head to SMoCA before June 5, you can see the work of Brazilian conceptual artist Rivane Neuenschwander in an exhibit titled “A Day Like Any Other” that was organized by the New Museum in New York City.

Trapped by Andrea Kidd of South Mountain High School

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents 10-14 exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture and design every year. But my favorite SMoCA exhibit space, the young@art gallery, is actually located at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The young@art gallery houses only works by youth, and exhibits change several times each year. Each summer SMoCA presents works by students at area high schools who’ve participated in an education program for teens titled “Visions.”

The current “Visions” exhibit is titled “Picture I.D.” It features works by students from five Valley high schools — Central, Chaparral, McClintock, Saguaro and South Mountain. Think photography, painting and sculpture. Then think talented. And enjoy the “sneak peeks” throughout this post.

Work by Kalynda Barton of McClintock High School

To learn more about experiencing these works in person, visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art website at www.smoca.org.

Thursday nights, by the way, are always free — as is admission for museum members and youth 15 and under whenever the museum is open.

My children enjoyed many a SMoCA exhibit when they were younger, but their favorite times took place at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall – where low, gentle hills make for fun play areas. The museum is holding two family-friendly events in June.

The June 24 “Summer Opening Celebration” includes hands-on craft activities for adults and children — thanks to the Scottsdale crafting community and a new family-friendly store called “Splendid” (coming soon to Scottsdale Fashion Square).

The June 30 “Summer Family Night at the Museum” includes a kid-friendly tour of comic-theme exhibitions, an outdoor make-your-own comic book creature activity and a bit of giant bubble play coupled with splash time in outdoor fountains.

Bring your towels and bathing suits…

– Lynn

Note: SMoCA participates in a reciprocal museum program so membership in SMoCA entitles you to free admission to several other museums around the country. Click here to explore a list of reciprocal museums before planning your next vacation. Also check with SMoCA before attending their events to confirm dates/times, costs and other details.

Coming up: Remembering JFK, From Sondheim to South Park

Updated with corrections 4/26/12 LT

Let’s go fly a kite!

The Japanese Friendship Garden presents a free Children's Festival this Saturday

The sky over Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix will be more colorful than usual this Saturday as kites take to the air during the annual Children’s Festival presented by the Japanese Friendship Garden.

It’s hailed as a combination of the Japanese traditions of Boys’ Day and Girls’ Day — customs which reflect the celebration of children’s health and well-being so important in Japanese culture.

The Children’s Festival takes place April 2 from 10am-3pm, and features all sorts of hands-on activities including anime drawing, face painting, traditional games and arts/crafts related to Japanese culture.

Students from Horizon High School will teach “the secrets of Kendama” (a ball and cup toy requiring great hand-eye coordination) and students from Central High School will demonstrate the art of folding origami cranes.

The Japanese Friendship Garden notes that the paper cranes “will be sent to the Bezos Family Foundation earning $2 each toward Japan relief efforts.”

It’s one of many ways the Japanese Friendship Garden is engaging people in supporting the people of Japan in the aftermath of devastating natural disasters.

Those who attend the event can enjoy “a showcase of colorful koi fish in tanks for an up-close view,” as well as the many koi living in the Garden’s lovely ponds. There’s even a statewide koi competition hosted by the Valley of the Sun Koi Club.

Those of you who prefer dogs will be pleased to know that the Arizona Shiba Inu Association “will have several furry friends on site.”

“Postcards to Japan,” a project coordinated through ON Semiconductor and their facilities in Japan, will “offer local kids the chance to write to Japanese children…offering their own words of encouragement and hope.”

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a truly lovely setting full of winding paths, beautiful stone and other natural materials, calming water features, blossoming flowers and other features that delight the senses of young and old. Enjoy it this Saturday, while the weather is at its finest.

It’s been far too long, I suspect, since your children heard you utter the phrase “Let’s go fly a kite!”

– Lynn

Note: The Children’s Festival takes place at Margaret T. Hance Park, which is adjacent to the Japanese Friendship Garden — so you can easily enjoy both in a single visit.

Coming up: Definition of a dream

Personal Perspectives: The Phoenix Youth Symphony

Guest blogger Brenna Goth

By Brenna Goth, Guest Blogger

Most students join the Phoenix Youth Symphony for a challenge. There comes a point when even the best of school orchestras can become dull for those pursuing music as a serious hobby. On Wednesday nights, all of these players converge at Central High School to share their common passion: orchestral music.

I was motivated to join PYS after my private viola teacher recommended it as the “next step” in becoming a competitive musician. I joined the program in seventh grade and was hooked until graduating from high school six years later.

My involvement in PYS became one of the most influential activities in my life.

Contrary to what you might imagine, PYS is not only for young virtuosos. In fact, many of us start with only basic training and a willingness to work. PYS is broken into four levels, and each focuses on developing orchestral skills. This way, students who enter with little experience can progress and “move up” throughout the years.

When I started PYS after three years of viola lessons, I didn’t know rehearsal techniques or how to play with a group. This wasn’t a problem, as I soon learned the ins and outs of following a conductor and leading a section and progressed through the various levels.

Many of the skills that I developed, like personal discipline and how to work in a group, have served me beyond the musical realm.

PYS promoted my personal growth but also gave me experiences that would’ve been impossible otherwise. I’ve played under influential conductors, worked with members of The Phoenix Symphony, and been critiqued by regionally known musicians.

I’ve played at Symphony Hall, the Orpheum, and Tempe Center for the Arts. I’ve performed concerts alongside the Phoenix Symphony and with professional soloists.

Finally, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to and perform throughout Washington D.C., Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy, and I can honestly say that some of the best memories of my life are from these tours.

PYS is as much social as it is musical. Throughout my six years, Wednesday nights became associated with good food and lively conversation in addition to orchestral repertoire. Every Wednesday, my PYS friends and I grabbed dinner to catch up before rehearsal, and sometimes we’d even have sleepovers afterwards.

Though our conversations spanned across all subjects, I instantly bonded with my fellow orchestra members over our common interest. I still value these friends, with whom I can gossip about Lady Gaga as well as discuss my favorite Dvorak quintets.

That’s not to say that I enjoyed every moment of my PYS experience. There were days when an impending essay seemed more important than rehearsing Mahler, or my Sundays were made stressful by a concert. And, of course, there were carefully prepared auditions that I bombed and times that my section was called out for being ill-prepared.

Despite these upsets, PYS has had a profound impact on my life. Though I’m not pursuing music at the University of Arizona, I am a member of the Arizona Symphony and plan on joining community orchestras throughout my life.

Because of PYS, I no longer see music in terms of hours spent in a practice room. Instead, I see it as a passion that’s integrated in all aspects of my life.

Brenna Goth is a freshman at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Since writing this post, Brenna has informed me that she’s joined  the “Arizona Daily Wildcat” at U of A as a news reporter. I look forward to reading her work.