Tag Archives: First Friday

The fine art of paper

Seems folks at the Phoenix Art Museum did a bit of “free association” on the subject of paper before opening the “Paper!” exhibition that runs through Sept. 23.

Escher. Harding. Toulouse-Lautrec. Warhol. All artists included in the “Paper!” exhibit just opened at the Phoenix Art Museum. I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon taking it all in, and thought I’d share a few highlights for those of you unmoved by the mere mention of the title. Paper is more fascinating than you think, as evidenced by the diverse collection of paper works included in this exhibition.

Think little black dress made of “Post-It” notes. A giant Chinese fan. Paper mache works that call to mind the mischievous “Gremlins” of film fare. DIY jewelry kits. A work inspired by cigarette packs. A shiny white sculpture resembling a polished piece of crumpled up paper. A work that screams “flower power.”

Paper!” runs through Sept. 23 at the Phoenix Art Museum’s Steele Gallery, which is just across from the The Museum Store where I spied plenty of unique and traditional Father’s Day gift fare after enjoying all things paper. Think ties, clocks, puzzles, architeture-theme LEGO sets, kitchen wares, office gadgets, books, posters and more. Sorry — no lawn movers or extreme razors.

A trip to see “Paper!” would make a lovely Father’s Day outing, especially coupled with Sunday brunch at the museum’s Palette restaurant. Also a fun start to “First Friday” come June 1. While you’re at the museum, explore a few of their other offerings as well — including four additional exhibitions and works in the museum’s permanent collection.

As you’re enjoying the “Paper!” exhibition, watch for details like which countries artists hail from and what sorts of materials they used. I found works created with chalk, paint, spirulina, chlorophyl, graphite, wire, steel, gold and more. Also a fascinating array of subject matter. Think politics, fruit, guns, landscapes, maps, summer camp, social commentary and such.

Exhibition walls are dotted with blurbs related to various ways we use paper, many shaped like yellow sticky notes. Watch for the large whiteboard as you exit the exhibition. It’s got notes you can use to leave your own “Paper!” perspectives (But alas, they’re not the clever sticky notes found in The Museum Store).

If you take the kids along, be sure you hit the dedicated children’s area, where they can draw with colored pencils at a long yellow table strewn with beautiful wooden stencils or sit at one of several wooden stools in front of sturdy easels topped with blank paper.

Take them for an outside spin too. The courtyard between the Phoenix Art Museum and Phoenix Theatre is filled with trees offering ample shade and several sculptures that make for a lovely bit of “I-Spy” action. Then head home and give them lots of paper and other materials to work with. Because today’s parents are nurturing tomorrow’s artists.

– Lynn

Coming up: The power of the word

More than Margaritaville

Even the floors at Xico in Chandler are covered with artwork

For too many Americans, Cinco de Mayo is merely one more excuse to drink beyond reason. For others, it’s a friendly reminder to spend more time exploring the diverse arts and culture of Latin America. For those of you seeking more than Margaritaville, I’ve assembled a humble rundown of a few places you can explore Latin American arts and culture here in Arizona.

  • Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center in Phoenix presents visual and performance art. Their “2nd Annual Latina Art Exhibit and Festival” and “What Do Kids Want?” exhibit open today. May’s “First Friday” lineup at ALAC includes the performances by Mystic Events Dance Group, ethnographer Sarah Amira de la Garza and dance group Unidos en Amistad. A Jeremy Gillett play titled “Black & 25 in America” premieres at the center May 12. Learn more at www.alac.mouthtomouthmedia.com.
  • Phoenix Art Museum has a permanent collection of Latin American art that includes more than 400 works of art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries including religious paintings, colonial furniture, decorative arts and more. Featured artists include Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo and Diego Rivera — plus many contemporary artists. Learn more at www.phxarts.org.
  • Tucson Museum of Art has more than 1,900 works in its permanent Spanish colonial and folk art collections, in addition to oil-on-tin retablos and Mexican provinical paintings. Current exhibitions include “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Murray,” “Tesoros del Pueblo: Latin American Folk Art” and “Frida’s Style: Traditional Women’s Costumes from Mexico.” They’ll present a free screening of the film “Frida” on May 10, and partner with UA to present teacher training in Latin American art. Learn more at www.tucsonmuseumofart.org.
  • Xico in Chandler sponsors the region’s oldest “Dia de los Muertos Festival” — a free event that “showcases community performers, folk art vendors, storytelling, cultural music, children’s activities, a community procession and community altar. The 2012 festival takes place on Nov. 3. They also present community exhibitions and “meet the artist” events featuring works by Latino and Native American artists. Xico offers classes with professional artists to underserved youth, plus printmaking workshops (“an art-form with a rich history among indigenous artists”). Learn more at www.xicoinc.org.

Click here if you’re looking for family-friendly Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and here to learn more about an Arizona organization called Friends of Mexican Art.

– Lynn

Note: Click here if you’re celebrating Keith Haring’s birthday today and here to watch Robert Booker on PBS’s “Horizon” (Booker heads the Arizona Commission on the Arts). If you just like clicking things, simply fondle your remote control.

Coming up: The best pies in Glendale?, Art meets Austria

Update: Works by 2012 Arizona Doodle 4 Google finalists will be exhibited at the Tucson Museum of Art June 1-Aug 31. You can vote online for your favorite Doodle for Google through May 10 by clicking here. 5/4/12; Click here to read “Rescuing the Stories Behind Latino Art” by Holland Cotter published in The New York Times. 5/12.

Windows to recovery

Detail of “Jesus and His Horse” (previously exhibited at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale) created by Alfred Mendoza through the PSA Art Awakenings program

The PSA Art Awakenings program has partnered with Cenpatico of Arizona to present “Windows to Recovery” exhibitions of art and poetry, all “created by Cenpatico behavioral health participants.” Exhibits have already been held in Casa Grande and Parker, but the Yuma exhibit takes place May 3 and the Bisbee exhibit takes place May 5.

The exhibits are being presented as part of National Mental Health Month, in the hopes they’ll help to reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental illness. Organizers note that “these exhibitions of art and poetry shine a light on mental illness and the power of the arts to assist those with behavioral health challenges on their recovery journeys.”

They also note that one in four U.S. adults suffer from a mental illness in a given year, adding that one in 17 live with a serious mental illness. A Phoenix gallery called Warehouse 1005 will host a Maricopa County “Windows to Recovery” exhibition during “First Friday,” May 4, from 6-9pm.

Those who attend can also experience “The Illusionist Workshop,” an installation art piece by artist Gattuso — plus a collection of works by 67 community members and artists who “created works without the aid of their eyes.” The collection is called “The Blindfolded Painting Experience.”

Art Awakening’s Tucson gallery will be open Sat, May 5 from 6-9pm to present its own “Windows to Recovery” exhibition featuring works by local artists. I’m told artists will also be on hand with unique creations available for purchase. You can read more about Art Awakenings in the May issue of Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

– Lynn

Note: If your arts organization offers programs that serve or benefit children or adults living with mental illness, I’d love to hear from you at rakstagemom@gmail.com.

Coming up: Valley playwright talks Van Gogh, Exploring student art in Gilbert, A memoir of mental illness, No need to BYOBox

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

Shakespeare, shoes and soldiers

When I discovered the latest issue of Phoenix Art Museum’s membership magazine in my mailbox today, I decided all those pesky bills nestled alongside it could wait. After all, I had urgent matters to attend to — like alerting you to the museum’s “National Theatre Live” series, kicking off in a just a few days with a live broadcast of “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

Seating for these babies is limited, so consider yourself warned. And mark your calendar for future adventures in British theater coming to the Phoenix Art Museum — including broadcasts of “The Kitchen” (Nov 13), “Collaborators” (Jan 15) and “Comedy of Errors” (March 18).

I found this fun image at 44th St. and E. Thomas Rd.

But it’s the bit about shoes that really got me worked into a frenzy. Seems the film “God Save My Shoes,” which debuted in Paris, will have its Phoenix premiere Fri, Oct 28 at the Phoenix Art Museum. I’m told it “explores why shoes are the most seductive and addictive item in a woman’s closet.” Apparently Parisians don’t keep chocolate in their closets.

Turns out there’s plenty for kids to enjoy at the Phoenix Art Museum next month. The museum presents an “Under 21″ event for teens Fri, Oct 7 from 6:30-8:30pm. “Fashion’s Passion” gives teens a chance to explore the museum’s latest fashion exhibition and “draw from a live model during the First Friday festivities.”

The next “PhxArtKids Days” event takes place Sun, Oct 9 from noon-3pm. “Drawing Disoveries” for ages 5-12 (with an adult companion) is a participatory art experience that’ll help kids explore “how art is more than just paint and paper.” Kids will also get to draw their own masterpieces using they’ve learned.

Don’t overlook the obvious while you’re there. The Phoenix Art Museum has all sorts of exhibitions on the horizon, including the following:

  • The West Select. Features landscapes, still-lifes, wildlife and much more. Oct 23-Nov 20 in the Steele Gallery.
  • Ray Wielgus: The Art of Engraved Firearms. Features embellished modified, antique firearms. Through Dec 26 in the Lyon Gallery.
  • Iconic AZ. Features a visual tour of famous places and iconic symbols. Nov 12, 2011-March 4, 2012 in the Norton Photographic Gallery.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century. Features drawings, scale models, furniture, films and photographs. Dec 18, 2011-April 29, 2012.

Veterans, retired military, active duty service men and women and their immediate families can enjoy complimentary admission to the Phoenix Art Museum Fri, Nov 11 in recognition of Veterans Day.

A special program called “The American Spirit” kicks off at 3pm that day with VFW Post #6310 presenting the colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. It features master docent Sherry Koopot giving a “visual tour of the American landscape” that includes “images of the land American soldiers have fought for and continue to protect.”

– Lynn

Note: The Phoenix Art Museum invites Arizona lovers to submit their favorite sunsets, landmarks, street scenes, state parks or other subjects that answer the question, “What’s your iconic Arizona?” Visit www.phxart.org\centennial after Nov 1 to upload your favorite photos. Photographs will be included in a digital slideshow on view in the gallery and online.

Coming up: More art meets patriotism

Art meets Americas

It’s the inaugural year of a biannual festival presented by the CALA Alliance — which champions the importance of Latino art and culture, from both North and South America, to Arizona.

Alliance partners include the Arizona Latino Art and Cultural Center (ALAC), which has an exhibit and performance venue called “Galleria 147″ just across the street from Symphony Hall in Phoenix. Also XICO, which promotes Chicano artists. And Chicano Por La Casa (CPLC), which works to empower families in economically deprived communities.

Teatro Bravo presents a play about Frida Kahlo as part of the fall CALA festival

“Celebracion Artistica de las Americas,” also dubbed the “CALA festival,” takes place at various venues Sept 16-Nov 6, 2011. Its mission is “to create shared arts experiences that encourage cultural understanding between people of the Americas.”

Several arts and cultural organizations were selected through a jury process and given awards of various sizes to present their works during this fall’s festival.

These organizations include the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center (ALAC), the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the Cultural Coaltion, the Desert Botanical Garden, the Heard Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), the New Carpa Theater Company, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Phoenix Boys Choir, the Scottsdale Cultural Council, the Scottsdale International Film Festival, Teatro Bravo! and XICO.

Festival offerings will include visual art, theater, music, film, dance, poetry and more. Many include experiences and hands-on activities for youth. Two educational initiatives, supported by Target (the festival’s presenting sponsor), are expected to reach thousands of Valley school children.

Phoenix Art Museum docents will read a book about artist Diego Rivera to students who will then get to take home their own copy of the book. They’ll also create their own mural. Childsplay will perform “The Sun Serpent” by Jose Cruz Gonzeles for students, some of whom have never before experienced live theater.

Children. Creavity. Collaboration. Community.

Cool.

– Lynn

Note: Learn more at www.calaalliance.org. Head to “First Fridays” at ALAC Fri, Sept 2, for a 6pm-10pm line-up that includes visual artists Juan Chawuk and Carlos Navarrete, poet Maria Rodriguez-Pope, filmmaker Valeria Fernandez, dance group Ballet Folklorico Esperanza, musician Cisco Arvallo and a Teatro Bravo presentation of “Frida.” 

Coming up: Celebrating “Day of the Dead” arts and culture style, Orchestral dreams, Student discount alert!

Art adventures: Roosevelt Row

Recently I headed downtown with my son Christopher eager to shoot some photos. We decided to stroll a bit along “Roosevelt Row” after the bold graffiti art caught our eye.

We grabbed drinks at a cute little place called “Carly’s” (home to the “Twilight” homage painting in the slide show below), then walked over to the “Eye Lounge” art gallery (next to “Modified Arts,” which was closed at the time).

In a little gift shop next to “Eye Lounge” exhibit space, we found all sorts of eclectic gifts, some more odd than others. Funky ties. T-shirts featuring the fanged rabbit art of Sebastien Millon. Jewelry by local artists.

Here’s a slide show featuring just a few of our many fun finds…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While we don’t know the names of artists who created the graffiti we encountered, I do want to share the names of two artists whose work on exhibit at “Eye Lounge” is included in the above slide show.

The gold skull is part of a Crystal Phelps exhibition titled “Fielding Form” and the sculpture is a work titled “The Obsessive Man” by Benjamin Phillips — a cautionary tale, perhaps, for editors who have little too much fun wielding the red pen.

Click here to learn more about “Roosevelt Row” — a fun place to support local merchants, discover unique events and just kick around with a camera.

You can head to “Roosevelt Row” and surrounding areas this weekend, March 19 & 20, for an event dubbed “Art Detour 23.” It runs Sat 10am-6pm and Sun noon-6pm in the “Arts District of Downtown Phoenix.”

Guided tours of “Roosevelt Row” — departing from the information booth at 515 Arts — take place Sat at 10:45am and 12:45pm.

Click here to learn about other “Art Detour 23″ offerings — which include demonstrations, artist talks, meet & greets, live music performances and fashion events.

Just promise me you won’t buy the last fanged bunny top. It’s just the sort of thing my teens would enjoy finding in their Easter baskets.

– Lynn

Note: Roosevelt Row also participates in First Friday and other downtown Phoenix events.

Coming up: Art programs for kids

Photo credit: Lynn Trimble