Small world, small artists

The lounging end of the new Cartel Coffee Lab in Old Town Scottdale

I discovered while taking photos for Small Business Saturday that a delightful little coffee joint in Old Town Scottsdale is now Arizona’s fourth “Cartel Coffee Lab” location — and that they’re currently exhibiting the work of local artist Cynthia Millikin.

An artist reception for the exhibit featuring Millikin’s charcoal drawings takes place tomorrow night, Dec. 1, from 6-8pm. Remarkable when you consider that Millikin alerted me to another art event taking place that evening — the reception for an exhibition including the work of Robert and Cheyenne You, along with other parent/child artist pairings.

The “Artists and Their Children” exhibit opens with a Dec. 1 reception from 6-8pm, and the You family is looking forward to seeing Cheyenne’s work hanging in the young@art Gallery inside the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

I spoke with You, who teaches art at Scottsdale Community College, earlier this afternoon. He recalls a similar exhibit of six or so years ago, but admits it wasn’t high in his radar at that point. Daughter Cheyenne was just a baby and even art has to take a backseat to dealng with diapers and bibs.

It soon became clear that Cheyenne had her own artistic flair. “She began painting before she was two,” recalls You, who says his daughter “loves to play with color.” While his piece for the “Artists and Their Children” exhibit is a black and white ink drawing on canvas, Cheyenne’s piece is a work on paper created with ink and colored pencils.

The lovely invitation I received from Scottsdale artist Cynthia Millikin

When You shared that his work (which is untitled) measures three by six feet, I asked where he found room to create such things. Turns out the family living room in Scottsdale has a wooden floor and sparse furnishings making it the perfect space for dad’s drawing, mom’s yoga and Cheyenne’s dance.

Fond as she is of drawing and painting, Cheyenne’s first love is dance — both ballet and flamenco. She’s in Miss Betsy’s class at the School of Ballet Arizona, a class my own daughter loved to pieces as a child. I hope early bedtimes won’t preclude Cheyenne’s ballet classmates from joining the You family at Thursday’s free gallery event.

“I told Cheyenne she’s lucky to have her art shown in a gallery at such a young age,” says You. “She’s really fired up.” Cheyenne’s work is titled “Inside of a Rainbow” — but don’t expect an arch in traditional rainbow colors. You describes the work as “non-representational,” sharing the importance of letting young artists use their own imaginations. “I really don’t want to tell her what to do.”

— Lynn

Note: Millikin also shared with me that a new coffee joint in Arcadia called Black Cat Coffee House is currently featuring artwork by Barbara Lacy.

Coming up: Artists fighting hunger

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