Art intersection

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I headed out a few weeks ago to enjoy the opening of “Emerge” at Art Intersection in Gilbert, which offers exhibitions and classes focused on visual arts for youth. I first met the fine folks of Art Intersection while attending this year’s Scottsdale Arts Festival near my own neck of the woods.

Driving east up Gilbert Rd. towards their studio and gallery space in Gilbert’s Heritage District, I spotted a long line of teens waiting their turn at a bit of Joe’s Real Barbeque. I like to believe they’d have hit the nearby Gilbert Farmers Market too had it been Saturday morning rather than Wednesday night.

A arrived at the two-story building housing Art Intersection to find an upper level courtyard filled with youth watching a fellow teen doing his singing thing. While exploring the Heritage Court complex, I stumbled on Banner Neuro Wellness — which offers diverse programs for people living with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. Think visual arts, dance and more.

When I got to Art Intersection, I found several teens huddled around a tall table talking art and everyday life. Nearby, I spied a collection of works drawn with colored markers by an artist named Sam Irving who’s living with autism. A father and son admired old cameras displayed on a high shelf and checked out the venue’s collection of art books.

I turned right down a short, narrow hall to discover a nicely-sized and well-lit space where classes in everything from painting to photography are held, then made my way to a wide-open gallery with blonde wood floors where a dozen or so folks were milling around enjoying student artwork.

“Emerge” includes works by “emerging talent ranging from high school to undergraduate students” — and runs through May 26. Next up is “All Art Arizona 2012” (June 2-July 28), an exhibition of sculpture, photography, painting, ceramics, mixed media, artist books and more — all juried by Art Intersection’s curatorial staff.

After exploring Art Intersection offerings, I strolled west on Gilbert Rd. and stopped in to chat with all sorts of business owners. One graciously granted my request to photograph inspirational quotes painted on several walls. Another told me about their creative birthday party fare. After complimenting a boutique owner on her vibrant offerings and display, she shared a bit about her interior design background.

Nearby, the owner of a gallery filled with eclectic wares answered my questions about several quilted works as students and their grown-ups from a nearby school worked to take down items from an auction held that evening to raise funds for their school.

If you’re eager to explore all things arts and culture in Gilbert, you can enjoy this season’s final “4th Friday Gilbert Art Walk” from 6-10pm on Fri, May 25. Remember too that Gilbert is home to the Gilbert Historical Museum and Hale Centre Theatre, which opens “To Kill a Mockingbird” directed by D. Scott Withers (also an associate artist with Childsplay in Tempe) this week. Hale’s Children’s Theatre continues its “Rapunzel” run through June 30.

Look for Art Intersection where N. Gilbert Rd. meets Cullember Ave. It’s an intersection surrounded by art that’s full of heart.

— Lynn

Note: Look for an article on the changing face of libraries in the June 2012 issue of Raising Arizona Kids, then click here to learn more about public libraries in Gilbert.

Coming up: More East Valley fun finds, Once upon a window

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