Tag Archives: art galleries

Tempe tales

I spotted these beauties, each named for a Childsplay artist, while at TCA today

I headed out with a simple mission — hit the first of two Saturday matinees for Childsplay’s production of “With Two Wings” at Tempe Center for the Arts. But in typical TCA fashion, there were plenty of other things to explore.

After seeing “With Two Wings,” I headed to the lobby and spied a trio of dancers in beautiful turquoise garb performing in the “Breaking Ground 2012” pre-show that preceded their 2pm student showcase. There’s also a pre-show for tonight’s 8pm professional showcase, featuring both dance and film.

While checking out Childsplay’s 360° activities in the TCA lobby, I met a lovely grandparent named Bill who noted that both he and his wife are retired educators and longtime holders of Childsplay “play passes” — who often discuss themes from plays they’ve seen together with their grandchildren after the shows.

Themes from "With Two Wings" are explored in TCA lobby exhibits and activities

I explained that my daughter Lizabeth, just cast in her first Pace University theater production, trained for many years with Childsplay Academy — and left a little note on a 360° bulletin board thanking Childsplay for helping her take flight. Then I grabbed a tissue from my purse and spent a bit of teary-eyed time in the ladies room.

Next I met a couple from Canada who were delighted at discovering a venue with so much to offer, and watched a boy making paper airplanes with paper and directions set out at one of two Childsplay tables — before hitting the other table to check out baskets of unique fiber art dolls that seemed a fun spin on sock monkeys and books mirroring “With Two Wings” themes.

Families enjoyed making Frida Kahlo inspired artwork in the TCA Gallery on Saturday

After noticing a sign about kids’ crafts taking place in the TCA gallery, I headed inside to find children and families making artworks inspired by Frida Kahlo (with help from folks at Carmen Creations and Phoenix Frida) — and realized the amazing “Mixing It Up” exhibit closes today. “Arizona Landscapes,” their next exhibit, opens Feb.11.

This community mural created with Martin Morena is exhibited in the TCA Sculpture Garden

I also hit the TCA sculpture garden, which is a wonderful place for children to stretch their legs while experiencing several works of three-dimensional art. One piece reminds me of a beautiful mosque, and several mirror Native American themes. Another features painted butterflies on a surface that gently sways as the breeze blows all around it.

I hit the gift shop every time I’m at the TCA, because there’s always a new crop of unique work that’s both lovely and very reasonably priced. It’s run by volunteers, and I often run into artists while I’m there. Today I chatted with an artist who showed me her “tuxedo scarves” (black on one side, patterned on the other) and a batik scarf with a beautiful beachy feel.

Carol Mickey wearing some of her own artwork, a beautiful "tuxedo scarf"

The gift shop is full of rings, earrings, necklaces and other jewelry fare — plus works of art in many mediums. Today I admired works by Cheryl Willis, Evelyn Gholson, Bonnie Lou Coleman, Mary Poindexter and others. Now that Valentine’s Day is near, their collection of heart-shaped items is growing. I was thrilled to discover that they’ve got gift certificates too.

I also headed outside to the patio overlooking the lake, where I found Carley Conder working on sound. I did a little shopping at the CONDER/dance table too — picking up a set of postcards featuring dance photos while chatting with board member Casey Blake, who works with the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Finally I headed home, amazed to have stumbled onto so much art in a single outing. Watch for a future post reviewing “With Two Wings,” plus a little something shared by my daughter Lizabeth by phone this afternoon. Her afternoon theater experience was quite different than mine.

— Lynn

Note: Your next opportunity to see “With Two Wings” is Sun, Jan. 29 at 1pm. Click here for show and ticket details.

Coming up: A word about the Golden Rule


Scottsdale Street Fair

I love the way exploring arts and culture always leads from one remarkable path to another. Thursday I attended the “Visions of Arizona” reception at the Arizona Capitol, where an artist told me about the Arizona Art Alliance Gallery in Scottsdale.

While checking out their website, I learned of a new Scottsdale Street Fair being held Sundays at The Pavilions at Talking Stick. I hit the gallery on Saturday, and the fair on Sunday — where I met more artists who’ll no doubt lead me to more art adventures.

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I took my son Christopher along, and the first folks we encountered were sharing news of an upcoming performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts of China at ASU Gammage in Tempe. I’ve had China on the brain of late — thanks to a documentary titled “A Boy in China” starring Andre Magnum of Phoenix.

Next we stumbled on the Jan’s Pies booth filled with homemade cheesecake slices, fresh fruit turnovers, miniature loaves of bread and more. I noticed a harmonica laying off to one side of a table and asked about it, launching a wonderful conversation with the man working the booth about his daughter’s love of all things music and Elmo.

I made sure he knew about the “Being Elmo” film and the Valley’s own Musical Instrument Museum (complete with hands-on “experience gallery” where kids love trying all sorts of exotic instruments) before moving on.

We chatted with a woman who creates copper works of art that look like they’d be lovely in both commercial and residential settings, and spoke to several people offering foodie fare — fresh produce, dried beans, flavored pasta, unusual spices. Then we went in search of street fair staples like Indian Fry Bread and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Next time we’ll try the pulled pork and Italian ice.

I was delighted to find several fun options for busy bodies — including a great assortment of bounce houses, a trio of giant balls allowing kids to make like hamsters and a tall climbing wall. Also face painting (featuring exquisite colors and designs) and other kid-friendly fare.

Several booths featured clothing, handbags, jewelry and such — and there was even live entertainment. A singer/songwriter was doing her thing when we arrived, but dancers dressed in costumes akin to those of Arabian dancers in “The Nutcracker” were taking the the stage as we left.

I suspect the Scottsdale Street Fair will grow as more vendors and visitors learn of its existence. You can check it out from 10am-4pm every Sunday at The Pavilions at Talking Stick through May 2012. To learn more, visit them online at www.scottsdalestreetfair.com.

— Lynn

Coming up: All thumbs, A revolution in Scottsdale?

Photos: Lynn Trimble

Walk on the art side

The Beastro participates in 4th Fridays in Prescott

Families who’ve resolved to get more fit during the New Year have several art walk options that make power walking a bit more playful. Check out these art walks, which couple time to stroll with opportunities to experience local arts and culture.

Downtown Chandler Art Walk. Takes place the third Friday of every month along San Marcos Place and Boston Street. The event features art in various mediums, live music from local talent and a fun family atmosphere. Learn more at www.downtownchandlerartwalk.com.

Artist Alicia Van Noy Call painting during a Prescott 4th Friday event

Downtown Mesa 2nd Friday. Takes place the second Friday of each month from 6-10pm on and around West Downtown Main Street. The event features open galleries, live music and hands-on activities. Learn more at www.2ndfridaynightout.com.

First Friday Artwalk. Takes place from 6-9pm the first Friday of each month in historic downtown Flagstaff. The event features special art exhibitions, performances, live music and treats from local art galleries and businesses. Learn more at www.flagstaffartwalk.com.

First Friday Phoenix Art Walk. Takes place the first Friday of each month from 6-10pm. The event features more than 70 galleries, venues and art-realted spaces — with free event shuttles based at the Phoenix Art Museum. Learn more www.artlinkinc.wordpress.com.

Rowena Tank enjoying a 4th Friday event in Prescott

Gallery Row in Tucson Artwalk. Takes place every Thursday from 5-7pm. The event features open galleries, live music and wine tastings. Learn more at www.tucsongalleryrow.com.

Prescott’s 4th Friday Art Walks. Takes place the fourth Friday of each month, with art galleries listing various art walk hours (most start at 5pm and end at 8pm). The event features open art galleries, live music, food and more. Galleries invite visitors to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Prescott Community Cupboard. Learn more at www.artthe4th.com.

Scottsdale ArtWalk. Takes place every Thursday from 7-9pm in the Scottsdale Art District (in and around Old Town). The event features open galleries, live music and more. Special ArtWalks each month have diverse themes (Jan. 2012: A Taste of…; Feb. 2012: Best of …, March 2012: Native Arts…, April 2012: Glass Act…). Learn more at www.scottsdalegalleries.com.

— Lynn

Note: Events details are always subject to change, so please verify before attending. For a comprehensive listing of events for families, check the Raising Arizona Kids Magazine calendar in print or online.

Coming up: Cinderella– with a twist, Wings & things

Photos courtesy of the City of Prescott Office of Tourism

Art meets identity

Tempe Center for the Arts presents Mixing it Up through Jan 28, 2012

During a recent afternoon at Tempe Center for the Arts, where Childsplay is currently performing “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” I enjoyed some time in the Gallery at TCA, which currently houses an exhibit titled “Mixing it Up: Building an Identity.”

“Mixing it Up,” which runs through Jan 28, 2012, “celebrates and examines how works created by Mexican American artists are influenced by the cultures of both Mexico and the United States.”

Many of the works — which address “national identity, family and community and labor and border issues” — hail from the collection of the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University.

I was pleased to see that several families were exploring the exhibit, as well as the outdoor sculpture garden adjacent to the gallery. It’s a perfect exhibit space for introducing children and teens to diverse visual arts because of its small size and dedicated area for kid-friendly offerings.

See what you think after checking out the following sample of works currently exhibited at TCA, then head over to experience not only the gallery, but the center’s performing arts offerings and TCArt Shop as well.

The Gallery at TCA lets children see artwork up close in an intimate space…

Visitors discuss “One Little Indian versus the Corporate Trolls” by Laura Molina…

Several children explored the Gallery before seeing a Childsplay performance…

“Bicultural Table Setting” by Rolanda Briseno is on exhibit at the Gallery at TCA…

Every exhibit in the Gallery at TCA features a special area for young visitors…

This tabletop also sports materials for kids who want to make their own cards…

The “Mixing it Up” exhibit includes a collection of works by Vicente Telles…

This seating area includes several art books for those who want to learn more…

“Tribute to Chicago Football Heroes” by Larry Yanez exhibited near the entrance…

Works like “Undocumented” by Malquias Montoya stimulate lots of discussion…

Detail of “The Duck” by Frank Ybarra, one of many works that pop with color…

Admission to this exhibit is free. Click here to learn more.

— Lynn

Note: Join guest artists in the Gallery at TCA Thurs, Oct 13 from 7-8:30pm. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free — but seating is limited. Call 480-350-5679 to learn more. Learn more about Childsplay at www.childsplayaz.org.

Coming up: Midsummer meets Arabian Nights, I-Spy: Sculpture style

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

It’s a question from the game titled “20 Questions” — which inspired the current exhibit at the Tempe Center for the Arts gallery. The exhibit, which runs through Sept 2, features the work of 12 Arizona artists. It “embraces the unusual, quirky and off-beat appeal of artworks that do not always fit into categories such as painting, drawing and sculpture.”

I explore the gallery each time I take in a Childsplay show at TCA — either arriving a bit early to enjoy it or strolling through it during intermission. I wish more parents would visit the gallery with their children when they are there. It’s a small enough space that children feel comfortable rather than overwhelmed by the art and its surroundings.

The TCA says it worked with artists to create various “storylines, questions and conversation topics for audiences.” Those exploring the gallery can enjoy a “20 Questions” scavenger hunt for adults, coloring pages for children and SRP “gaming lounge” (it’s way cool) and social media options. This isn’t your mother’s museum.

The TCA also features an enclosed sculpture garden where families can enjoy larger works of art. Not everything flashes across a screen. It’s good to remind kids that there’s a big wild world out there for which no mouse or remote control is needed. Admission to the gallery is free, and it’s open Tues-Fri 10am-6pm and Sat 11am-6pm.

Here’s a little taste of the “20 Questions” exhibit…

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To learn more, visit Tempe Center for the Arts at www.tempe.gov/tca

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the 12 featured artists

Coming up: Shakespeare shorts

Art adventures: Scottsdale ArtWalk

The Scottsdale ArtWalk takes place every Thursday from 7-9pm, and features access to art sorts of galleries.

During a recent evening spent at the Scottsdale ArtWalk, I ran into plenty of families — including children and teens eager to show me their favorite pieces of art.

The event had a very casual, friendly vibe. The art exhibited was diverse and interesting. And it’s a fun event for both art afficianados and folks who just want to get out and try something new.

I took photos of my Scottsdale ArtWalk adventures — which I’m sharing below in the hopes that you’ll feel inspired to head out to Scottsdale yourself some Thursday night.

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Visit the Scottsdale Galleries website to learn more about galleries featured in this post, as well as other galleries that participate in the Scottsdale ArtWalk every Thursday evening.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn about Scottsdale Artists’ School, which offers classes for children, teens and adults.

Coming up: What’s new at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art?

Update: After writing the post, I received two related e-mails, a “thank you” from the Scottsdale Gallery Association — a classy gesture that’s always appreciated. And another from the Calvin Charles Gallery, who invited me to drop by their gallery next time I’m in what’s now called “The Original Scottsdale Downtown.” Here’s a link to their post, which features all sorts of photos of their gallery.

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…

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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