Tag Archives: art in Scottsdale

Artists caught in the act

Mesa artist Sherri Aldawood told me about the Arizona Art Alliance Gallery in Scottsdale

I enjoyed a delightful conversation with Mesa artist Sherri Aldawood and her husband last week. Aldawood was one of many artists I met during a “Visions of Arizona” reception at the Arizona House of Representatives building. Her oil paintings “Balcony With Bougainvillea” and “Boys Fishing” are part of the exhibition.

One of two artists caught in the act of painting during our Saturday visit to the gallery

When I asked Aldawood where her work is currently exhibited, she told me about the Arizona Art Alliance Gallery in Scottsdale. I’ve actually driven past it many times during shopping jaunts to what’s now called The Pavilions at Talking Stick — but assumed it was a purveyor of mass produced fare.

The Arizona Art Alliance Gallery is full of paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry and more

I decided to explore the gallery with my son on Saturday, and was thrilled to be proven wrong. It’s actually home to a volunteer organization whose 33 member groups, all based in Arizona, represent more than 4,000 visual artists.

I was thrilled to discover a new place to find gifts of jewelry and original art

The Arizona Art Alliance has an outreach program funded through the proceeds of art sales, donations and grants — which features art education and art mentoring programs.

Country House by Claude Picard is one of many works I'd love to live with every day

It’s part of their overall mission to “celebrate Arizona’s diverse communities and rich cultural traditions, inspire creativity, grow local economies and enhance the quality of life for all Arizonans.”

Christopher enjoyed these and other works with animal-related subjects

We take art for granted far too often, but I suspect most of us would feel a deep loss were arts and culture removed from our homes, schools and public gathering places for even a single day.

Franco Valentini's Primordial Land is one of several works featuring nature scenes

The Arizona Art Alliance Gallery is a great way to introduce children to artworks including sculpture, jewelry, carving, painting and more. Gallery volunteers greeted us warmly when we arrived, and we got to watch two artists paint while we were there.

This photographer, standing next to his "Swizzle," graciously shared tips with my son

Another artist, whose photograph “Swizzle” was among our favorites, spent lots of time talking cameras and film with Christopher — and we were delighted to encounter so many folks of generous spirit.

Artworks are exhibited in all sorts of creative ways at the Scottsdale gallery

One shared that she’s been a longtime reader of Raising Arizona Kids magazine, something it’s heartening to hear in an age when print publications are struggling much like arts organizations to find and keep advertisers and subscribers.

There's plenty of room to stroll and linger at the Arizona Art Alliance gallery

I hope all the parents who frequent The Pavilions at Talking Stick for arts and craft supplies (Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann, Michaels), toys (Toys “R” Us) and movies (UltraStar Cinema) — will make time to enjoy the Arizona Art Alliance Gallery during their future visits.

We both loved the lines and colors in these works by Barbara Lacy

Keep the gallery in mind next time you’re shopping for artwork for your home or gifts like jewelry for family and friends. It’s fun to catch artists in the act of painting, and lovely to spend time with folks who are so gracious.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the Arizona Art Alliance, here to learn more about “Visions of Arizona” and here to learn more about The Pavilions at Talking Stick

Coming up: Art meets automobile, Bald is beautiful


Student art shows

I did a fair amount of painting as a child, mostly acrylic on canvas, though I suspect the work was appreciated more by my mother than anyone else I might have shared it with. As a teen, my hands turned from brush to pen (and pick) as I dabbled in poetry and songwriting.
As my children grew, I made sure art supplies were ever at hand — and that there were always spaces where making a mess was elevated from taboo to triumphant. They had easels, giant rolls of paper, canvas, sketch books, watercolors, charcoals, pastels and more.
For a time, the star attraction in Jennifer’s room was a large interior door painted like pink and white clouds. It sat atop two build-it-yourself bookshelves that served as storage space for arts and crafts supplies — and was lined along the back with an eclectic mix of boxes and cups holding more art materials.
She’d spend much of her free time there (when she wasn’t curled up reading or out exploring with her dear childhood friend Brenna) — making detailed ink drawings, gluing all sorts of things together, and more. It’s always been more about process than product for us.

Scottsdale Community College presents oil and acrylic works through April 21

Still, I relish opportunities to see the polished work of art students here in the Valley. Like those on exhibit this month at Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College — which members of the public are free to enjoy at no cost during exhibit hours.  

The South Mountain Community College art department, and SMCC art students, present a “Student Art Show” April 18-21 (Mon-Thurs) in the Student Union at their Phoenix campus. Hours and additional details are available by calling 602-243-8382.
Scottsdale Community College presents its “12th Annual Spring Painting Exhibition” through April 21. It features “oil and acrylic paintings created by SCC artists under the direction of art professor Robert You.”
The SCC exhibition includes “the work of advanced artists of all ages who have come to SCC to exchange ideas and engage in critical discussion in a warm and friendly atmosphere.”
“Their colorful paintings,” reports the college, “portray a variety of subjects, featuring representational and non-representational styles.” SCC adds that “many of the artists are accomplished painters whose works hang in galleries and private collections around the world.”
The SCC exhibition, housed in the school’s art building (AB), is open Mon-Thurs 8am-9pm, Fri 8am-4pm and Sat 9am-3pm.
Why not get to know the art offerings of your own neighboring schools and colleges, as well as those noted above?
A morning of visiting art exhibits, coupled with a healthy picnic lunch and some apres-lunch hands-on time with art materials makes for a fun, affordable and creative way to spend warm Arizona days.
— Lynn
Note: Consider keeping a tote full of portable (and heat-resistant) art supplies on hand for times you want to head out the door to explore sites like the Desert Botanical Garden or the Rio Salado Audubon Center, where there are plenty of spaces to sit and enjoy drawing flowers, desert critters and more.
Coming up: SMOCA meets Metropolitan Arts Institute, Valley theater meets autism, Cinderella tales

The fine art of nursing

The American Red Cross (featured in this work by American artist Edwin H. Blashfield at the turn of the 20th century) has played a key role in American nursing

A parade of new people has passed through our lives of late — Chrissy, Phil, Aaron and others. All nurses we got to know while Christopher was in the hospital for a fracture fix.

The doctors and nurses at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn have taken fine care of many of our family members, so we’re familiar with many of its hallways.

My favorite place in the hospital is right outside the cafeteria. It just so happens that a Starbucks bar and barista beckon nearby — and that espresso heightens my appreciation for art.

There’s a wall that houses Young Arts of Arizona exhibits. The current exhibit features work by students from Hopi Elementary School in Scottsdale and the Greater Scottsdale Boys and Girls Clubs.

Common themes include nature (butterflies, expansive skies, bright flowers) and dreams and wishes (stars, unicorns, rainbows). There’s nothing like children’s art to brighten our days, and even hospital stays.

It got me wondering about the depiction of nurses and other medical professionals in the arts. They’re all around us in film, photography, painting and more.

Among the best known perhaps are Nurse Ratched from the novel and film “One Flew Over the Cockoo’s Nest” and Dr. Frankenstein from Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” of Broadway.

Of course, I see a happier face when I think of nurses — because my mom spent her early career as a registered nurse in Colorado, working in private medical practice and hospital seetings (including the emergency room).

I recall reading years ago that nurses and teachers get high marks in all sorts of areas — from listening skills and empathy to patience and loyalty — skills our society would do well to value more vigorously.

I stumbled on a website while searching for nurses and the arts. It’s www.artbynurses.com. It was developed by a Canadian artist and nursing professional, and I hope you’ll spend some time exploring it.

Searching for something similar in the United States, I came upon a Georgia artist and medical professional named Marti Hand, whose website also offers insights into the healing power of art — for both patient and medical practitioner.

I also discovered a “Creativity in Health Care” blog that I’m going to spend part of the day exploring as my son sleeps off some of the wear and tear of surgery.

I’ll save explorations of artistic depictions of nurses for another day when I’m home and back to “Stage Mom” rather than “Nurse Mom” duties.

For now, I am off to enjoy the sleeping masterpiece called Christopher.

— Lynn

Note: Once we’re back on the “art adventures” road again, we’re going to do some homework on the American Museum of Nursing, which I learned of through the ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation. And if we ever get to Philadelphia, we’ll eagerly explore the Museum of Nursing History.

Coming up: Careers in the arts, Tips for college applicants with a performing arts focus

Once upon a piano recital

Lizabeth playing piano during a recital at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale

For many years, our annual holiday traditions included a lovely afternoon at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. That’s where my children’s piano teacher, Judy, holds her student recitals each year.

The venue is intimate, beautiful and especially charming when decked in small twinkling white lights and other Christmas holiday fare.

Teacher Judy always adds her own special flair — giant gingerbread man cookies, bulbs elegantly wrapped for children who take them home and enjoy watching the delicate white flowers bloom.

Those afternoons of music and solace have been a real gift through the years, so I’m eager for other families to discover this venue that’s a bit off the beaten path.

A copy of the “Kerr Review” landed in my mailbox the other day — and I took special note of upcoming performances featuring student musicians, who model so beautifully both creativity and discipline.

Young Sounds of Arizona will perform at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center on Thurs, Nov 18 and Sun, Feb 27. Young Sounds “is comprised of 40 students ranging in ages from 14 to 19 from more than 20 schools in the greater Phoenix area.”

Those of you who’ve grumbled even once at the so-called state of America’s youth need to turn out to support these young and talented musicians. They work hard and they work together. And I admire them for it.

The ASU School of Music Latin Jazz Band performs at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center on Mon, Nov 22 at 7:30pm. You won’t find better music for a better value — with tickets ranging from just $5 to $8.

You’ll appreciate the musical respite during a week meant for giving thanks that turns all too often into a bit of a frenzy factory.

Kerr Center offerings are plentiful and diverse. Their fall calendar includes a one woman play about a legendary Hollywood costume designer, a Tuesday morning music and tea series, an evening with acoustic guitarist Leo Kotke and much more.

Lovers of the green can enjoy “An Irish Christmas” on Fri, Dec 10 — which features “glorious music, traditional dance, storytelling, laughter and plenty of Irish soul” with some impressive Irish performing artists.

New additions to the season line-up include a Dec 12 performance of Broadway, folk, pop, jazz, gospel, patriotic and sacred music by the Tempe Community Chorus — plus a Feb 19, 2011 “Reduced History of Classical Music” that covers “900 years of music in 90 minutes.”

Learn more about performing arts offerings, as well as visual arts exhibits, at the Kerr Center by signing up at www.asukerr.com to receive their e-mails.

I’m grateful to Judy for introducing us to the ASU Kerr Cultural Center, one of the Valley’s many hidden performing arts treasures — and for so much more.

— Lynn

Note: Art exhibitions at Kerr feature Piedad (Pia) Rodriguez (Oct), Diana Campanella (Nov/Dec) and Jeff  Jones (March 2011).

Coming up: More ‘off the beaten path’ art venues, Lynn & Jenn — Still Playing for Change