Tag Archives: free museum days

Scottsdale Arts Festival

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Scottsdale Arts Festival continues this weekend with 181 artists exhibiting diverse works made of metal, wood, fiber, glass and more. Think ceramics, photography, drawing/pastel, painting and jewelry. Also digital arts, printmaking, sculpture and mixed media.

Many are local, but plenty hail from other parts of the country — including Colorado, California, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and beyond. Most are perfectly charming and happy to chat about both process and finished product. My favorite finds on Friday included furnishings made of metal washers and a palm fiber sculpture resembling a dress form. You can sit on the one, but you can’t wear the other. Art is funny that way.

There’s plenty to do beyond strolling down sunny paths lined with artist tents. Watch dance and music performances on the stage situated on a grassy knoll. Explore works of public art. Enjoy exhibits at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (admission is free for festival goers this weekend). Sample a few wines, wood-fired pizza or gourmet food truck fare. Play with art materials, hoola hoops and more.

Try your hand at journaling in the “Scottsdale’s 100 Journals” tent, or take your kiddos to the “Keep Scottsdale Beautiful” tent so they can create a poster to enter in the fourth annual contest for such things. Check out an online auction of works made by festival artists. Hit two gift shops. And enjoy interactive exhibits at SMoCA and the LOVE sculpture.

Photos near the sculpture are fine, by the way. But climbing it is not. A lovely sign in the grass makes that clear though few pause to read it. Don sunscreen before you head out, but don’t worry if you land without a hat. There’s a tent filled with charming hats, and festival gear includes both baseball caps and the floppy variety I came home with on Friday.

It wouldn’t hurt to bring at least a mental list of folks you’ll need to shop for in coming months. I spied several items that would make amazing Father’s Day fare — including beautifully crafted desk or tabletop kaleidescopes and marble runs with true artistic flair. Also plenty of jewelry and such for Mother’s Day. It’s okay, by the way, to be a little selfish in the art department.

I nearly found myself wishing — as I encountered beautifully-crafted works of original furnishings, table and wall art — that I had a law firm, swanky restaurant or other business where I could display them. I suppose it’d be tacky to call the dentist, orthodontist and such over the weekend, but it’s more than a little tempting.

Still, I’m happy with my humble blogging gig — which’ll find me hitting “Gypsy” at Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Poetry Out Loud finals at Phoenix Center for the Arts, “The Great Gatsby” at Arizona Theatre Company, “Green Eggs & Ham” with The Phoenix Symphony (and lots more) this month. It’s all in a day’s art.

— Lynn

Note: The Scottsdale Arts Festival runs 10am-6pm Sat, March 10 and 10am-5pm Sun, March 11.

Coming up: We take care of our own, Art adventures in NYC

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Big MAC attack!

Sunday is your last chance to see Mesa Encore Theatre perform The Music Man, which beat out West Side Story to win the 1958 Tony Award for best musical

Knowing the 2011 Tony Awards are right around the corner, I decided to go in search of local productions of Tony Award-winning musicals. I started with shows coming to the Mesa Arts Center after getting an e-mail alert that tickets for their 2011-2012 Broadway series, which includes four shows, start at just $95.

Watch the Tony Awards on CBS this Sunday night to see who wins best musical for 2011

The series includes “Rock of Ages,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “The Rat Pack is Back” — plus “My Fair Lady,” winner of the 1957 Tony Award for best musical. The 1958 Tony Award for best musical went to “The Music Man,” which is being performed at MAC by Mesa Encore Theatre through June 12.

I’ll have to share other Tony Award winners coming to Valley stages in a later post, because I’m experiencing a bit of a”big MAC attack” at the moment. Turns out there’s a ton of good stuff happening at the Mesa Arts Center, so I’ve got MAC on the brain instead.

The Mesa Arts Center has offerings in four main areas — shows, classes, events and museum exhibits. Upcoming shows sound plenty intriguing. There’s “Retro,” “Live Love Dance!,” and even Steve Martin and his banjo buddies. Events to watch for include fall and spring “out to lunch” concert series, the Mesa Arts Festival and celebrations of Dia de los Muertos.

This girl should have signed up for music classes through Mesa Arts Center

Mesa Arts Center offers classes in visual and performing arts. Think blacksmithing for the grown-ups and ceramic “mud pups” for children. Also American tribal dance and belly dance classes. Plus “scenes for teens” acting classes and a “dance sampler” for kids who want to explore various dance options.

Exhibits opening today at MAC’s “Mesa Contemporary Arts” space — a collection of five galleries — include “Picturing Maricopa” and “Women’s Work.” Other current exhibits include “Chicanitas,” “Vermilion Remains,” and “Wood & Substance, Substance & Spirit.”

Another snappy dresser from the Mesa Encore Theatre production of The Music Man

That’s a lot of art for an admission fee of just $3.50. Kids age 7 & under are always free — and admission is free for all on Thursdays (the museum is closed on Mondays). I’m going to have to move this to the top of my “me time” to do list. My grown children would enjoy the works, but they’re already off and running in a million directions this summer. Bummer.

— Lynn

Note: The Theater League 2011-2012 Broadway series also performs at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix

Coming up: Art meets science — with a twist of creative genius

Photo credit: Sarah Rodgers and Wade Moran