Tag Archives: jewelry

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


Let me call you sweet art

Artist Kit Carson created this bracelet for the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix

Enough with the chocolates and flowers already. Enough with holidays that tell us when, where and how to express our love. Enough with token gifts fraught with misgivings rather than meaning.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day if you must, but get your heart on with gifts that truly matter — enriching experiences and choices that enhance our communities — instead of mere bon bons or bling.

Choosing Valentine’s Day gifts for children? Support our local hospitals and medical centers by hitting their gift shops for playful presents like games, stuffed animals and craft kits.

I’m eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital gift shop in their stunning 11-story tower, but I’m enjoying hunting in the meantime for treasures in the east building’s gift shop.

There’s plenty to choose from in all price ranges — including jewelry, clothing with an artsy feel, art activities and board games you might not find in your typical toy store.

Museum gift shops offer lots of fun finds for children and adults. Think the Heard Museum for gifts with an American Indian theme. The Musical Instrument Museum for all things music-related. The Phoenix Art Museum for sweethearts who appreciate art in every nook and cranny, even the kitchen.

Plenty of performing arts venues have gift shops full of unique fare with an artistic flair. Think Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Mesa Arts Center, Tempe Center for the Arts and more.

Watch for gift boutiques when you attend performances by Valley arts organizations. I often encounter fun goodies when seeing the Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona Opera or Ballet Arizona perform at Symphony Hall in Phoenix.

Some arts organizations, including the Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix, have their own on-site gift shops — and invite folks to stop and shop even when they’re not there for a performance.

There are plenty of options for those of you still rushing to put together that perfect Valentine’s Day experience. No need to panic with those pesky pajama grams.

Instead of dinner and a movie, treat your beloved to a film festival (perhaps a romantic trip to the Sedona International Film Festival) or a night out to enjoy art, dance, music or theater. (Better yet: Pop for season tickets.)

I suppose I won’t reject any bon bons or bling that might come my way this year, but I’ll have to fight the urge to turn everything over and search for evidence it came from one of the community causes I so love to support — even in small ways.

— Lynn

Note: Don’t forget the charm of homemade gifts of art with heart — your local bead shop or pottery painting store can help with ideas, materials and even execution of your project

Coming up: The fine art of daily blogging

Art adventures: Heard Museum North

When I was a little girl, my mother used to collect owls. I suspect it started with a simple gift from a friend, but you can imagine how it grew through the years as I got my hands on various pins, figurines and art supplies.

At some point, her interest shifted to American Indian art — often acquired during trips to or through Arizona. I know very little about the pieces she gathered, but I learn a little bit more each time I visit the Heard Museum in either Phoenix or Scottsdale.

Recently I explored the Heard Museum North in Scottsdale with my son Christopher, who was in grade school when my mother died. Together we’re learning about and enjoying the art that “Nana” so dearly loved.

We took along a camera, but have since discovered that the manual focus on one of our lenses needs repair — so you’ll have to forgive some of the fuzziness in  the photos that follow.

Still, I hope you’ll get a good feel for the museum’s many offerings — and feel inspired to do some exploring of your own.

The Heard Museum North welcomes visitors with a lovely garden complete with desert plants, a water feature and statuary

The Heard Museum North Cafe features a patio where you can enjoy roasted pear salad, a hummus veggie wrap and more

The Heard Museum North features a warm and welcoming gift shop full of books, jewelry, music, artwork and more

This "Chicken Coop" display in the gift shop features Navajo Folk Art that rivals my mom's owl collection

One of the first works we encountered after entering the museum's exhibit space

This display features Hopi katsina dolls and a Hopi ceremonial calendar

Items on exhibit include baskets, paintings, prints, sculpture, rugs, katsina dolls and much more

Heard Museum North presents diverse educational programming and special events

Children will enjoy the museum’s collection of art objects featuring animals such as horses, birds and bears

It’s a particularly lovely time of year to visit the Heard Museum North in Scottsdale because the weather is perfect for enjoying the museum’s outdoor elements and other destinations in the area.

A very kind and knowledgable woman at the museum’s welcome desk told us about the Cave Creek Museum just up the road.

Some folks from Ohio  suggested we make special note of the Heard’s jewelry selection, best described as one-of-a-kind wearable art.

Take your holiday shopping list if you have one since the museum gift shop offers a wealth of unique items in all price ranges. Think teachers, children, family and friends.

Take your camera too, but make sure all the parts are in good working order.  There’s nothing like a good shot of a cactus in bloom, or a flowing rather than frozen water feature, for the front of custom holiday cards going to snowbound family and friends.

Saguaros are like snowflakes — no two are ever the same.

— Lynn

Note: Learn more about museums in the North Scottsdale area at the Central Arizona Museum Association website.

Coming up: Lynn and Christopher explore one of his early childhood favorites — the Arizona Science Center — which currently features an exhibit titled “RACE: Are We So Different?”