Opening of ‘Larger Than Memory’ Postponed

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Heard Museum is actively rescheduling upcoming exhibits that were slated to open this spring, including Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America, which was originally scheduled to open May 1. Due to the rapidly changing coronavirus situation, the Heard Museum is unable to give a specific opening date at the moment.

This original exhibition, curated by Diana Pardue and Erin Joyce, centers around works produced in the 21st century, highlighting the significant contribution indigenous artists have made and continue to make to broader culture from 2000-2020.

Indigenous artists from North America represent some of the most exciting and engaging work of the 21st century. The exhibition features more than 40 works by 22 contemporary artists working across the United States and Canada in a variety of mediums including Cannupa Hanska Luger, recipient of the inaugural Burke Prize in 2019 through the Museum of Art and Design in New York and the 2020 Creative Capital Award.

Larger Than Memory also features longtime Heard Museum collaborator Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, who has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards and grants including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant and the 2020 US Artists Fellowship. This exhibition also represents the return of renowned multidisciplinary artist Jeffrey Gibson, a 2019 MacArthur Fellow who was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

“Larger Than Memory comes at a pivotal time in the global contemporary art world,” says David Roche, Heard Museum Dickey Family director and CEO. “The exhibition recognizes and presents artists working at the top of their field across a variety of mediums; artists that are engaging with critical dialogues that touch all of our lives. The Heard is honored to present the work of these creatives and be a leader in conversations regarding representation, identity and the environment.”

The first 20 years of the 21st century have been a dynamic and transformative period for indigenous contemporary art in the United States and Canada. Focusing on artists and works that have been the impetus of this change as well as artists who signify future change, the exhibition seeks to create a platform for new ways of understanding indigenous art.

Larger Than Memory is made possible through the lead support of The Henry Luce Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation with additional support from the Heard Museum Grand Gallery Exhibition Fund.


Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America

Summer 2020–Jan. 3, 2021

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and to purchase tickets visit: heard.org/exhibits/larger-than-memory/.

‘¡Americano! The Musical’ Lift Spirits

¡Americano! The Musical debuted Jan, 29 as the centerpiece of The Phoenix Theatre Company’s 100th anniversary. The musical is a collaboration between The Phoenix Theatre Company; Jason Rose, Arizona public relations executive and Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships owner; Ken Davenport, Tony Award-Winning producer; and Jonathan Rosenberg.

The musical features singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez and pioneering Latin music group Orkestra Mendoza. The concept album is available at americanothemusical.com, on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora and other platforms.

Portions of proceeds from one of the album’s songs, “Come Join the Marines,” are going to the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund. The Marines and community are important aspects of ¡Americano!. The musical is the true story of a Dreamer, Antonio Valdovinos, who learned of his undocumented immigration status on his 18th birthday when he tried to enlist in the U.S. Marines.

Album can be purchased here.

Spotify, click here.

Pandora, click here.

Amazon Music, click here.

iHeart Radio, click here

Apple Music, click here.

For a sample of some of the recordings, click here.

Bringing MIM to You

While MIM’s galleries are closed, the Museum continues lifting spirits through music. There are many ways to continue engaging with MIM while exploring the world’s music and cultures.

Relive the magic of past performances
Experience the MIM Music Theater from home with uplifting concerts featuring musicians from around the world, including South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, iconic Mexican American singer Lila Downs and legendary Americana and blues duo Hot Tuna.

Make some music at home
Explore MIMkids resources for fun and educational music-making and instrument-building activities. Making and listening to music at a young age develops early literacy, physical and social-emotional skills. Follow along with Katie Palmer, MIM’s curator of education, to the entertaining scarf activities that you can do at home with your little ones.

Dive deeper into MIM’s collection
Immerse yourself in the inspiring musical stories from throughout the museum’s galleries. Get an inside look at the imagination and craftsmanship behind some of the world’s most visually stunning inlaid guitars in the Telly Award-winning documentary series from MIM’s 2016 special exhibition Dragons and Vines.

Music matters—now more than ever
You can help MIM today by purchasing a gift card to use toward a future visit or concert tickets. You can also shop the Museum Store online or by calling 480.478.6002 for instruments, kids’ toys and books to entertain and engage.

Preserving and Sharing

Innovative technology companies have joined together with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to bring Wright’s vision to the world.

Through the combination of a powerful 3D imaging laser scanner, sophisticated documentation and an immersive media platform, audiences can virtually explore Taliesin West, the winter home and desert laboratory of one of the world’s most prolific architects.

Recently-designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with seven other Wright sites, Taliesin West is the first Frank Lloyd Wright property made freely available online using new technology created by Leica Geosystems.

Viewers can experience Wright’s usage of compression and release as they enter the Garden Room. They can stand on the edge of the Prow and view the desert landscape and surrounding view, where Wright himself stood and described it as “the rim of the world.” They’ll be able to take in the structural desert masonry as they wander the hallways and pass unique elements such as the light fixtures and furniture, most of which were designed by Wright himself. True to Wright’s vision, the virtual experience represents a new way for the world to access, preserve and reflect on design and organic architecture.

The virtual tour is free and can be accessed by visiting franklloydwright.org/3dlab. This tour will be offered indefinitely, not just during the country’s quarantine period.

Although the property is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, virtual visitors are encouraged to plan a visit in the future to experience the site in person. A good way to support the organization now, in this time of need, is by purchasing a membership, which includes passes for annual visits to Taliesin West, along with reciprocal benefits at Wright Sites across the country.

See Your Museum, Right at Home!

Although Phoenix Art Museum physical spaces are closed through April 6, art is never closed. The Museum is committed to bringing daily art in new ways to the community.

The newly relaunched website, phxart.org, the first bilingual site in the 60-year history of the Museum, offers many online and alternate resources. The platform features a dynamic, user-friendly design and a number of ways to access and explore the exhibitions and collections of fashion design, photography, American and Western American, Latin American, Asian, European, and modern and contemporary art.

Here are a few of the many ways art lovers can interact with great art from around the world from the safety and comfort of their home.

• Artists in the Collection – Discover the biographies, histories and works of featured artists in the #PhxArtCollection. LEARN MORE

• In the Galleries – Get excited for your first visit back once the Museum reopens by learning more about the upcoming exhibitions. LEARN MORE

• Virtual Content – Experience virtual exhibition tours, talks, lectures and other art-related video content on the #PhxArtYouTube channel. LEARN MORE

• Retail Therapy – During this time of social distancing, The Museum Store offers books, games and art supplies. VIEW MORE

Cactus Clubhouse

Desert Botanical Garden invites kids to engage with the outdoors around them at Cactus Clubhouse, a new nature play space.

The play area provides unstructured, child-led activities for kids from birth through age 12 to discover the fun of the natural world by climbing, creating and building with various organic materials.

Throughout Cactus Clubhouse, kids encounter several activity areas designed to spark independent play, while encouraging physical, cognitive and behavioral growth.

Activities include:

  • Nature Art – Children can work with natural materials such as seed pods and leaves to develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world, while strengthening skills in observation and creativity.
  • Music and Movement – This space features nature-based instruments and a place to move in order to help children discover basic concepts of sound and rhythm.
  • Climb – Children can climb, balance, jump and crawl to develop confidence, balance, coordination and risk-assessment.
  • Messy Materials – This area is filled with large-scale, loose parts to encourage building and imaginative play, which gives children a sense of accomplishment and belonging in the outdoors.
  • Build – This area features blocks made from natural materials to give children a different sensory and spatial experience, while strengthening math skills and conceptual thinking.
  • Dig – Children can use tools or their own hands to manipulate dirt and soil. This simple but rich multisensory experience can have a soothing effect on overstimulated minds and bodies.

The Cactus Clubhouse is made possible by grants from the USDA Forest Service and the Pharos Foundation in collaboration with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.


Cactus Clubhouse

Through Sept. 30

Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix

For more information, visit dbg.org.

Ballet Meets Broadway

Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona’s artistic director, presents three of Balanchine’s works during All Balanchine May 7-10 at Symphony Hall.

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue brings a Broadway twist to traditional ballet. Musical theater lovers will delight as Ballet Arizona’s dancers showcase additional acting skills. Slaughter on Tenth Avenue tells the story of a tap dancer who falls in love with a dance hall girl who is shot and killed by her jealous boyfriend. Originally part of the Broadway hit On Your Toes, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue kicks ballet formalities aside for big, theatrical performances. Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is the first of four Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musicals choreographed by Balanchine.

Ballet Arizona presents the Arizona premiere of Balanchine’s Bourrée Fantasque. Balanchine takes comic aim at many of the conventions that typify classical dance while providing glimpses of popular genres including the can-can and tango with a score by Emmanuel Chabrier. Bourrée Fantasque moves from comic absurdity, to dazzling hilarity with astounding shifts of geometric formations.

The first ballet Balanchine choreographed in America, Serenade is a romantic work of massive sweep set to a transcendent Tchaikovsky score, echoing themes of betrayal and alluding to images of protection.

Andersen is one of only a handful of artists worldwide entrusted by the Balanchine Trust to stage these masterpieces. His understanding of Balanchine’s work draws respect from revered dance critics across the country. Andersen is celebrating 20 years with Arizona’s professional ballet company in 2020. Before his storied career at Ballet Arizona, Andersen was mentored by Balanchine himself during his tenure as a dancer at New York City Ballet.


All Balanchine 

May 7-10

Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix

For more information/tickets, visit balletaz.org.

Larger Than Memory

The Heard Museum has announced a new exhibition Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America will open May 1, 2020. This original exhibition, curated by Diana Pardue and Erin Joyce, centers around works produced in the 21st century, highlighting the significant contribution indigenous artists have made and continue to make to broader culture from 2000-2020.

Indigenous artists from North America represent some of the most exciting and engaging work of the 21st century. The exhibition features more than 40 works by 22 contemporary artists working across the United States and Canada in a variety of mediums including Cannupa Hanska Luger, recipient of the inaugural Burke Prize in 2019 through the Museum of Art and Design in New York and the 2020 Creative Capital Award.

Larger Than Memory also features longtime Heard Museum collaborator Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, who has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards and grants including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant and the 2020 US Artists Fellowship. This exhibition also represents the return of renowned multidisciplinary artist Jeffrey Gibson, a 2019 MacArthur Fellow who was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

“Larger Than Memory comes at a pivotal time in the global contemporary art world,” says David Roche, Heard Museum Dickey Family director and CEO. “The exhibition recognizes and presents artists working at the top of their field across a variety of mediums; artists that are engaging with critical dialogues that touch all of our lives. The Heard is honored to present the work of these creatives and be a leader in conversations regarding representation, identity and the environment.”

The first 20 years of the 21st century have been a dynamic and transformative period for indigenous contemporary art in the United States and Canada. Focusing on artists and works that have been the impetus of this change as well as artists who signify future change, the exhibition seeks to create a platform for new ways of understanding indigenous art.

Larger Than Memory is made possible through the lead support of The Henry Luce Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation with additional support from the Heard Museum Grand Gallery Exhibition Fund.


Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America

May 1, 2020–Jan. 3, 2021

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and to purchase tickets visit: heard.org/exhibits/larger-than-memory/.

SMoCA Celebrates Spring

This season, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art collaborates with the Center for Philosophical Technologies—a strategic initiative of Arizona State University and a global hub for critical and speculative research on philosophy, technology and design—on a series of programs in conjunction with the exhibition Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined.

Additionally, the Mystery in the Museum and Trivia Night @SMoCA return, as well as The Art of Mindfulness. These events offer guests the opportunity to engage with artists, the community and museum goers to consider the questions and themes explored throughout the museum’s exhibitions.

Spring Opening Celebration
Fri., Feb. 14, 6–8 p.m.
Attendees can chat with curators, mingle with artists and explore the exhibitions.

Design Reboot: An International Conversation on Design Rehabilitation
Through May 17
SMoCA and the CPT at ASU present a series of public talks featuring five international designers included in the exhibition Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined on view through May 17. SMoCA and CPT have invited designers Luis Paco Böeckelmann (German, lives in United Kingdom), Jesper Eriksson (Swedish/Finnish, lives in United Kingdom), Wendy Plomp (Dutch, lives in The Netherlands), Kevin Rouff (American/French, lives in United Kingdom) and Remco van de Craats (Dutch, lives in The Netherlands) to participate in these events.

The CPT at ASU is an ambitious platform for research creation that aims to bring philosophy, design and technology together at the intersections of academic, para-academic, non-academic ways of knowing. Collaborating with CPT to present these series of events allows a broad audience to be introduced to the vibrancy of international design, specifically from the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

These events will not only enlarge an understanding of environmentally centered design but will also allow the designers to form new connections in the Southwest region of the United States.

Below are two public engagements:

Waste Not: Sustainable Approaches to Design
Sat., Feb. 15, 3 p.m.
Designers whose work is featured in Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined discuss innovative approaches that address diminishing natural resources. Luis Paco Böeckelmann, Jesper Eriksson, Wendy Plomp, Kevin Rouff and Remco van de Craats join moderator Judith Hoos Fox, co-curator of the exhibition.

Alchemical Design: Reimagining Sustainability
Mon., Feb. 17, 6 p.m.
The CPT at ASU hosts a second discussion at ASU with international designers from Designed Transfigured/Waste Reimagined and Jason Schupbach, director of the School of Design, focusing on the scientific complexities of sustainable design. The roundtable will include Adam Nocek, CPT director, Stacey Moran, CPT Associate Director, Jason Schupbach, ASU School of Design director, and Ronald Broglio, ASU director of Desert Humanities.

Mystery in the Museum: The Case of the Cursed Collector
Fri., March 27, 6:30 p.m.
The museum is back with another mystery that invites attendees to follow the clues, solve the riddles, and, if they’re lucky, crack the case. Participants are highly encouraged to come dressed in Hitchcock-inspired attire.

Terrarium

Studio @SMoCA: Terrariums for Dry Climates with Dig It
Sat., March 28, Noon – 3 p.m.
The experts from Dig It Gardens are back at the museum to show participants how to create and care for their own terrarium.

Dog Days @SMoCA
Sat., April 4, 6 p.m.
The museum is opening its doors to its canine friends. Attendees can bring their pup for an evening of curated play and refreshments, includes a special sunset viewing in James Turrell’s Knight Rise Skyspace.

History of Plastics
Thurs., April 16, 7 p.m.
Writer and former journalist Christopher Geoffrey McPherson presents the history of one of the most significant and contested materials of our time: plastic. A selection of mid-century dinnerware from SMoCA’s collection will be on temporary display during the event.

The Art of Mindfulness
Sat., April 18, 2 p.m.
In this public talk and meditation, Buddhist monk Kelsang Tabkay explains how anxiety and stress have their roots in our state of mind and shows participants how to reduce and eventually overcome these conditions by working on one’s mind with a combination of meditation and positive thinking.

Trivia Night @SMoCA
Fri., April 24, 7 p.m.
Comedian Anwar Newton hosts an evening of movie, TV and music references that will test everyone’s pop culture IQ. Drop some knowledge on the SMoCA team to win prizes and become trivia champions.

Documentary Video Art Festival
Thurs., April 30, 7 p.m.
This is a showcase of experimental shorts highlighting social, cultural and personal topics. These artworks were produced by students in Documentary Video Art as part of the intermedia program of the School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU.

Insight Art Tours
First and third Fridays at 12:30 p.m.
SMoCA curatorial staff and guest artists lead insightful 15-minute discussions about works of art on view.

Gallery Conversations
Thursdays and Saturdays, 12:30–2 p.m. and 5–6:30 p.m.
Sundays 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Museum docents are on hand throughout the galleries to provide knowledge about the works on view.

Spun Chair Nights @SMoCA
Thurs. and Sat., 5–8 p.m.
Enjoy “Murmuration” in one of the museum’s “Spun Chairs.” “Murmuration” is a site-specific artwork by Squidsoup that uses digital processes, light and sound to create a dynamic audiovisual experience suspended around the exterior of the museum.

Scottsdale’s Western Week

During Western Week, Old Town Scottsdale transforms into an authentic Old West experience. This is an opportunity to connect with Old Town’s western history, up-close and in person, through western and Native American festivals, art walks, the Hashknife Pony Express, Parada del Sol Parade and the Arizona Indian Festival.

The 2020 lineup includes:

WESTERN WEEK GOLD PALETTE ARTWALK
Feb. 6 – 8 • 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Scottsdale Arts District

FREE ADMISSION TO WESTERN SPIRIT: SCOTTSDALE’S MUSEUM OF THE WEST
Feb. 7 – 8 • 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

62nd ANNUAL HASHKNIFE PONY EXPRESS ARRIVAL
Feb. 7 • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

PARADA DEL SOL RODEO KICKOFF PARTY
Feb. 7 • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Feb. 8 • 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Old Town Scottsdale Parada del Sol Rodeo Museum, Brown Avenue and Second Street

WESTERN WEEK FARMERS MARKET
Feb. 8 • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Brown Ave. and First Street

67th ANNUAL SCOTTSDALE PARADA DEL SOL PARADE AND TRAIL’S END FESTIVAL
Feb. 8 • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.(parade), 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. (festival)
Parade route from Drinkwater Boulevard along Scottsdale Road, finished at Brown Avenue and Indian School Roa; Trail’s End Festival is held in the Historic Old Town District

ARIZONA INDIAN FESTIVAL
Feb. 8 • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Feb. 9 • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall

ARIZONA NATIVE EDIBLE EXPERIENCE
Feb. 8 • 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

PARADA DEL SOL RODEO
March 5 – 8
WestWorld of Scottsdale
The Parada del Sol Rodeo is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned rodeo. This four-day event consists of four action-packed performances. As one of the oldest officially sanctioned rodeos in the country, the Parada del Sol Rodeo event includes bull riding, wrestling, calf roping and barrel racing. For more, visit paradadelsol.net.

Scottsdale Arts Festival Celebrates 50 Years

Scottsdale Arts Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary March 13 – 15. The annual weekend-long celebration of creativity attracts nearly 20,000 loyal visitors. Guests will enjoy the best in visual, culinary, cultural and performing arts throughout the newly renovated 20-acre Scottsdale Civic Center Park.

Since its inception in 1969, the festival has taken place in different locations throughout Scottsdale: Scottsdale City Hall, Scottsdale High School, the Executive House to name a few. Each successive year the scope of the Festival increased and news about the quality of the event spread among regional artists. In 1973, the Scottsdale Fine Arts Commission initiated the idea of commissioning a special commemorative print honoring the event and an untitled work by artist James Rom was chosen. Some of these commissioned pieces will be on display during the Festival’s 50th celebration. In 1989, the Scottsdale Cultural Council (now known as Scottsdale Arts) took over administrating and producing the Scottsdale Arts Festival. International, national and local art exhibitions and installations have always provided engaging enhancements to Festival goers.

“The City of Scottsdale has built a reputation as a community that values and supports the arts, and I am very proud that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Arts Festival. As one of our most popular and long-standing events, the Arts Festival showcases some of the most talented artist from across the nation. Our world-class community appreciates arts and culture as evidenced by this event’s 50 years of success, and we look forward to further growth under the Scottsdale Arts leadership,” says Mayor Lane.

The festival showcases more than 180 jury-selected artists from the United States and abroad. This year’s featured artists are local husband and wife printmakers Stephen and Bonnie Harmston. The Festival commissioned Harmston Arts to create an original commissioned artwork celebrating 50 years of the Scottsdale Arts Festival. In addition to the Harmston’s work, attendees can experience and purchase works ranging from painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics and jewelry to photography and other media.

“The Scottsdale Arts Festival has been a part of Scottsdale’s DNA for five decades and has continued to bring the best in visual, cultural, performing and culinary arts nestled throughout the beautiful park. The Festival is Scottsdale’s oldest continuous arts festival and attracts a broad audience, from families and young professionals to retirees and discriminating art buyers,” says Jamie Prins, Scottsdale Arts Festival director.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the Festival and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation curated a retrospective exhibition. It features a broad range of previous Festival items: photos, merchandise, posters, magazine and newspaper articles and more. The exhibition will be on view Feb. 28 – March 15, in the ArtReach Space inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Guests can partake in a silent auction, where they can bid on an original piece of commemorative festival artwork and many other items donated by participating 2020 exhibiting artists. The Festival is a major fundraiser for Scottsdale Arts, and proceeds support the dynamic and diverse performances, exhibitions, installations, and arts education and outreach programs presented by Scottsdale Arts.


Scottsdale Arts Festival

March 13–15

Scottsdale Civic Center Park, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale

For more information and tickets, visit scottsdaleartsfestival.org.

30th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition

On Feb. 8 – 9, the Heard Museum will host the 30th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition, bringing more than 80 contestants from across North America to compete for a national title.

Top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers will compete in the renowned competition for cash prizes and the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. Each contestant will showcase their personal dance style and cultural traditions with dance performances that must demonstrate strength, creativity and intricate footwork.

The art of hoop dance honors cultural traditions from multiple Indigenous communities, reflecting the form’s roots in traditional healing ceremonies. Today, hoop dance is shared as an artistic expression to celebrate and honor Indigenous traditions throughout the United States and Canada.

Dancers are judged on five criteria: precision, timing/rhythm, showmanship, creativity and speed. Contestants compete in one of five categories during the two-day event: Tiny Tots (5 and under), Youth (6-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (18-39) and Senior (40 and older).

In their individual routines, dancers may use as few as four and as many as 50 hoops, which are manipulated to create a variety of designs including animals, insects and globes. This celebrated competition attracts thousands of attendees from around the world and is a testament to the long-standing history of American Indian dance traditions, and the Heard Museum’s commitment to advancing American Indian art and culture.


30th Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition

Feb. 8 – 9, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Heard Museum Amphitheater, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit heard.org.

Protecting an Arizona Icon

Conservation and preservation of Arizona’s Mission San Xavier are the focus of Tucson and Phoenix events Feb. 5-6 with PBS travel adventure series host David Yetman.

Arizona’s Mission San Xavier is on the international map. In 1963, Mission San Xavier was designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2015, the World Monuments Fund added the Mission to its prestigious “Watch List” of the most culturally significant, endangered buildings from around the world. In 2018, the Mission and Patronato San Xavier were selected by The National Fund for Sacred Places (a program of Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation)—as the first project to be funded in Arizona and one of just 44 projects across the country.

A new mission statement for Patronato San Xavier was adopted in April 2019. It expands on the original to include Patronato’s research-based conservation approach and the extensive education activities centered at Mission San Xavier: Patronato San Xavier funds and directs ethical conservation, conducts scientific research and interprets the significance of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark, in the community of Wa:k, part of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Patronato San Xavier’s new 2020 Conservation Management Plan builds on the national and international recognition of this Arizona icon by charting the course and prioritizing the conservation and preservation of Mission San Xavier over the next decade.

“It is a plan three years in the making and the first comprehensive multi-year plan in our 42-year history,” says Barbara Peck, president of Patronato San Xavier board of directors. “We’ve moved to a more professional approach over the last five years, which, together with the recognition we’ve received, has made this kind of planning ahead possible. Together with our long-time donors and the Partners for Sacred Places, we also are expanding our fundraising statewide and nationally.”

Yetman is a research social scientist at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona since 1992, specializing in peoples and ecology of northwest Mexico and the southwestern United States. In addition to authoring numerous books and articles, David is host and co-producer of two PBS travel/adventure series: In the Americas with David Yetman and The Desert Speaks.


Saving San Xavier: Protecting an Arizona Icon

Tucson | Feb. 5, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Arizona Inn, Tucson Room, 2200 E. Elm St., Tucson

Phoenix | Feb. 6, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Heard Museum, The Encanto Room, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit patronatosanxavier.org. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ballet Arizona presents its reimagined take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Feb. 13–16 with live accompaniment by The Phoenix Symphony at Symphony Hall.

Set to Ib Andersen’s critically-acclaimed choreography, the masterpiece comes to life with all-new sets and new costumes. Andersen celebrates his 20th anniversary as the artistic director of Ballet Arizona this season, and it was befitting to have one of his most beloved works reimagined to celebrate the milestone in his career. A Midsummer Night’s Dream shows the lighter side of ballet and showcases Andersen’s spectacular ability to tell tales through movement.

“We have never undertaken a project this massive in our own shops before, and it something of which I am very proud,” Andersen says. “To witness what we are able to do and build here is beyond anything I ever thought possible. In our home studios each day, I coach our talented and beautiful dancers in rehearsals, work alongside our costume shop team made up of local artisans who are building more than 80 costumes from scratch, and work in our scene shop with the designers and production team to build the sets for this new production. To be able to create all of this within our very own walls is a ‘dream’ unto itself.”

Studio Spotlight offers an intimate behind-the-scenes look on Jan. 31. Guests are also invited to meet the dancers and learn about their characters at A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s Pre and Post Performance Chats on select dates. Meet 45 minutes before show time at Symphony Hall to learn more about the artistic vision that went into the creation of Andersen’s fresh take on the 424-year-old story. Pre-show Chats occur on Feb. 13 at 6:15 p.m. and  Feb. 14 at 6:45 p.m. A post-show chat will occur on Feb. 15 following the 2 p.m. matinee performance.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream with The Phoenix Symphony

Feb. 13-16

Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix

For more information, visit balletaz.org.

SMoCA Celebrates Women Artists All Year

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art unveils its first yearlong collection show, featuring all women artists. The exhibition includes a section of rotational highlights and a gallery dedicated to rarely shown installation-based works. Unapologetic: All Women, All Year will be on view Feb. 15 – Jan. 31, 2021.

The Museum currently has approximately 1,850 artworks in its growing collection with only 3 percent on view at a given time. Although many pieces are highlighted digitally through social media and a searchable online database, SMoCA is looking forward to spotlighting its collection for longer than a usual duration.

“A recent study of art museum collections across the country revealed that women artists comprise an average of under 12 percent of total artists. Considering this revelation, SMoCA dedicates a yearlong exhibition to women artists to bring attention to this inequity, to foster awareness and to promote inclusivity,” says Jennifer McCabe, director and chief curator at SMoCA.

For the year, the Museum presents this exhibition to raise awareness to this lack of inclusion. This exhibition’s title conveys a sense of strength, signaling for systemic change within the culture, where individuals of all gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age and ability see themselves represented within museums.

Kara Walker, “Untitled,” 1998. Lithograph; 34 1/8 x 26 ¾ inches. Gift of Joe Segura

This exhibition presents a variety of mediums and genres of art, including modernist bronze sculpture, large abstract shaped canvases, conceptual art, written word, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture and collage. Visitors can experience an in-depth look at more than 35 works from the Museum’s collection.

The rotational section of works will create a space that presents the range of SMoCA’s collection, including new acquisitions. The first group of works will rotate in June and a final rotation will take place in October.

The installation-based gallery is on view for a shorter period, from Feb. 15 to May 31, and presents several works for the first time since they were acquired, specifically the Laurie Lundquist and Barbara Penn installations. Furthermore, some of the notable installation pieces in the exhibition were produced specifically for past exhibitions, making them one-of-a-kind works that cannot be seen elsewhere.

SMoCA began acquiring and collecting works in 2004—when it took over the care of the City’s collection—although significant works by women artists were acquired from exhibitions in recent years.

Unapologetic includes work by Dotty Attie, Melinda Bergman, Claudia Bernardi, Dominique Blain, Cristina Cardenas, Sue Chenoweth, Judy Chicago, Renee Cox, Lesley Dill, Bailey Doogan, Angela Ellsworth, Lalla Essaydi, Dorothy Fratt, Barbara Hepworth, Laura Korch, Barbara Krashes, Kyung-Lim Lee, Laurie Lundquist, Muriel Magenta, Louise Nevelson, Yoko Ono, Adria Pecora, Barbara Penn, Beverly Pepper, Monique Prieto, Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, Kate Shepherd, Deb Sokolow, Beth Ames Swartz, Julianne Swartz, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Melanie Yazzie and Asami Yoshiga.

Additionally, Unapologetic is on view during the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States, which brought about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

The Museum is a presenting institution, as part of the Feminist Art Coalition, a platform for art projects informed by feminisms. Various art museums and nonprofit institutions are presenting a series of concurrent events throughout the United States.


Unapologetic: All Women, All Year

Feb. 15, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale

For more information, visit smoca.org.

Forever Yours

In his Forever Yours collection, artist Geoffrey Gersten decided to embark on a nostalgic journey toward a past that, in the American culture, has been idealized through motion pictures, literature and iconic photographs.

Geoffrey Gersten, “Charlotte” 60″x 60″ oil on birch panel

“I had become so wrapped up in these moments that it was crushing to think that those particles of time, so meaningful when they happened, were now gone, and had become lost scraps in this bin of photos. I picked up a little 2” x 4” photograph. It was the picture of a girl, standing on her porch, smiling. She was wearing pants, and a 1950s bikini top, though these and all things were only peripheral to her expression. There she was, standing upright, but her smile made her seem as if she were poised rather forward, right into your mind, right into your psyche, so much so that I had to join in smiling myself. I flipped the picture over and saw across the back, scrawled in fading bluish ink, “Forever Yours, Charlotte,” he says.

This was the moment when Gersten conceived the Forever Yours collection. “With this new idea, with Charlotte and all my collected vintage photos and old moments ready to be reborn in oil on canvas,  I set forth on this endeavor of recreation and self regeneration.” Geoffrey Gersten found both contentment and meaning for this new purpose.

“Forever Yours” is an ongoing series of oil paintings inspired by and based on unique, interesting and meaningful photographs including Kodachromes, Ektachromes and Polaroids from 1900 to 1969.

The show will be on display until Feb. 17 at Bonner David Galleries.


Forever Yours

Through Feb. 17

Bonner David Galleries, 7040 E. Main St., Scottsdale

Celebration of Fine Art Returns

Arizona’s longest-running art show, Celebration of Fine Art, returns to Scottsdale on Jan. 18 for its 30th year with 100 acclaimed and emerging artists from throughout the country. The 10-week-long world-class event will be open daily through March 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebration of Fine Art is a juried, invitational show that is recognized for its diverse array of exceptional art and its inviting and interactive atmosphere that encourages connection between art lovers and artists. Over the course of its 30-year legacy, the show has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors from around the world, many of whom have made the show an annual tradition.

Work by Michael Jones

Recognizable by its signature “big white tents,” the 40,000-square-foot interactive studio, showcases works of art ranging from realist to impressionistic, Western realism and abstract to contemporary across all mediums from stone to metal, wood to glass and canvas. The show is also home to the popular Art Discovery Series, a live and interactive event in which guests get to hear about the adventures, stories and processes that shape art. Artists discuss topics such as metal-working, jewelry making, abstract art, sculpture and more.

“Three decades ago, my parents had a small space and a big vision: to change the way art lovers and artists connect. That vision has guided us over the years, and we continually strive to create a place where people from all walks of life can meet and interact with artists and see their work come to life in front of their eyes,” says Susan Morrow Potje, co-owner and show director. “Thanks to their incredible vision, we’ve been able to grow the Celebration of Fine Art into something bigger than we could have ever dreamed. To uphold their legacy has been an honor, and I look forward to what the next 30 years have in store.”

Throughout the 10 weeks, guests can also catch artist demonstrations of their process, attend an Art Discovery Series, held each Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and walk the outdoor sculpture garden, which features nearly 100 pieces of life-sized and monumental sculpture. In the outdoor sculpture garden guests can also see woodturning, welding, kiln firings and bronze pouring demonstrations weekly.


30th Annual Celebration of Fine Art

Jan. 18 – March 29

Hayden Road and Loop 101 in Scottsdale

For more information, visit celebrateart.com.

The Art of Style

This month, visual artist Kavi is on view at Presenteur at Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix. With works titled “Bite the Bullet” and “Warrior and the Gypsy,” Kavi explores gender dynamics, societal expectations versus individual identity and the impact of culture on personal style.

The Bombay-born, Los Angeles-raised visual artist’s newest series includes her signature photographic collaborations featuring Indian-American models, personal friends, colleagues and also figures encountered via social media. Her muses embody positivity, community and cultural awareness.

Additional works comprise mixed media and digital art, colored with watercolor, ink, acrylic and spray paints, with glass, paper collage and resin embellishments. Kavi’s modern-day ruminations on multicultural identity, at first, read as cryptic dreamscapes before layers of further meaning soon unfold.

Inspired by the eloquent and lively music of the 1960s and its efficacious voice for Cultural Revolution, as well as her own heritage, Kavi began her artistic career in 2003 as a Californian teenager. In 2017, she decided she was ready to share her creative vision and start telling her story. Today, she has developed a distinctive style involving a multi-layered approach which gives her the ability to encapsulate political phrases and poetry into each of her creative works. Kavi’s mixed-media art is unpredictable and possesses its own energy, her dedication and talent having allowed her to excel as an artist creating pieces that have generated great interest among collectors and gallerists alike.

In 2019, Kavi was exhibited at SCOPE Miami Beach, The Affordable Art Fair in Hong Kong, Saatchi’s The Other Art Fair in Dallas, Bloomingdales in Orlando, Florida, and Saks Fifth Avenue in Phoenix.

Presenteur at Saks Fifth Avenue is a newly opened one-stop shop to discover international luxury brands for home, entertaining and gifting.


Kavi Exhibition

Through Dec. 31

Presenteur at Saks Fifth Avenue Phoenix, 2446 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix

Photographer Ansel Adams at Phoenix Art Museum

From Jan. 11 through June 7, Phoenix Art Museum presents Ansel Adams: Performing the Print, an exhibition of works by one of the 20th century’s foremost photographers.

Featuring 60 photographs drawn from the Ansel Adams Archive at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Performing the Print spans six decades and presents sets of prints grouped in twos and threes to demonstrate how Adams often created multiple prints of varying interpretations from his own negatives. The exhibition is the most recent collaboration between Phoenix Art Museum and CCP, which was co-founded in 1975 by Adams and then-University of Arizona president John Schaefer.

“We are pleased to present Ansel Adams: Performing the Print to our audiences in Arizona,” says Gilbert Vicario, the Museum’s deputy director for curatorial affairs and the Selig family chief curator. “The exhibition offers an intimate view into Adams’ artistic process that will intrigue both longtime admirers of his work as well as those who will experience his photographs for the first time in our galleries.”

Ansel Adams, 1902 – 1984Arches, North Court, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona, 1968.
PHOTO COURTESY THE ANSEL ADAMS PUBLISHING RIGHTS TRUST

An acclaimed photographer best known for his black-and-white images of the American West, Adams famously said that the photographic negative is like a composer’s score while the print is the performance. In Performing the Print, the artist’s choices about cropping, brightness and overall contrast are illuminated, as multiple prints created using the same negative are showcased side by side, with several accompanied by quotations from the artist’s writings sourced from various publications to provide context.

The exhibition also features portraits of painter Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz, well-known images of national parks such as Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park, and photographs from Hawaii, Cape Cod and Alaska.

Over the past 13 years, the Museum and CCP have organized nearly 40 exhibitions, bringing outstanding works of 20th century and contemporary photography to wider audiences in Arizona. Ansel Adams: Performing the Print is the first exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum solely devoted to the renowned American photographer since The Process and the Page in 2014.


Ansel Adams: Performing the Print

Jan. 11 – June 7

Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit phxart.org.

Riders of the Purple Sage

A documentary about the artistry behind Arizona Opera’s new opera Riders of the Purple Sage celebrates its world premiere in Scottsdale on Feb. 5, 2020.

The opera Riders of the Purple Sage marks an unprecedented collaboration between the work of author Zane Grey (1872-1939), American composer Craig Bohmler and librettist Steven Mark Kohn, and Arizona painter Ed Mell. In 2012 Bohmler discovered Zane Grey’s most famous novel when he ducked into the Zane Grey Cabin Museum in Payson, Ariz., to escape a thunderstorm. Five years later, the musical adaptation of Grey’s beloved Western celebrated its world premiere as a fully staged grand opera with a state-of-the-art set designed by one of America’s preeminent landscape painters.

Since Zane Grey’s novel was published in 1912, Riders of the Purple Sage has been translated into 20 languages, made into five Hollywood movies and earned a spot on the Library of Congress list of “One Hundred Books that Shaped America.” Grey’s fondness for the Grand Canyon State, which he frequently referred to as “my beloved Arizona,” inspired the settings and characters for many of his novels.

The opera is the first time Grey’s work has been adapted for the live stage. “Riders of the Purple Sage absolutely transformed our organization and our community’s perception of our art form. We’re proud and honored to have a documentary of this caliber capture the creation of Arizona Opera’s first world premiere as we mount the first revival of Riders on our Main Stage this season,” says Joseph Specter, Arizona Opera president and general director.

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West presents the documentary during Western Week 2020, which culminates with Parada Del Sol. “Our mission is to immerse people in the unique story of the West. The Riders documentary captures a powerful chapter in our regional history and the lasting impact of artists who have expanded the narrative from Old West to the New West,” says Michael J. Fox, director and CEO.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and Arizona native director Kristin Atwell Ford is fascinated by how the landscape is translated into art. “Riders is a provocative story of the settling of the West,” she says. “It’s our story told through the writing, music and paintings of some of our nation’s finest artists. In centuries to come, it will be known as Arizona’s distinct cultural contribution to the art form of opera. That’s what this film premiere celebrates.”

The film premiere is hosted by Scottsdale’s Museum of the West with partners Quantum Leap Productions, Arizona Opera and Billie Jo and Judd Herberger, honorary chairs and executive producers. Sponsors include resort Castle Hot Springs. A limited amount of tickets are available to the public for $18 each. Proceeds from the evening will support the film’s global distribution.


Riders of the Purple Sage Film Premiere

Feb. 5, 2020, 7 p.m.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale

For more information, visit scottsdaleperformingarts.org.

Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance Festival comes to Tempe Center for the Arts, offering a weekend of performances, master classes and social events featuring some of the most important voices in contemporary dance today.

“In the direction of the unknown” by Conder/dance
Choreography by Carley Conder
PHOTO BY CARLOS VELARDE

The festival will be held over the course of two days, January 24 and 25. Tightly curated by a panel of nationally recognized adjudicators, this annual event features cutting-edge choreographers, filmmakers and performers from Arizona and around the nation.

Highlights of the Festival include CONDER/dance’s work commissioned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation celebrating Taliesin West’s inhabitants and architecture, Andrea Ordaz‘s piece which examines cultural heritage and the concept of one’s homeland, and Alyssandra Katherine Wu‘s piece based on her grandfather’s journey from China to mainland America.

Nationally recognized as one of the most innovative contemporary dance festivals in the U.S., 2020 Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance Festival is presented by CONDER/dance. Led by Artistic Director Carley Conder, CONDER/dance is comprised of the top contemporary dancers in Phoenix, including members of Arizona State University‘s dance faculty and independent artists from around the state.


Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance Festival

January 24 and 25, 7:30 p.m.

Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

For more information, visit tempecenterforthearts.com or conderdance.com.

Nine Years Towards the Sun

The Heard Museum presents Maria Hupfield: Nine Years Towards the Sun opening Dec. 6. This solo exhibition of Canadian/Anishinaabek artist Maria Hupfield features more than 40 works by the conceptual performance artist.

Maria Hupfield: Nine Years Towards the Sun retools the exhibition space as a laboratory, a performance venue and as an archive. Curated by Erin Joyce, Heard Museum fine arts curator, the exhibition takes place throughout indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces and range in content from performance, sculptural installation, video and document.

Hupfield, an Anishinaabe-kwe and member of the Wasauksing First Nation, creates work that engages time as a medium, spanning across different scales and moments.

The exhibition plays with notions of a continuum of culture, entering into conversation with thematic elements from major movements and artists within the 20th century art historical canon. Hupfield subverts functionality of object by using materials which render their original intention or usage inert.

Maria Hupfield: Nine Years Towards the Sun is the first in the Heard Museum’s newly established exhibition series of monographic shows for women and women identifying artists. The series will showcase the impact women have made on and in the field of fine art and will illuminate the rich bodies of work that women artists have and continue to create to this day.


Maria Hupfield: Nine Years Towards the Sun 

Through May 5, 2020

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit heard.org.

 

SMoCA Announces 2020 Lineup

Early in the year, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents an exhibition of international designers that position environmental concerns and sustainability at the center of their process and a yearlong collection show that highlights powerful works by women artists in conjunction with the national platform Feminist Art Coalition.

Summer at SMoCA debuts a new light and space installation by Phillip K. Smith III and a group exhibition of Iranian photography and video that introduces viewers to the often-hidden experience of life in Iran.

During the fall, an installation of ceramic sculptures by Nathan Lynch sets a stage for performances about varying viewpoints in a Post-Truth Era, and an exhibition by Brad Kahlhamer presents new works in a variety of mediums that offer a meditation on the nomadic and intersectional contemporary condition that involves a social network of individuals of different ages, residency status, class and race.

Each new exhibition will kick off with an opening party that includes free admission for the public to preview the galleries with curators, artists and the community. The first opening will be held Feb. 14, a fitting final celebration of 20 years of SMoCA.

 

Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined

Feb. 1, 2020 – May 17, 2020


A picture containing wall, floor, indoor Description automatically generated

Jesper Eriksson, “Coal:Post-Fuel low table,” 2018; Anthracite coal; 19.3 x17.6 x18.8 inches
PHOTO BY JESPER ERIKSSON, COURTESY OF THE DESIGNER

Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined is the first exhibition to recognize designers using extreme and inventive upcycling to address the current state of our depleted and polluted environment. Waste produced by humans is so abundant that it is disrupting natural resources. In order to reduce our footprint on earth, these 30 international designers and studios — from Asia, Latin America and Europe — are pioneering a new direction in design by radically transforming waste into useful products. Many of the designers are recent graduates or faculty of design academies and universities, noting a shift in the world of design and design education, from function at the service of aesthetic considerations to socially responsible, environmental remediation.


Unapologetic: All Women, All Year

Feb. 15, 2020 – Dec. 6, 2020


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Kara Walker, “Untitled,” 1998. Lithograph; 34 1/8 x 26 ¾ inches. Gift of Joe Segura

Historically, women make up less than 15 percent of artists in museum collections nationally. In response to this lack of inclusion, Unapologetic: All Women, All Year takes an in-depth look at works from SMoCA’s collection, highlighting diverse women artists whose work boldly and unapologetically addresses identity, beauty, violence and equality. This exhibition’s title conveys a sense of strength, calling for systemic change within culture, where individuals of all gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age and ability see themselves represented within museums. On view during the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States, Unapologetic aims to create a space that recognizes the importance of equality within cultural institutions.

The exhibition is part of Feminist Art Coalition, a national platform for art projects informed by feminisms. For more information, visit feministartcoalition.com.


Phillip K. Smith III (working title)

June 6, 2020 – Oct. 4, 2020


A large empty room Description automatically generated
Phillip K. Smith III, “10 Columns”
PHOTO BY LANCE GERBER, COURTESY OF BRIDGE PROJECTS AND THE ARTIST

Southern California artist Phillip K. Smith III creates experiential art that highlights changes in perception as related to light, color, time and space. Using mirrors, aluminum and LEDs, the artist’s interior installations provide richly hued environments that respond to the architecture. As with other artists of the Light and Space movement, Smith transforms spaces to expand the sensorial experience of viewers. This exhibition presents new large-scale works that incorporate a precisely paced program of changing colors.

 


Urban Mapping: Public Space Through the Lens of Contemporary Iranian Artists

June 13, 2020 – Sept. 20, 2020 

Arash Fayez, “Four Megaphones in Four Cardinal Directions,” from the series “Ramblings of a Flaneur,” 2008–11
PHOTO BY ARASH FAYEZ

Urban Mapping: Public Space Through the Lens of Contemporary Iranian Artists shines a light on aspects of the Iranian experience normally hidden from the outside world by focusing on public and private spaces. Comprising 40 photographs and four video installations, the exhibition features the work of 10 essential voices in contemporary Iranian art who explore the notion of urban space as a nexus of social communication and political transformation; a place where personal and collective identity converge.

 


Nathan Lynch: Truthiness (working title)

Oct. 3, 2020 – Jan. 17, 2021


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Nathan Lynch, “untitled (black puddle curtain),” 2019; ceramic, cedar, denim, ink, polyester
PHOTO BY JOHN JANCA, COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

The sculptor and performance artist Nathan Lynch shapes objects and situations that are focused on formal qualities of sculpture, as well as satirical and philosophical observations about human nature. In Truthiness (working title), Lynch’s installation of handmade ceramic sculptures foster awkward, semi-public interactions between individuals, highlighting a shared experience of vulnerability. The abstract sculptures obscure the boundary between fact and fiction, presenting a physical metaphor to contradictory messages shared through the media about current political events. The forms appear malleable, almost shifting, and refer to the confusion created by the elastic nature of truth in contemporary American culture. The exhibition is accompanied by a variety show with storytellers, singer/songwriters, comedians and political scientists who create new works based on the same prompt in order to further consider the range in which truth can exist.

 


Brad Kahlhamer: Swap Meet

Oct. 17, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021


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Brad Kahlhamer at the Drawing Center (2019)
PHOTO BY GREGORY GOODE

New York City-based Native American artist Brad Kahlhamer first exhibited at SMoCA in 2004 with the hugely successful exhibition Let’s Walk West. For his second SMoCA exhibition, more than 15 years later, Kahlhamer draws his inspiration from the ethnographic experience of “field-work” at swap meets throughout the Southwest, with which he has engaged since his childhood in Arizona. The social and cultural space of the swap meet models and fuels Kahlhamer’s artistic practice in varying mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance and music, as well as a new commission. At the cross-section of Native American cultures and his own culture as an artist, Swap Meet becomes Kahlhamer’s meditation on a nomadic and intersectional contemporary condition that involves a social network of individuals of different ages, residency status, class and race.

 

The Velvet Hammer

Collection of vintage advertisements relating to
how advertising can manipulate women’s perceptions of worth

The monOrchid presents The Velvet Hammer by local artist Judith Ann Miller through Feb. 7. The show focuses on the ambiguities and assumptions in life, questioning how we conform and twist ourselves to others’ expectations, or choose to defy them.

Working with vintage advertisements and stock photos, references to events in the 1950s and 1960s, and a whirlwind of current social media commentary, Miller hopes to call into question an idealized time period.

By challenging “vintage ideology” and examining how we synthesis our modern environments, she hopes the contrast of our past and present leads us all to a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

Storytelling continues to be a central theme in Miller’s work. Whether in mixed media or oil, her work continues to explore the connection our individual and collective pasts have to our everyday experiences in society.

The Phoenix native feels the deeper meanings of life can often be glossed over, leading her to question how we can contribute to and change our surroundings in a positive manner.

She was a founding member of the Holgas Artist Collective in Roosevelt Row, and has exhibited work in the metro Phoenix area since 2000.


The Velvet Hammer
Works by Judith Ann Miller

Through Feb. 7, 2020

monOrchid, 214 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix

For more information, visit monorchid.com.

Whimsical Fireflies

Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies is one of the artist’s more whimsical works. Inspired by a Japanese folktale about a person in a field with 10,000 fireflies, Kusama’s work brings the fairy tale to life.

Beginning with drawings and paintings, Kusama’s work transformed from 2-D pieces to large-scale installations, symbolic of the obsessive and massive nature of her ideas. Subsequently, Kusama’s art began to take large forms and often utilizes entire rooms and spaces.

The piece is a dark room lined with mirrors on every surface and strands of looping LED lighting suspended from the ceiling. This deceptively small room feels as if it’s a vast, infinite galaxy of lighting and allows the viewer to enter and be surrounded or obliterated by Kusama’s fireflies.

Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room explores the psychedelic sensations of the “self” and the artist’s ongoing hallucinations that started when she was a child. In this work, Kusama’s repetitive and extensive use of polka dots, mirrors and LED lights explores infinite repetition and encourages you to “obliterate” your personality and become one with eternity.

A pioneer of perceptual experiences, Kusama expresses a complex balance between her psychological obsessions and her aesthetic control over them. In the late 1950s, she left Japan for New York City. Her work spans paintings, performances, installations, sculptures, films, fashion and literary works. Her art transcended the Pop and Minimalist movements of the 20th century and reflects the mind-altering spirituality of hippie culture.


Yayoi Kusama: You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies 

Through Dec. 31

Phoenix Art Museum, Katz Wing of Modern Art, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit phxart.org.

Wild Rising at the Garden

Desert Botanical Garden’s newest art exhibition is traveling straight from Milan to bring Wild Rising by Cracking Art—an installation of more than 1,000 animal sculptures made from colorful and recyclable plastic.

The vibrant art forms are the creations of Cracking Art, a collective of artists who specialize in plastic as an artistic medium with the intention of radically changing the history of art through a strong social and environmental commitment.

The creatures featured in Wild Rising not only capture the magnificence of nature but also address global and local sustainability and conservation issues, including climate change, plastic in the oceans and the importance of recycling.

Visitors of all ages are invited to engage with these vibrant creatures and discover their messages of stewardship for our environment. With 12 installations, guests will see 20 penguins posing among the cactus and 40 majestic grey wolves guarding the Sybil B. Harrington Cactus and Succulent Galleries.


Wild Rising by Cracking Art

Through May 10, 2020

Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix

For more information, visit dbg.org.

Wildlife Lantern Safari

Phoenix Zoo presents its annual ZooLights opening Nov. 27. This season, guests can see animals in a whole new light with the latest addition, the Wildlife Lantern Safari.

PHOTO COURTESY PHOENIX ZOO

The Wildlife Lantern Safari is a collection of 60 hand-crafted animal sculptures created with metal frames and wrapped in a silk-like fabric. Each piece is decorated with hand-drawn details and illuminated from within.

ZooLights guests can see a village of monkeys glow as high as 18 feet and a gorgeous herd of zebras span the desert. The display also includes a colorful chameleon, a boa, a “mob” of meerkats, African elephants, hippos, a pride of lions and everything in between.

The lanterns are not only beautiful in the evening but also stunning in the daytime. They are scattered along the Africa Trail from the left of the Zoo’s Savanna habitat past lion, past rhino and extend all the way to camels.

The sculptures currently can be seen during the day from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and then during ZooLights each night starting Nov. 27 from 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.


Wildlife Lantern Safari

Through Jan. 19, 2020

Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix

For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org.

 

Legends of Speed

From Nov. 3, 2019, through March 15, 2020, Phoenix Art Museum presents Legends of Speed, the Museum’s first major exhibition of racing cars. Legends of Speed showcases an unprecedented selection of more than 20 cars spanning six decades and driven by some of the greatest drivers in the history of racing, such as A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and Stirling Moss. The exhibition includes winners of 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and the Italian Grand Prix, and featured marques will include Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, Ford and Bugatti. Phoenix Art Museum will be the sole venue for this landmark exhibition.

“We are very excited to bring this remarkable collection of racing cars to Phoenix Art Museum,” says Gilbert Vicario, the Museum’s deputy director for curatorial affairs and the Selig Family chief curator. “Legends of Speed will enable our community to explore the artistry and design of these iconic cars, while learning about some of the greatest races and race car drivers in history. This exhibition is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience many of the world’s most famous and successful race cars all in one place.”

1967 All American Racer, Gurney Eagle F-1 Race Car. Private Collection. PHOTO BY PETER HARHOLDT

Inspired by the success of the Museum’s 2007 Curves of Steel, the first art exhibition to explore the impact and influence of streamlining on American and European 20th-century automobile design, Legends of Speed will again bring a standout selection of historic cars to Phoenix, this time featuring legendary racing cars.

All of the featured cars are loaned to the Museum by internationally recognized collectors and automotive museums from across the United States and Arizona, including Melani and Rob Walton and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Highlights will include A.J. Foyt’s first Indianapolis 500 winner, loaned to the Museum by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and Mario Andretti’s Formula-One championship winner, a 1977 Lotus 79.

Arizona audiences will also have the opportunity to view a Ford GT 40 that won the renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans in France twice, first in 1968 when it was driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi, and again in 1969 when it was driven by Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver.


Legends of Speed

Nov. 3, 2019, through March 15, 2020

Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit phxart.org.

 

African Masquerade

Beginning on Nov. 8, the Musical Instrument Museum offers a glimpse into the dramatic and lively masquerade traditions of Central Africa at its newest exhibition Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa, presented by U.S. Bank.

Curated by Manuel Jordán, PhD, MIM’s deputy director and chief curator, and Marc Felix, MIM board of directors member and international expert on African art, this exclusive exhibition features more than 150 rare masks, instruments and costumes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. It also includes 12 mannequins in full, authentic outfits worn in ceremonies.

Rattle, Lega or Bembe people

Masquerades are one of Central Africa’s most vibrant art forms and take place for a variety of reasons—to educate, entertain, demonstrate power, promote fertility and connect humans with the spirit world. Masks represent powerful supernatural beings that come to life in human, animal or hybridized form in masquerades. Through music and dance, they express different peoples’ world views, histories, religious beliefs and morals.

Constructed out of materials including wood, feathers, beads, fiber and metal, the intricate masks on display in the exhibition showcase remarkable artistry and craftsmanship representative of dozens of Central African cultural groups.

Congo Masks and Music is the first exhibition to fully contextualize masks alongside musical instruments in their authentic performance settings. The collection features an array of musical instruments, including drums, bells, rattles, whistles, thumb pianos, xylophones and harps, and many visually reference particular masks. Archival photography and video footage featuring masks and traditional music performed in ceremonies allow guests to fully experience one of Africa’s richest traditions.

“I hope that when guests walk into the exhibition, they feel like they are stepping into the performance arena. Being in the presence of these full-body masqueraders, they’ll get a sense of how impressive this art form is,” says Jordán.


Congo Masks and Music

Nov. 8, 2019 – Sept. 13, 2020

Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix

For more information, visit exhibition.mim.org.

New Musical Stages True Story of Arizona DREAMer

Tony Valdovinos walked into a Marine Corps recruiting station in Phoenix on his 18th birthday to enlist, only to discover his parents hadn’t told him he was an undocumented immigrant. But he didn’t give up on serving the only country he had ever known—he did it in other powerful ways instead.

This is the true story behind Americano!, a timely new musical opening Jan. 29 in Phoenix.

Americano! is based on the life of Valdovinos, a graduate of Camelback High School in Phoenix who was brought from Mexico by his parents when he was two years old. Now 28, Valdovinos says the experience and process have been surreal.

“Imagine someone calling you out of the blue and then a year later you hear about 20 songs involving the most important and intimate details of your life? But this journey is worth it to get people to think more about what DREAMers and their families are going through. And it will also put a smile on their faces,” Valdovinos says. 

DREAMers’ are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. In 2012, the Obama Administration established a program called Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals to give these immigrants temporary relief from deportation. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of DACA in mid-2020.

Over four years in the making, Americano! is a collaboration between The Phoenix Theatre Company and Quixote Productions, owned by Scottsdale public relations executive Jason Rose. The musical is the Company’s latest contribution to the cannon of new American theater and is the heart of its 100th anniversary season.

Ken Davenport

The production announced Ken Davenport has joined the team as executive producer. He is a Tony Award-winning producer of several blockbusters including Altar BoyzGodspell,MacbethKinky Boots and Once on This Island.

“From the moment I heard that the story of Tony Valdovinos was going to be a musical, I wanted to be involved. Because it’s about the new American hero. And I’m thrilled to join a team of such passionate and unique voices and look forward to helping them tell this important and timely story to audiences in Phoenix, and hopefully, all over the world,” Davenport says.

Also central to the creative team is Michael Barnard, The Phoenix Theatre Company’s artistic director and co-author of Americano! Throughout his career Barnard has directed more than 600 shows at various theaters across the country.

“I believe Americano! has a chance to be the most emotionally resonant musical to ever come out of Phoenix. That’s why the creative team wanted to hire someone more experienced in the ways of Broadway to help get us there,” Barnard says.

The music was composed by Carrie Rodriguez, a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. Rodriguez has never before been engaged with a musical, perhaps a key reason for the novelty of the sound and lyrics.

“I was a little surprised to be approached about this work, but was intrigued and excited at the same time. I have a real passion for the subject matter and I hope people hear that when Americano! debuts,” Rodriguez says.

Her songs are being arranged with Sergio Mendoza, a native of the Arizona border town of Nogales. He is a member of the indie rock band Calexico and the leader of his own highly regarded band, Orkesta Mendoza.

The musical is co-written by Jonathan Rosenberg, a San Diego resident whose first musical, 33 1/3: House of Dreams, concluded a critically acclaimed record-breaking run there in August.


Americano!

Jan. 29 – Feb. 23, 2020

The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit phoenixtheatre.com or americanothemusical.com.

Welcome to Elsewhere

What began as a pop-up artistic experience in California has become a permanent, revolving experience at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Wonderspaces is an exploration of the idea that art is for everyone—art can play a role in the lives of those it does not reach today, if it can be made accessible.

Wonderspaces’ first show, titled Point of View, debuted this spring and was well-received by thousands of visitors of all ages.

Earlier this month, Wonderspaces debuted a new interactive and moving experience. The artists of Elsewhere prompt visitors to question our reality. Their installations rewrite the laws that govern the physical world and our interactions with it. Departing from what we know to be true, they offer glimpses into what else there can be, moments where their realities become ours.

NONOTAK studio, HOSHI

FEATURED ARTWORK:

ON A HUMAN SCALE Matthew Matthew

AKOUSMAFLORE Scenocosme

SOIL Rejane Cantoni & Leonardo Crescenti

ERUPTURE Nicole Banowetz

HOSHI NONOTAK studio

SEWING MACHINE ORCHESTRA Martin Messier

KILLING TIME Mesplé

SUBMERGENCE Squidsoup

THE CORRIDOR Toby Dye

LEVITATE Everyware

OLD FRIEND Tyler Hurd

EXPERIMENT 2.C Dan Goods & David Delgado

CONFESSIONS Candy Chang


Elsewhere

Through spring 2020

Wonderspaces, Scottsdale Fashion Square, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

For more information and tickets, visit arizona.wonderspaces.com.

David Hockney’s First Exhibition in Arizona

In celebration of its 90thanniversary, the Heard Museum is hosting an original exhibition, David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry, beginning Oct. 28. Yosemite Valley is the shared inspiration and connection point between the work of one of the greatest living artists and the Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute women who created some of the most spectacular examples of California basketry from the early to mid-20th century.

“The Heard Museum is honored to present the work of David Hockney in Phoenix, together with the outstanding work made by indigenous artists of the Yosemite Valley,” says David M. Roche, Heard Museum Dickey Family director and CEO. “David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry realizes our vision of bringing a piece of Yosemite to Phoenix through the work of exceptional artists who, despite working a century apart, drew their inspiration from one of the nation’s most iconic landmarks.”

The exhibition highlights the impact Yosemite has had over time and space on artistic production, from the Valley’s indigenous inhabitants to one of today’s most influential working artists. Included in the exhibition are more than 20 stunning examples of Mono Lake Paiute and Miwok basketry, made by nine different women artists.

Tina Charlie (Mono Lake Paiute), 1869-1962, Basket, 1928, sedge root, dyed bracken root, redbud, willow, 10″ x 20”, 
Collection of Stevia and Wayne Thompson PHOTO BY CRAIG SMITH, HEARD MUSEUM

The exhibition pairs the work of basket weavers such as Lucy Telles, Carrie Bethel and Tina Charlie with 24 of Hockney’s iPad drawings, The Yosemite Suite, made during his visit to Yosemite National Park in 2010, and five additional drawings made on a subsequent trip in 2011. Also on display are rarely seen photographic collages made by Hockney in the 1980s, all of which reflect his inspired visual interpretation and continuing engagement with the landscape. The exhibition also illustrates how technology can be used in artistic production, from the sophisticated technology of basketry to digital technologies like the iPad.

David Hockney (b. Bradford, England, 1937) is considered one of the preeminent draftsmen of the 20th and 21st centuries and is often referred to as Britain’s greatest living artist. His work, in an astonishing variety of media, has been shown in solo exhibitions and retrospectives around the world for more than five decades. Among his many awards and distinctions, he was included in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—the Order of Merit, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious honor for achievement in the arts, held by only 24 living recipients. In October 2018, Westminster Abbey unveiled a stained-glass window to honor Queen Elizabeth II as the longest-reigning monarch in history; Hockney designed the Queen’s Window on the iPad. In 2019, David Hockney was listed as one of Time Magazine’s TIME 100: The Most Influential People.


David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry

Oct. 28, 2019–April 5, 2020

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information please visit heard.org/hockney.

Canal Convergence Wins Top International Events Award

Scottsdale Arts took home 12 awards Sept. 25, from the International Festivals & Events Association, including the top honor for Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light. The Pinnacle Awards recognize the best festivals and events from around the world.

Canal Convergence won the Gold Grand Pinnacle Award in its budget category and three other honors. Scottsdale Arts Festival also won eight different awards, including four Gold recognitions.

“I am extremely proud of the amazing team that has created two, large-scale, world-class events in the heart of our beautiful city,” says Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts. “In the short time I have served as CEO, I have seen this unique arts umbrella grow together. When all of Scottsdale Arts works together, we are much more than the sum of our parts. Being recognized by our global peers is fabulous, and seeing our community come together around these great arts events is deeply rewarding.”

The awards were announced during the 64th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia. The professional competition draws entries from some of the world’s top festivals and events, with those responsible for those events voting for their peers. Winning entries came from such diverse events organizations as the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Kentucky Derby Festival and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. International winners included events in Australia, Ireland, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.

The other awards received by Scottsdale Arts honor the many elements that go into presenting major events like Canal Convergence and Scottsdale Arts Festival each year. For example, the Gold Sponsor Partner Award for the Festival’s partnership with Scottsdale Water highlights the special relationship between Scottsdale Arts and the City of Scottsdale.

The two organizations will partner again this November at Canal Convergence, which will also host the One Water Brewing Showcase—the world’s first beer festival featuring only craft beers brewed with recycled water from the City’s Advanced Water Treatment Plant.

“The arts have always been at the core of what makes Scottsdale such a special place to live,” says Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. “Canal Convergence is an event that celebrates our public art investment and brings over 250,000 of our citizens together. We are proud of our partnership with Scottsdale Arts and honored that this hallmark event has received this international recognition.”

In 2018, Canal Convergence moved to a new November timeslot. It will return Nov. 8–17, 2019.

Canal Convergence PHOTO BY REG MADISON PHOTOGRAPHY

Kim Boganey, director of Scottsdale Public Art, the branch of Scottsdale Arts that created Canal Convergence, said the event would not be possible without the support of partners like the City of Scottsdale, the Tourism Development Commission, Experience Scottsdale, Salt River Project and Billie Jo and Judd Herberger.

“What began as a means for public art to transform place has turned into a recognized destination event for Scottsdale that touches on all aspects of the arts, sustainability and ways to learn more about the world we live in,” says Boganey. “I am humbled and honored that IFEA has recognized what Canal Convergence has become.”

Art lovers, philanthropists and longtime supporters of Scottsdale Arts, the Herbergers are also Scottsdale Waterfront residents who have watched Canal Convergence steadily grow.

“The arts are our lifetime passion and the reason we call Scottsdale home,” says Billie Jo Herberger. “Watching the entire community come together around Canal Convergence is the reason we live on the Waterfront. Congrats to the entire Scottsdale Arts team for making it a global destination.”

The Scottsdale Arts Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary on March 13–15, 2020, at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, where guests enjoy the best in visual, culinary, cultural and performing arts, including 170 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States and abroad.

Awards are given in four budget categories. Canal Convergence competed in the second-highest budget category against events like the Des Moines Arts Festival and Denver’s Cherry Creek Arts Festival, while Scottsdale Arts Festival competed in the third-highest division.

Scottsdale Arts Festival won awards in the following categories:

Gold: Best Newspaper Insert/Supplement
Gold: Best Promotional Poster
Gold: Best T-Shirt Design
Gold: Best Sponsor Partner
Silver: Best Miscellaneous Multimedia
Silver: Best Food & Beverage Program
Bronze: Best New Merchandise
Bronze: Best Children’s Programming

Canal Convergence won awards in the following categories:

Gold: Grand Pinnacle Award
Gold: Best Event Program
Silver: Best Company Image Pieces
Silver: Best Other Merchandise


Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light

The Story of Water

Nov. 8–17, 2019

Scottsdale Waterfront

For more information, visit canalconvergence.com.

Face-to-Face With a T. Rex

Victoria, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton touring the world, is making her global debut at Arizona Science Center with a special exhibition that opens to the public on Nov. 17. This world premiere exhibition will transport guests to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, bringing to life one of the most important discoveries in the history of paleontology and giving museum visitors the rare opportunity to visit the Cretaceous period where Victoria’s story will unfold in her natural habitat.

Victoria full skeleton PHOTO COURTESY IMG

Victoria the T. rex was officially announced to the scientific community today as the second most complete T. rex skeleton on record. Initially unearthed outside Faith, South Dakota, in 2013, Victoria has undergone years of meticulous research and restoration in order to earn this claim. Victoria’s completeness and unique pathologies have provided paleontologists with a wealth of insights into the species that will be studied for years to come.

Embarking on a five-year tour across the world, this immersive exhibition produced by IMG was developed in partnership with a dedicated group of research collaborators and paleontologists. Victoria the T. rex explores and builds upon the latest discoveries about the species—from their hunting and mating rituals to their sounds and appearance.

 

Fossil PHOTO BY ILJA HERB

“This is one of the most significant paleontological discoveries in decades and to have the exhibit premiere at Arizona Science Center is a privilege for our organization, our members, and our community,” says Chevy Humphrey, The Hazel A. Hare president & CEO of Arizona Science Center. “The exhibition flawlessly combines science and storytelling while offering an unprecedented look into Victoria’s story and life 66 million years ago.”

The exhibition is open to visitors of all ages and explores every facet of Victoria’s life and death, including the unusual battle scars that may have led to her death, and her role as a mother.

With Victoria’s striking, pristinely maintained skeleton as a focal feature, the exhibition uses stunning animations and immersive digital environments and merges them with the latest paleontological findings to create an educational, emotional experience unlike any other.

“The T. rex is the most iconic dinosaur known to man and the focal point of countless books, television shows, and films. The discovery of Victoria is truly remarkable and really changes our understanding of the species.” says John Norman, managing director, IMG Exhibitions. “Through Victoria the T. rex, we’re providing visitors with an in-depth look at the life of the Tyrannosaurus rex and expanding upon existing knowledge to create the most exciting, engaging, and holistic dinosaur exhibition to date.”


Victoria The T. Rex

Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix

Nov. 17, 2019–May 25, 2020

Nov. 16, World Premiere Party

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit azscience.org/victoria.

Kinky Boots

The Phoenix Theatre Company is producing its version of international Broadway musical Kinky Boots. The show will run Aug. 28 – Oct. 13. It’s only the third regional theater in the U.S. to do so.

Created by four-time Tony Award-winner, Harvey Fierstein, and Grammy and Tony Award-winning rock icon, Cyndi LauperKinky Boots combines the energetic dazzle of a drag show with a touching story of humanity.

Based on the 2005 British movie of the same name, Kinky Boots is inspired by true events and tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits a floundering shoe factory from his father. In order to save the business, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with a drag queen named Lola, who is a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. Kinky Boots tells a tale of what can be accomplished when a town pulls together and people set aside differences to achieve a common goal. Throughout the show, Charlie and Lola discover that although they look different, they are really more alike than they originally thought.

Kinky Boots is a universal story of acceptance and hope that offers exciting moments of a community pulling together, reminding the audience that we can either let our differences divide us or we can let what we have in common bring us together and make something beautiful,” says Pasha Yamotahari, associate producing director, The Phoenix Theatre Company. “Lola’s character gives the show complexity and weight. She’s tough and sometimes combative, but she’s also generous, forgiving and brilliant. In the end, we realize that – just like Charlie – we are giving ourselves over to her ‘kinky’ and fabulous way of seeing the world.”

Kinky Boots earned six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Choreography and Best Score for Lauper’s 16 original songs. It also won three Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, and a Grammy Award for the Best Musical Theatre Album.

The Phoenix Theatre Company’s production of Kinky Boots showcases the best local and national talent, with the highest production values. It’s a great show for The Phoenix Theatre Company’s 100th season.


Kinky Boots

Aug. 28 – Oct. 13

The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit phoenixtheatre.com.

James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Returns to Phoenix

The James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Taste America presented by Capital One cross-country culinary series returns to the Valley Sept. 19 – 20 for a weekend of food-filled events. Traveling to 20 cities this year, Taste America celebrates the country’s diverse culinary culture and the important role chefs play in advocating for a more delicious, sustainable and equitable food world.

Phoenix’s weekend-long itinerary will kick off Sept. 19 with a Raising The Bar reception at Seventh & Union at Young’s Market Company. Guests will enjoy a walk-around reception, meeting and greeting participating rising star mixologists Kyla Dahl from Pigtails Cocktail Bar, Keifer Gilbert from Toca Madera, Chanel Godwin-McMaken from Little Rituals, Matt Steward from UnderTow and Henry Whittaker from Century Grand. They will benjoy an array of cocktails prepared by the mixologists and a variety of tasting items prepared by the chefs  Christopher Brugman of Castle Hot Springs, Dom Ruggiero of Hush Public House, Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper, Brett Vibber of Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine and Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood.

Taste America’s weekend in Phoenix will continue Sept. 20, with a Gala Benefit Dinner at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa featuring a culinary dream team comprised of Arizona’s top chefs, including Taste America’s Visiting All-Star Tiffany Derry. The evening begins with a pre-dinner reception featuring five celebrated local chefs Cat Bunnag from Glai Baan, Stephen Jones from The Larder & The Delta, Tandy Peterson from Mowry & Cotton, Ryan Swanson from Kai and Claudio Urciuoli from Pa’La.

Visiting National All-Star Roots Chicken Shak Chef Tiffany Derry and Local All-Star Chef Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit and Rum Bar will create a three-course menu for guests. The evening also includes silent and live auctions and will conclude with a dessert reception created by Danielle O’ Day, Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop chef, and Hollie Layman-Sanders, Royal Palms Resort & Spa chef.

A portion of the proceeds from the benefit dinner will directly contribute to the foundation’s scholarship programs.

The weekend will conclude with Owning It, part of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs. The industry-only workshop will bring together around 60 women who are in the idea or growth stage of a food related business and give a select number the opportunity to pitch their idea to a team of local investors for funding. The women who participate will walk away with the tools necessary to drive their visions forward, and ultimately help advance more women as leaders in the culinary industry. Applications are open until Sept. 9.

This year marks the seventh time the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America has visited Phoenix. Expanding for the first time to span nearly a full year, Taste America 2019-20 will also be traveling to: Atlanta; Boston; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Louisville, Kentucky; Miami; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Nashville; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.


Taste America Phoenix 2019

Sept. 19 – Raising The Bar reception at Seventh & Union at Young’s Market Company, 6 p.m.

Sept. 20 – Gala Benefit Dinner at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, 7 p.m.

For more information, visit jamesbeard.org/tasteamerica.

Art on the Wild Side

The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo recently introduced a rotating art exhibit program to enhance visitors’ experience and to help communicate its important national and international conservation efforts. Exhibited artwork embraces the mission of the Phoenix Zoo: to advance the stewardship and conservation of animals and their habitats while providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.

Through Sept. 2, artists Lawrence Finkel and April Howland showcase their unique vision of wildlife and conservation via photography, paint and mixed media. Guests can engage in the zoo’s mission to care for the natural world while being inspired by nature and animals. Art is available for purchase and zoo admission is required to visit the Savanna Gallery. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.

Finkel, based in Scottsdale, has had an interest in the natural world since childhood. He is a passionate photographer of wildlife and nature who specializes in birds.

It’s his goal to excite and inspire viewers by capturing beautifully detailed photographic images of birds in the wild. He hopes these images will contribute to people’s desire to protect and conserve these amazing creatures and their natural habitat.

Howland resides in Central Phoenix. She has been a professional artist for more than 15 years. After studying under a wonderful art mentor in Sedona, Arizona, and receiving her degree, she sought out various acclaimed artists and instructors and began honing her fine art skills. Inspired by conservation, nature and animals, Howland’s primary focus remains steady in her thriving wildlife series and domestic animal portrait business. As she travels the globe from Alaska to Africa for inspiration, Howland’s eye for composition and design combined with her love of color enables her to create rich and unique art pieces. Her one-of-a-kind style is a successful blend of contemporary and realism.

She uses a variety of materials to accomplish her works, but her methodology remains consistent. “To me, each piece of art is a beautiful learning experience with amazing shapes and tones working together to tell a story,” she says. Howland’s works have been in a number of juried shows. She has shown in various galleries and is now represented by Beals & Co in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Art on the Wild Side

September 2, 2019

Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo, Savanna Gallery, 455 N.Galvin Parkway, Phoenix

For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org.

SMoCA Hosts Summer Exhibitions

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art hosts four summer exhibitions featuring works from painting and glass to interactive art and video. As SMoCA celebrates its 20th anniversary year, the museum looks back to the beginning with an exhibition dedicated to glass and looks ahead with an exhibition featuring cutting-edge technology that speaks to SMoCA’s history of pushing the boundaries of what art can be. These exhibitions reflect the wide-ranging approaches to contemporary art.

southwestNET Shizu Saldamando 
Through Oct. 13

SMoCA premieres new work by artist Shizu Saldamando as part of the 18th iteration of a series that presents mid-career artists from the Southwest region of the United States and Mexico. Through intimate and provocative paintings, drawings and video, Saldamando presents a contemporary take on portraiture that explores and challenges the constructs of identity. She works from informal snapshots of friends and family, focusing on often-overlooked communities of color: punks, queers, activists and artists. Challenging the traditional conventions of wealth and prestige in portraiture, Saldamando presents work that allows the underground crowd to see themselves reflected and affirmed in contemporary culture, while making them visible to new audiences. The show is sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

“Shizu Saldamando brings her unique perspective to an exciting body of new work: richly detailed and vibrant paintings that bring characters to life. Her work reflects a broader and timely take on the history of portraiture,” says Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA director and chief curator.

Divergent Materiality: Contemporary Glass Art
 Through Oct. 13

Divergent Materiality: Contemporary Glass Art is a contemporary take on one of the first exhibitions featured at SMoCA, Studio Glass: From the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection. As the lead donor of the museum, Cafesjian’s legacy is important and his love of glass is undeniable. This exhibition highlights contemporary glass artists—both masters and emerging—whose innovative approaches using glass have advanced the medium’s discourse within contemporary art. While this is not a survey, the artworks selected represent the vast techniques and ideas used to explore this transformative material from the mid-20th century to today.

The exhibition features works from the collections of Stuart and Judy Heller, Sherman and Linda Saperstein, Fred and Sharon Schomer, Dan and Gail Tenn, and SMoCA. Artists include well-known figures, such as Howard Ben Tré, Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtová. It also includes emerging artists whose works engage a broader dialogue in contemporary art, such as Matt EskucheJoseph Ivacic, Charlotte Potter, Ethan Stern and Tim Tate. The show, designed by Jay Atherton, Clay Studio, is permitted thanks to the support of The Arizona Glass Alliance, Felice Appell, and Penelope and Richard Post.

“Using glass as medium is no doubt evidence to an artist’s mastery of their technique,” says Lauren R. O’Connell, curator. “But when looking at contemporary glass one must also consider the contextual influences effecting the artist’s ideas and process. The artists in this exhibition use the materiality of glass to enhance their perspectives on the contemporary moment, whether through translatable narratives or abstract luminous bodies of glass.”

Mutual Reality: Art on the Edge of Technology Through Oct. 6

In the 21st century, each of us—often unknowingly—leave a digital footprint in everything we do from texting to a simple internet search. This exhibition presents the multiple ways in which we, as users, interact with an artwork and the response or output the artwork provides in return. These interactions are meant to get the viewer thinking not only about the traces we leave behind, but the effects we have on technology. In this important moment in time, humans and technology are evolving together and interactive art exemplifies this relationship. This intimate level of engagement with an artwork opens the opportunity to shift the viewer’s perspective on the meaning and boundaries of art itself.

The work of pioneering artists in the field of interactive digital art will be on view alongside emerging artists on the cutting edge of technology and art, including work by a local artist using virtual reality. The nine artists included in the exhibition are: Ernest Edmonds, Charis Elliott, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Marpi, Aakash Nihalani, Mimi Onuoha, Purring Tiger (Aaron Sherwood and Kiori Kawai), Daniel Rozin and Tiffany Trenda.

Mutual Reality: Art on the Edge of Technology  is meant to spark thought about how we as humans effect technology and leave our imprint on it. My hope is that people will begin to view technology beyond something that is sterile or flashy and recognize that it can be used by artists as a vehicle for creative human expression,” says Julie Ganas, SMoCA curator of programming.

Back Round by Aakash Nihalani
 Through Oct. 20

Using a variety of mediums from masking tape to metal, Aakash Nihalani creates two-dimensional designs that simulate three-dimensional interactive experiences. Exploiting the malleability of human senses, his site-specific artworks modulate our spatial perceptions to provoke surprising and often humorous moments that interrupt the routine of everyday life. His works are meant to encourage the public to explore what they perceive as space and become active participants interacting with the work. Nihalani brings an all-new work to SMoCA Lounge, transforming the space into a large interactive installation for the public.


SMoCA Summer Exhibitions

 Through Oct. 20

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale

For more information, visit smoca.org.

Famed Spoke Art Gallery Hosts Shows Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Spoke Art gallery, based in San Francisco and New York City, have joined forces to host a pop-up art exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless” at Wright’s Scottsdale winter home, Taliesin West, June 14 – 16.

Following the debut of the show, the exhibition will travel to Spoke Art’s sister gallery in New York, Hashimoto Contemporary, July 26 – 28. The show will feature artistic interpretations of Wright-designed buildings and guests will have an opportunity to purchase limited-edition, hand-numbered prints starting at $50.

The show features work from over a dozen international artists, with pieces designed in the style of a 1930s-era Works Progress Administration travel poster. Participating artists include Steve Thomas from Minnesota, George Townley and Matt Taylor from the United Kingdom, Max Dalton from Argentina, Martin Ansin from Uruguay, Nico Delort from France and Alison King from Phoenix.

“For this upcoming exhibition, we’ve curated an international roster of contemporary designers and artists, each of whom will be interpreting Wright’s work in their own unique styles. Keeping in mind Wright’s personal interest in affordable housing, we’ve extended that interest to reflect in the show by focusing specifically on artists who specialize in the medium of serigraphy; this allows us to create limited edition screen printed works that are both handmade and affordable, a duality that I hope Wright would have appreciated,” says Ken Harman Hashimoto, Spoke Art Gallery curator. “The decision to use WPA posters as an inspirational starting point arose from a few considerations. First, we wanted to convey the aesthetics of the time when Wright was working. The WPA published hundreds of poster designs from the mid-1930s to the early 1940s, which was the same period that Wright was designing and building Taliesin West and Fallingwater. Additionally, the cultural impact of both the WPA and Wright are still felt today in their own respective fields, if not across fields, and the cultural impact from this period still resonates as clearly today as then.”

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s timeless work and ideas are more relevant today than ever before. We see this over and over again as his work inspires popular culture, showing up in TV shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Westworld, movies like Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, along with music, comics, anime, and more,” says Jeff Goodman, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation vice president of communication and partnerships. “We are very excited to partner with Spoke Art to pair some of the best contemporary pop culture artists with the greatest architect of all time. The result is an extraordinary collection of new artwork that will excite longtime fans of Wright and introduce the breadth his designs to new generations.”


Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless

June 14 – 16, Taliesin West, Scottsdale | June 14 – VIP reception 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

July 26 – 28, Hashimoto Gallery, 210 Rivington St., New York City

To learn more about the Spoke Art Frank Lloyd Wright show, or to purchase these limited-edition prints (after the New York show closes), visit franklloydwright.org/spokeart.

Heard Museum Presents Contemporary Artist Raven Chacon

The Heard Museum presents Still Life No. 3: Raven Chacon, a solo exhibition of the renowned contemporary artist. The exhibition opens July 5 and will run through Nov. 3, 2019.

Still Life No. 3, curated by Erin Joyce, Heard Museum fine arts curator, tells the story of Diné Bahane’, a Navajo story of creation and emergence into the current world. The exhibition comprises sound, speakers, text and timed lights, that scroll through several hues over an eight-hour cycle – relating not only to the colors of light throughout the day, but also to worlds of emergence.

Using programmed audio and delay systems, the voice of Melvatha Chee (Diné) is amplified through the speakers, causing parts of the story to overlap, telling the story in a non-linear form to illuminate the past, present and future, all in one singular moment. This in turn situates the piece within a framework of a continuum of culture.

“As part of the museum’s increased commitment to showing the work of contemporary artists, Raven’s work is a natural fit” says Joyce. “His work is thought-provoking, complex and disrupts preconceived notions of what contemporary Indigenous art from North America looks like and engages with conceptually.”

Chacon (Diné) was born in Fort Defiance on the Navajo Nation and raised in Albuquerque, N.M. As a solo artist, collaborator or former member of Postcommodity, Chacon has exhibited or performed at Whitney Biennial, documenta 14, REDCAT, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Chaco Canyon, Ende Tymes Festival, 18th Biennale of Sydney and The Kennedy Center. Chacon has received several awards including the United States Artists fellowship in music, The Creative Capital award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship and the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition. Chacon is currently based in both Albuquerque and Toronto.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Heard Museum will host a First Friday event on July 5 with a special live performance by Tohono O’odham Nation band, The Guardians, with free general admission to the museums’ galleries from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Still Life No. 3: Raven Chacon 

July 5 – Nov. 3 

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit heard.org. 

Canal Convergence Receives National Honor

Americans for the Arts today honored “Reflection Rising,” a Canal Convergence installation by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, among 50 outstanding public art projects created in 2018.

The recognition came through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled this morning at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Minneapolis. This is the 18th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public artworks.

“As an artist, I am driven by the way people interact with and experience my art,” says Shearn. “Working with Scottsdale Arts to present ‘Reflection Rising’ was a profoundly rewarding opportunity to bring art to the people, and I was humbled by the appreciation of the people I met in Scottsdale. It’s a blushing surprise to be honored by PAN in this way as well.”

Shearn and his Poetic Kinetics team from Los Angeles installed “Reflection Rising” as a temporary, site-specific artwork above the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront. “Reflection Rising” was the centerpiece of Canal Convergence | Water + Art + Light in February 2018. The first phase of the artwork was installed in November 2017 with the second phase completing the project three months later. It remained on display through March 5, 2018.

After it was fully installed, “Reflection Rising” soared above the canal from Marshall Way Bridge to Soleri Bridge, near Scottsdale Road. Thousands of brightly-colored streamers — suspended by a lightweight, virtually invisible net — allowed the kinetic sculpture to move fluidly in the wind. The second phase included a large section of silvery streamers that rose up from the canal to envelop a section of the beer and wine garden at Soleri Plaza during Canal Convergence.

“Reflection Rising” is part of Shearn’s Skynet series — designed to evoke the movements of nature. The series began with “Liquid Shard” in 2016 in downtown Los Angeles, where the 15,000-square-foot piece made its surprise debut overnight. Shearn has since exhibited other large installations from the Skynet series across the world, including Germany and Russia.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns and communities we inhabit and visit,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed at americansforthearts.org and will be displayed throughout the Annual Convention. Two independent public art experts — artist Seitu Jones of Saint Paul, Minn., and Aaron Ott, curator of public art at Albirght Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N. Y. — discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions for the Year in Review. Their complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of all 50 projects, will be available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.

Shearn, who worked for three decades in the film industry as a creature-maker and visual effects supervisor, is chief creative officer for Poetic Kinetics, which designs, fabricates and implements a wide range of artworks that encourage audience participation. The studio has shown its work at Burning Man and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, as well as Canal Convergence. Canal Convergence is managed by Scottsdale Public Art, a branch of the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts.

Canal Convergence transitioned from a spring event to autumn in late 2018. It will return to the Scottsdale Waterfront this year from Nov. 8–17 with a new selection of interactive and light-based temporary art installations, innovative and educational programming, live music, food and more. Details about Canal Convergence 2019, including the selected artworks, will be released later this summer.


Canal Convergence

Nov. 8–17

Scottsdale Waterfront

For more information, visit canalconvergence.com.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Celebrates Wright’s 152nd Birthday

In celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 152nd birthday on June 8, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation invites the community to the first-ever Discovery Day. Guests can explore Taliesin West, enjoy live entertainment and pop-up shops from local makers. This community event is sponsored by Comerica.

Guests will make their way through Wright’s winter home desert laboratory, they will stop at different stations throughout the campus to participate in a variety of activities and demonstrations from Foundation staff members, including:

  • The Licensing Department teaches about a new print-on-demand program to enjoy Wright-inspired textiles and discover design options for home
  • The Preservation Department presents the basics of building conservation science, as well as how technology can be used to analyze material composition and methods of degradation involving wood, finishes and masonry
  • The Box Projects from collections – the traditional Box Projects were originally gifts made by apprentices and fellowship members on Wright’s birthday and at Christmas. They were presented in a communal gift box, the contents of which might include drawings, poems, music, pressed flowers and fabrics.
  • A Pop-Up Shop presents the work of local artisans including Arlee Kasselman Jewelry, Jodi Bombardier Jewelry, WhenLifeGivesURocks by Teri Welsch, Loving Earth Pottery by Calvin Hiser and RK3 Handcrafted Fine Arts.
  • The Education Department offers two activities: a bridge-building lab and a cyanotype photographic printing workshop
  • A classic film once shown at Taliesin West during Wright’s time, The Wizard of Oz, as well as a video introduction to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and a 2017 BBC documentary Frank Lloyd Wright: The Man Who Built America

“We’re so excited to showcase and share all of the exciting things we’re working on at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and hope to build connections with the community that will last for many years to come,” says Kevin Conley, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Vice President of Public Engagement. “Discovery Day is an opportunity for us to welcome everyone to experience Wright’s great legacy firsthand, while exploring his winter home and desert camp.”

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members will receive exclusive access to the Garden Room on Discovery Day. Admission for Discovery Day is free, but an advance reservation is required to guarantee entry.


Discovery Day

June 8, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Taliesin West, 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale

For more information, visit franklloydwright.org.

Phoenix Art Museum Presents Agnes Pelton

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist is the first exhibition on American painter in more than 24 years. Born to American parents in Stuttgart, Germany, Agnes Pelton (1881-1961) and her family briefly lived in Basel, Switzerland, before returning to the United States in 1888.

Agnes Pelton, Sand Storm, 1932. Oil on canvas. Crystal Bridges Museum of
American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas PHOTO BY EDWARD C. ROBISON III

A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, she began experimenting with abstraction in the early 1900s in New York, eventually exhibiting in the Armory Show of 1913 at the invitation of Walt Kuhn.

Intentionally moving away from the “mainstream” arts community, Pelton eventually settled in Cathedral City, California. She painted conventional desert landscapes to make a living, but it was her abstract studies of earth and light, biomorphic compositions of delicate veils, shimmering stars and atmospheric horizon lines, that distinguished her work.

A believer in numerology, astrology and faith healing, Pelton’s abstract compositions propelled her into an esoteric world epitomized by the Transcendental Painting Group (1938-1942), a short-lived group that promoted abstract, non-objective art.

Although Pelton received some attention during her lifetime, she has been relatively unknown within the field of American Art.

Approximately 40–45 works will comprise this exhibition shedding light on Pelton’s artistic contribution to American modernism, while examining her practice against a broader, international framework of spiritual and esoteric abstraction.


Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist

Through Sept. 8

Phoenix Art Museum, Steele Gallery, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit phxart.org.

 

An American Fairytale

Scottsdale Public Art and local artist Shachi Kale unveil a new exhibition, “Before Ever After: My American Fairytale,” on June 3 at the Appaloosa Library in Scottsdale.

The series of paintings addresses the artist’s journey after marriage, from Mumbai, India, to Chandler, Arizona, through the lens of fairytales — the lonely and difficult parts before the princess gets her “ever after.” These rich watercolors have the detailed allegorical feel of Indian miniature art, with a modern twist.

Kale described the exhibition as autobiographical in nature as she tells her heroine’s journey: fighting her fears, dealing with loneliness and a loss of identity as she learns to negotiate a new life in Arizona. From learning to drive to raising her two boys far away from her own parents and extended family, Kale’s story is presented as a modern fairytale with all the classic elements of dragons, forests and fairy godmothers.

“It is both so personal and also at the same time universal, so it felt fitting to show it through the lens of fairytales, where one can identify with the princess who has a difficult, if ultimately satisfying, journey towards her ever after,” Kale says.

Kale says her immigration tale does not have the same themes of escape, hardship or desperation found in the stories of others who have left their homelands, yet she has still faced struggles within that transition. This exhibition illuminates a quieter, often untold struggle of isolation and despair that might be hidden behind the walls of a lovely home.

“I wanted to tell that story, if by telling it I could say to anyone who is there or has been there that you are not alone,” she says. “My art is introspective, and I hope that by expressing my thoughts, my hopes, my fears and my journey I am able to reach out an invisible to hand to someone who needs to see or hear this,” Kale says.

Alice by Shachi Kale

At the center of the exhibition is a message of home and community, where individuals become “fairy godmothers” as they reach out in kindness and make a profound impact on the lives of others. Additionally, Kale’s depictions of the female form are both autobiographical and universal to women grappling with their place in the world.

Wendy Raisanen, Scottsdale Public Art curator of collections and exhibitions, was taken with the colorful, intricate and clear design sense in Kale’s paintings. “She demonstrates with her artwork the importance of telling one’s own story, knowing that many others might see themselves in it and become comforted and understood,” Raisanen says.

Kale is a visual storyteller, graphic designer and children’s book illustrator, using watercolors, acrylics, embroidery and digital arts. She is fascinated by folk art from around the world and the use of flat colors, simple perspective and storytelling that they employ. Kale is also influenced by Indian miniature art and their use of patterns, decorative elements, motifs and vibrant color.

Kale trained as a graphic designer at a leading design institute in her native Mumbai. After starting a career in advertising, she soon opened her own design studio. Following her move to the United States in 2001, Kale began working as a designer for the Maricopa Community College District and illustrating children’s books. Her art was recently selected to be used on all printed and commemorative materials for the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards.

“Before Ever After: My American Fairytale” is Kale’s second solo exhibition. A opening reception will be held June 6, at the Appaloosa Library.


Before Ever After: My American Fairytale by Shachi Kale

June 3 – Aug. 30

Opening reception, June 6, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Appaloosa Library, 7377 E. Silverstone Drive, Scottsdale

For more information about the exhibition, visit scottsdalepublicart.org.

For more information about the artist, visit ShachiKale.com or follow her on Instagram: @shachidreams.

 

The Phoenix Symphony Presents Innovative Series

For the first time in its 70-plus years, The Phoenix Symphony will stretch its traditional format with a series that brings the live musical experience to the heart of the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The inaugural performance, SYMPHNY: monOrchid, is happening on May 24 at monOrchid, located in Downtown Phoenix. The event is in collaboration with True North Studio, a real estate development company based in the monOrchid, and is expected to transport fans of both art and music alike. 

“The Phoenix Symphony provides our city with dynamic performances.” says Jonathon Vento of True North Studio. “As huge supporters of the arts, we are thrilled to partner with Maestro Tito Muñoz and The Phoenix Symphony. At True North Studio we believe that when you experience the unexpected a new sense of creativity emerges. With monOrchid as the backdrop to this first performance it will truly be an unexpected experience.”

The performance at monOrchid, led by Tito Muñoz, Virginia G. Piper and music director, will feature The Phoenix Symphony in otherworldly selections from classical masterpieces like Holsts’ The Planets alongside iconic pieces from Star Wars and other space themed compositions.

“The Symphony is moving in a wonderful direction with this new series,” says Muñoz. “Given its colorful personality and artistic vibrancy, Roosevelt Row is the perfect place to kick off this project and we look forward to more innovative productions in the future.”


SYMPHNY: monOrchid

May 24, 7:30 p.m.

monOrchid, 214 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix

For more information or tickets, visit phoenixsymphony.org.

The Power of Music

Music is a universal language with a power to unite people in collaboration and in love. Once, a Tony Award-winning musical, tells the simple story of a guy, a girl and the music that brings them together. The actors, serving as the orchestra, play instruments live on stage and take the audience on an emotional journey. Once runs live at The Phoenix Theatre Company May 22 through June 16.

Once began as a music-filled movie in 2007 with songs from one of Ireland’s most beloved and prolific songwriters, Glen Hansard, and Czech singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova. Their song Falling Slowly won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Adapted for the stage in 2011, the Broadway production was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won eight of them, including Best Musical.

The musical closely mirrors the movie. Over the course of a week, Girl convinces Guy to believe in the power of his music and his love for the woman who inspired his songs. Together, they recruit a motley crew of street performers and scrape together enough money to record a demo album. Their friendship evolves into a love story — with a twist.

“At its core, Once is about connection,” says Pasha Yamotahari, The Phoenix Theatre Company’s associate producing director and director of Once. “Two strangers meet and through the music they create together, they explore these tender moments of vulnerability and courage. Through the medium of music, they discover an unexpected kind of love. It’s simply beautiful.”

The Phoenix Theatre Company production stars two familiar faces: Michelle Chin, last seen as Nina in the theater’s production of Airness, and Kyle Sorrell, seen in last year’s production of Million Dollar Quartet as Sam Phillips.


Once

May 22 – June 16

The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit phoenixtheatre.com.

Scottsdale Welcomes ‘Birdie Umwelt’

Scottsdale Public Art celebrates the opening and dedication of Birdie Umwelt by a Phoenix-based artist Mary Lucking on May 17 at the Mustang Library and Transit Center in Scottsdale.

Birdie Umwelt is an avian-themed installation of 20 small, bronze sculptures of finches reading pages from published books that a bird might find to be particularly interesting. The installation also includes a birdhouse inspired by the architecture of the nearby Mustang Library and a series of bird and feather images sandblasted into walking paths along the connecting greenbelt. The birds are gathered around the library and the adjacent Mustang Transit Center, both of which are located near the roundabout on 90th Street.

Birdie Umwelt by Mary Lucking PHOTO BY MARY LUCKING

“When I first visited the Mustang Transit Center site, I was struck by the number of birds that made their homes around the library,” says Lucking. “Thinking about the differences in the way we humans and birds use and perceive spaces, I wondered what books in the nearby Mustang Library these creatures might find most compelling. Birdie Umwelt is a physical manifestation of this flight of fancy.”

The installation was commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art to become part of the Fine Art Collection of the City of Scottsdale. The first 10 bird sculptures, the birdhouse and the sandblasting were completed in November 2017 as Lucking worked with the library’s landscape architect to place the sculptures and sandblasted designs. The final 10 bird sculptures were added this spring.

Those in attendance will receive a commemorative bookmark, designed by Lucking, that speaks to the unique nature of this artwork and its library location. Before creating the art, Lucking had birdhouse-shaped suggestion boxes placed in the library for patrons to propose books for the project. She combined those suggestions with her own selections and others from the librarians and members of the transit center team to determine which books would be featured in the completed artwork.

Scottsdale Public Art then had to obtain permission from the publisher and/or author of each book in order to reproduce just one page for each sculpture. It typically took about four to six weeks to obtain each permission, though one request took about five months to process. Among the featured books are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne.

Lucking’s work ranges from large-scale, permanent artworks to temporary, interactive installations. Her projects include art incorporated into urban and rural walking and biking trails, public transit stations, college campuses and neighborhood parks.

“I come to every project with an open mind, working with the community and design team to create a piece that responds to the specific qualities of the space,” Lucking says. “My aim is to delight, to intrigue and to invite people to look more deeply at what is already there.”

The books, birds and birdhouse were fabricated locally by Bollinger Atelier and E2 Innovations.


“Birdie Umwelt” Dedication

May 17, 10 a.m.

Mustang Library and Transit Center, 10101 N. 90th St., Scottsdale

For more information, visit scottsdalepublicart.org.

Josef Albers in Mexico

The Heard Museum presents Josef Albers in Mexico through May 27. The exhibition demonstrates the influence and connectivity between the work of Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976) and the abstracted geometric vocabulary of pre-Columbian art, architecture and material culture. The Heard Museum is the third and final stop of the exhibition which opened in New York in 2017 then traveled to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice in 2018.

Josef Albers in Mexico is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and curated by Lauren Hinkson, associate curator of collections at the Guggenheim in New York. Drawing from the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Josef Albers in Mexico presents an opportunity to learn about a little known aspect of the artist’s practice and the influences he absorbed in his travels.

“Through his close attention to ancient architecture, Josef Albers developed new modes of seeing the modern world,” says Lauren Hinkson. “This exhibition of his celebrated paintings, along with lesser-known photographs and collages, reveals the complex and often surprising roles of place, time and spirituality in Albers’ body of work.”

Included in the exhibition are rarely seen early paintings by Albers, including Homage to the Square and Variant/Adobe series, works on paper and a rich selection of photographs and photo collages, many of which have never before been on view. The photographic works reveal a visual conversation Albers created in response to his frequent visits to Mexico to view archaeological sites as early as the 1930s, illustrating the nuanced relationship between the geometry and design elements of pre-Columbian monuments and the artist’s iconic abstract canvases and works on paper. Accompanying the artworks are a series of letters, personal photographs, studies and other ephemera.

Josef Albers was born in Bottrop, Germany, in 1888 and was a fixture at the pioneering school of art, architecture and design, the Bauhaus, until its forced closure by the Nazis. Albers and his wife, Anni Albers (1899–1994), an accomplished artist and textile designer, relocated to the United States in 1933, where he first accepted a position as head of the department of art at Black Mountain College outside of Asheville, N.C., a position he held until 1949. He then went on to be the head of the design department at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Josef and Anni Albers traveled often to Latin America with particular interest in Mexico – visiting the country more than a dozen times from the 1930s to the 1960s. Albers’ fascination with the visual culture of Mexico left an indelible mark on his own artistic production and methodology, with sites like Teotihuacán, Chichén Itza, Monte Albán, and Mitla resonating within his paintings and stimulating new experiments in his photography.


Josef Albers in Mexico

Through May 27

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit heard.org.

Eroica Returns to Desert Botanical Garden

Ballet Arizona continues its yearly tradition An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden. Ib Andersen, artistic director, presents his masterpiece Eroica for 15 performances May 14 – June 1. 

Surrounded by the lush desert landscape with the setting sun as a backdrop, this performance challenges emotional boundaries. Eroica is choreographed to Beethoven’s Third Symphony, which ushered in a new era of music and changed perspectives with its technical and emotional complexity.

Eroica’s choreography is about the past, present and hopefully about the future,” Andersen says. “This ballet will leave you with an uplifting message and belief that in human nature good survives over bad. This is not a story ballet — it’s an emotional ballet. I want to connect on an emotional level, and I want you to be moved and not even understand why you are feeling that way.”

Audiences raved about Eroica last season, calling it one of Andersen’s greatest works. Ticket options include upgraded table seating and stadium-style general admission seats. Patrons can enhance their experience by arriving early to witness the behind-the-scenes magic as dancers warm up on stage as the sun sets. Food and cocktails or wine are available for purchase at the venue before the performance.

The Ballet Arizona performance series at Desert Botanical Garden is made possible by support from the Dorrance Family Foundation, Carol and Randy Schilling, and supporters of the New Works Initiative.


Eroica

May 14 – June 1, 8 p.m.

Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit balletaz.org.

Ballet Arizona Presents George Balanchine’s Finest

George Balanchine, known as the father of American ballet, broke ground when he put his twist on traditional ballet standards and technique. Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona’s artistic director, presents five performances of Balanchine’s work during All Balanchine, including one never before performed by Ballet Arizona, from May 2 through May 5, at Symphony Hall. Andersen is one of only a handful of artists worldwide entrusted by the Balanchine Trust to stage these masterpieces.

Ballet Arizona presents Balanchine’s Emeralds for the first time. Originally one part of a three-part Balanchine suite, Emeralds evokes the elegance and romanticism of 19th century France, presented with music by Gabriel Fauré.

Theme and Variations, presented with glorious choreography and glittering costumes, recalls the grandeur of classical ballet. An homage to Balanchine’s roots, the piece evokes a great period in classical dance when the Russian ballet flourished alongside Tchaikovsky’s music.

Square Dance combines the spirit and verve of an American folk dance with the precision and techniques of classical ballet, with music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli. This light and vibrant piece is one of the most technically demanding ballets in the Balanchine repertoire and a playful uplifting delight that will energize audiences.

Andersen’s understanding of Balanchine’s work draws respect from dance critics across the country.

“One of the most striking developments in modern ballet is that there is now a trans-American, even trans-global, Balanchine diaspora. Ballet Arizona ranks among the most significant,” Alastair Macaulay from The New York Times says.

To celebrate the Ballet Arizona premiere of Emeralds this May, G.G. Gems, Inc created a one-of-a-kind designer pendant featuring two magnificent emeralds, each emerald cut. The emeralds are connected by a line of diamonds and the pendant is suspended from an 18-inch platinum chain together weighing approximately 5 carats.

Designer Glenna Gibbons received her inspiration for this work of art from the romantic Parisian influence in the choreography and costumes created by the legendary Balanchine. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100. For a chance to win, visit balletaz.org or contact Natalie Salvione at 602-343-6522. The raffle drawing will be held on May 5.


All Ballanchine

May 2 – 5

Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix

For more information/tickets, visit balletaz.org.

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