#ArtLitPhx: Flourish—The Art of Life on Earth

EVENT INFORMATION
September 13, 2019
Friday, 6–10 p.m.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St.
FREE

Held in September, Mesa Arts Center’s annual Season Kickoff Event celebrates the start of each season and is inspired by exhibitions opening in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. The festival offers an evening of celebration and entertainment, with live music, art studio demonstrations, five new exhibitions, hands-on activities, delicious foods and more!

FLOURISH: The Art of Life on Earth

Bloom and grow wild at the 2019-20 season kickoff event! The free, family-friendly festival is inspired by Flora & Fauna, one of five exhibitions opening in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum this fall. Through the exhibitions, live entertainment, artmaking, demonstrations, delicious food and drink and more, the event invites us all to look closer and celebrate the incredible, fascinating world in which we live.

ACTIVITIES

  • Succulent cuttings by Desert Botanical Garden
  • Compost demonstrations with Recycle City
  • Art Studios open house and demonstrations
    •  Glass hotshop
    • Glass flameworking
    • Ceramics
    • Painting and drawing: instructor exhibition
    • Printmaking
    • Metal

LIVE MUSIC AND PERFORMANCES BY

  • CAZO Dance Company
  • More to be announced soon!

TASTY EATS 

  • Bring your own water bottle! Stay hydrated and fill your own water bottle at City of Mesa’s Water Resources Water Bar 
  • Freak Brothers Pizza
  • Awesomesauce Bowls
  • SuperFarm SuperTruck
  • Udder Delights
  • Paletas Betty
  • Not Your Granny’s Apples
  • Cuties Lemonade
  • More to be announced soon!

BOTANICAL VENDORS
SW Herbs
Holistic Earth Remedies
Ahimsa Essentials

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

  • Blooming flowers projections by Kendra Sollars
  • Photo station by Lauren Lee

For more information, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: Upcycling Art with Janel Garza

Does that particular denim jacket need an update? How about that old shirt or pair of jeans? Then come by to learn how to upcycle your clothing in this textile workshop with local artist Janel Garza. She will teach basic techniques on how to use paint and textiles to refresh your wardrobe. Bring your own clothing. Additional materials and clothing provided. Light refreshments are included.

Event Information

Location: Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale

Date: August 31

Time: Noon

Tickets: $30 for individuals or $45 for couples

For more information, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: Friends of Contemporary Art Film Series

This summer Phoenix Art Museum proudly presents Friends of Contemporary Art Film Series: “Who Are We? The Art of Memory—Fellini’s 8 1/2.” 

Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini’s 8½ (Otto e mezzo) turns one man’s artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema. An early working title for was The Beautiful Confusion, and Fellini’s masterpiece is exactly that: a shimmering dream, a circus, and a magic act. 

(dir. Federico Fellini / Italy 1963 / 138 min / Not Rated / B&W / In Italian with English subtitles)  

Free for Circles and FOCA Members, $5 for Members, and $10 for the general public. Not a Member yet? Join today

EVENT INFORMATION

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

Date: Wednesday, June 26

Time: 6 p.m.

For more information about the event, click here.

Contributor Update, Rodrigo Franzão: María Elena Kravetz Gallery

photo of Rodrigo

Join us in congratulating SR art contributor Rodrigo Franzão. Rodrigo’s work was recently added to the María Elena Kravetz Gallery of Art in Argentina. Other artists in this gallery include Kate Blacklock, Gabriela Pérez Guaita, and Ralph Paquin. To learn more about the María Elena Kravetz Gallery of Art, click here.

Rodrigo was also recently interview for an article in the Textile Art Magazine. Here, Rodrigo discusses his art career, influences, education, techniques, preferences, and creative process. You can read the full interview here.

Congratulations on this exciting news, Rodrigo!

Intern Update, Sean O’Day: Agave Cura

Here at Superstition Review, we like to stay updated with our previous interns. That being said, we are happy to announce the news of our former Art Editor for Issues 20 & 21, Sean O’Day! Sean’s lithograph, titled Agave Cura, received an award from the AZ Citizens for the Arts, under the artist name Zanereti. Sean is currently continuing his work in print making.

Zanereti’s work can be seen here, as featured on AZ Citizens for the Arts, Artwork page.

More of Sean’s work can be found here on his website.

Congratulations Sean!

Contributor Update, Emily Matyas: Sol y Tierra

Today we are happy to share news about past contributor photographer Emily Matyas. Emily has a new book releasing this spring titled “Sol y Tierra: Views Beyond the U.S. – Mexico Border, 1988-2018.” The collection of photographs explores life just south of the border, beginning a conversation between the two countries. Along with the photographs, journalists Linda Valdez and Sergio Anaya have included essays and one of the photographic subjects have included a short memoir.

Some more of Emily’s work, published in our 14th issue, can be found here. Be sure to look out this spring for more information on the book and events!

Congratulations Emily!

#ArtLitPhx: 18th Annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour

artlitphx

Date: Saturday, February 23 – Sunday, February 24
Time: 10am-5pm
Location: Ceramics Research Center, 699 S. Mill Ave.Tempe, AZ 85281
Cost: Free

Event Description:
This valley-wide event showcases the work of professional ceramic artists in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The tour offers the public a rare opportunity to view working and living spaces of participating artists and view demonstrations of wheel-throwing, hand-building and glazing techniques. Participating artists have a wide range of both functional and sculptural artwork on exhibit and for sale.

Stop at the Ceramics Research Center or any studio location to pick up a poster and passport. Visit each studio site to gather stamps on your passport. Receive 6+ stamps and bring it into the Ceramics Research Center for 20 percent off your purchase in the store.

The tour is free to the public.

Click here for more information.

Guest Blog Post, Tony Whedon: Watercolors

Painting courtesy of the contributor, Tony Whedon

A few years ago I had a shoulder injury and I smoked a lot weed to dull the pain: it didn’t get me high or provide any relief, but it woke my senses and made me want to paint. My mother had been a painter, I loved watching her paint scenes from her Louisiana childhood. Unlike Mom’s work, my new watercolors have few landscape  or people in them,. They are not “representational” — but you see a go-for-broke sunset once and it’s an occurrence; you see  it through the  years and it ends up haunting you. Recognizable shapes now appear in my work. The vacant lot behind our house interrupted  by a neighbor’s dog traipsing through it; the live oak blown down in last September’s storm suddenly commands my view.

The colors in my watercolors have changed, too. I am partial to blue. In Vermont, I translated the blue-green of hemlocks and spruce, the midnight-blue of a mountain stream into washes of watercolor crosshatched by swatches of sonic blue. But blue isn’t dominant in Georgia. Think sedgy greens, hibiscus reds, burnt oranges with mucky browns smudged in. How to get to the soul of these colors, to make more of them than a mosaic of offhand impressions?  My senses awake to new colors —and they recoil from them too. I’m a sucker for anything that activates “my blue” — a mouthful of turbid down-home south Georgia churchy blue. How to transcend well-worn cliches of the Deep South and its gothic trappings? I’ve  read too much O’Connor and Faulkner, have seen too many “charming” local color paintings of coastal Georgia to get through to the hurt, bruised blue of the horizon.

**

I  once thought all forms of landscape were biographical, and it’s  still nice to think that’s true. There’s a soundtrack to my paintings, arpeggios of turbid waterfall blue saturating my paper or canvass. I used to put on music when I worked, but now the music backbeats inside my head. The live oaks down by the marsh behind my house show scars from a hurricane that blew through here a century ago; a  rope swing hanging from one of those oaks tragically reminds me of a lynching that happened not long after that historic storm. Words can’t do these images of justice — photographs, and landscape painting won’t do it either.

A few blocks away from my house come the voices of the reborn, the saved. They sing about how they’ve survived through storms, lynchings and Jim Crow in tin roof shacks down on Cathead Creek, but if I painted folks living here, I wouldn’t do them justice, couldn’t bring their stories onto canvas or paper.

I pass the church and head down River Street toward the graveyard to do some watercolors. Through the canopy, I see Cathead Creek. Bees and dragonflies hum. Buzzards soar. A realist might depict the scene in  muddy russets, gravestones fallen into knee-high grass haunted by regret and neglect. A realist would sketch in a tumbledown shack downhill overgrown with Confederate jasmine. But I am not a realist. I try to pry loose from this landscape a story, and all I come up with is a hacked- together tale of myself. Figurative painting does much the same thing — transferring an image from nature onto paper or canvas, leaving the essence, its original story, its ur-story, untold.

**

Monet spent his life painting the same scenes at different times of the day.  The Rouen Cathedral in luminous early light or in a September rain. In his late career, he  painted water lilies floating in a blue-green evanescence. Blindness contrived to make him a great abstract painter, made him look beyond refractions of light into shifting permutations of blue.  “One instant, one aspect of nature contains it all,” Monet said. “I’m no good for anything but painting and gardening.”

In 1899, Monet completed the scene of his pond at Giverny. Across it, he built a quaint Japanese-style bridge. He was apparently quite pleased with how it turned out, as he painted the structure 17 times that very year, with each painting reflecting changes in lighting and weather conditions. 

Fifty years later New York’s Museum of Modern Art displayed a permanent exhibition of  Monet’s water lilies — one painting occupies an entire wall — intriguing painters of the New York School who considered them an early iteration of abstract expressionism. The paintings are not so much about plant life, garden life, as they are an extended meditation on Blue shifting out of darkness into silvery aquatic light. Monet spent years painting his beloved water-garden, moving closer and closer to its watery essence. The edges of his pond moved to the limits of the frame until he had erased the horizon altogether. From there, his work becomes a study of water and how it reflects light and the world above it. That is, he moved closer and closer to abstraction.

**

Today the light’s diffused through clusters of ocean cloud, shadowing the tombstones darkening Cathead Creek a quarter mile away. But I’m not a real painter, I have given up trying to imitate what I see in either prose or in watercolors. I look across River Street to Cathead Creek. whose story includes an ancient shrimp boat scuttled in tidal muck. A snow-white egret hunched shank-deep in the outgoing  tide.

The rest is stillness, silence.

**

I joined AA thirty years ago, and the stories I heard from other recovering drunks changed how I saw the world. I realized that the pain and suffering these folks caused in others are part of my story; that they’re collective property. Listening to other drunks has triggered stories in me. How to use what I’ve learned in “the rooms” of AA to see beyond what pains me to the barely discernible landscape of sobriety?

All landscape has a subtext. Proust wrote a book’s-worth of pages about the garden outside his childhood house, but his word-paintings were attached to a narrative of childhood loneliness. These were stand-alone descriptions — Colombe on an exceedingly lovely summer evening, Proust drifting in and out of childhood dreams. Like Proust, like Monet, ex-drunks tell the same story till they get it right. At some point they  tumble into dark self-realization and see the world differently, and are changed.

Walking down River Street from the cemetery, I pass a rusted-out trailer, a growling  junkyard dog chained to its front porch fiercely alive in his aloneness. A Chevy pickup with flat tires squats in the front yard, its truck bed brimmed over with empty beer cans.

Down River Street are other shacks and trailers; none aspire to be stand-alone beautiful, but an abstract truth links them together. No matter how poor their occupants, each has a potted plant or two, a winterberry tree to welcome the stranger. The truth lurks in a latticework of stories those on River Street tell one-another. If I were up to it, I’d paint their arrival, following emancipation, from Sapelo Island, settling in to grow turnip greens, and raise hogs and chickens.

Paint the past a translucent isinglass blue. And me, a white guy hovering into spectacular invisibility: as in much of my life, I’m incognito, a drunk although I don’t drink anymore, and farther down the street, I’m neither here nor there.

Editorial Preferences in Art: Shalanndra Benally

Through the process of curating art, I would say that I have gained new eyes for looking at different pieces of work. I can admit that I was never one to look at art in the manner of color, context, and composition before. I mainly base what I like on no other context other than just liking the way things look.

I think art as a medium can be something over saturated with the sheer number of artists, but I believe that I have learned so much. Through this journey I was also able to differentiate an artist from a hobbyist.

Looking at art now, I am finding myself drawn to artists that have a lot of work and specifically work that contains the three C’s. The first aspect I like to look for is composition. I really like to take composition into consideration and make sure that it matches the Superstition Review and what the audience would engage with. Secondly, I like to look into the context of the piece. Not simply understanding what the piece looks like, but taking the time to understand what the underlying theme is or what the piece is trying to say. And of course, taking color into consideration with each piece. All of these elements have helped me understand on a different level of viewing and appreciating art.

With that being said, I don’t particularly have a specific type of art I enjoy, I can look at any piece of work from any medium and still be able to apply what I have learned.

Overall, I am very grateful and pleased that I am able to see art differently. And I will continue to utilize what I have learned as I flourish throughout the art community.

Shalanndra Benally is the art editor for issue 23. She is currently in her first semester of her Senior year at Arizona State University studying Digital Culture with a concentration in Design. Currently she is working on the design team for TEDx at ASU, as well as being the sole designer for the 40th annual Ms. and Mr. Indian ASU. She is always looking for new opportunities to show off her artistic abilities and demonstrate her extensive design experience. After graduation she hopes to work in digital media or another creative field.

#ArtLitPhx: POETRY WORKSHOP – Merle Nudelman: “Ekphrasis Poetry”

artlitphx

Date: February 12, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 South McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283
Cost: $25+

Register for the event here.

Event Description:
Poet Merle Nudelman hosts a creative writing workshop on ekphrasis poetry.

Ekphrastic poems are written in response to works of art and engage with the subject piece. Ekphrasis dates back to Homer’s description of Achilles’ shield in the Iliad. For the past eleven years Merle Nudelman has been part of a collaboration between the Long Dash Poetry Group and studio artists of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. Many of the poems in Merle’s most recent collection, The Seeker Ascends, were born of this artistic exploration. The Seeker Ascends follows the poet’s emotional and spiritual journey during and after her son’s arduous battle with cancer. The Seeker Ascends is a meditation on strength, survival, healing, and love.

Merle Nudelman will discuss the process of crafting ekphrastic poems. She will illustrate this literary form with some of her own ekphrastic poetry from The Seeker Ascends accompanied by the paintings that inspired these poems. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to experience this creative process directly by writing their own ekphrastic poems in dialogue with original paintings that will be displayed. Participants will also have the option of sharing their poems with the group.

WORKSHOP DETAILS
Cost: $25 + fees.
Refunds will not be issued within one day of the event.
Bring pen/pencil and a notebook.

ABOUT THE HOST
Merle Nudelman is a poet, essayist, memoirist, educator, and lawyer. She has written five books of poetry ̶ most recently The Seeker Ascends. Merle’s first collection, Borrowed Light, won the 2004 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry and a prize in the Arizona Authors Association 2004 Literary Contest. Merle’s prize-winning poems appear in literary journals, zines, and anthologies in Canada and in the United States and her essays have been included in academic texts. Merle teaches memoir and poetry writing and gives workshops on healing through writing. For the past eleven years Merle has been part of a collaboration between the Long Dash Poetry Group and studio artists of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. Many of the poems in Merle’s most recent collection, The Seeker Ascends, were born of this artistic exploration.