Writer Joseph J. Airdo // Photo Courtesy of Scottsdale Arts
Scottsdale Arts this summer will unveil a new exhibition that essentially acts as a time machine — sending patrons years into the future, where they may get a glimpse at the insightfully fresh and thought-provoking work from the next generation of artists.
Debuting May 13 and on view through Oct. 2, Visions ‘22 features the work of advanced high school art students who participated in a multi-visit, invitational visual arts program that has been provided to metro Phoenix area teens for the past 23 years.
Each school year, students from six high schools across Maricopa County attend monthly workshops conducted by professional artists, tour the University of Arizona School of Art and connect with exhibitions offered by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
The exhibitions and workshops inspired the students to choose one or two artists who were of interest to them. Local teaching artists lectured on their professional backgrounds, successes and barriers while also teaching new art-making techniques and conceptual approaches. It is through these exchanges and meaningful conversations that the Visions students were able to find a better understanding of the world, their peers and themselves.
Shadow Mountain High School student Ben Winkler says that being a part of the Visions program exposed him to artistic talents that he never could have imagined.
“The pieces I have seen in this program have been intricate, detailed and most importantly, meaningful,” Winkler adds. “I want to make sure my piece reflects that same thoughtfulness. Working directly with artists, like Brianna Noble, has given me an amazing opportunity to use art in its truest form.”
Scottsdale Arts Learning and Innovation teen and family coordinator Brittany Arnold says that, over the past three years that she has facilitated the Visions program, she has seen an astounding variety of skill and conceptual development from students.
“I’m always amazed at how elaborate the students’ thought processes are and how they are so socially aware of the world around them,” Arnold says. “Things such as mental health, climate change and beauty standards are at front of mind for these students, and they are taking bold steps with their artmaking as future changemakers.”
Kendra Sollars, a Phoenix-based artist who works in video-based public installations, agrees, adding that working with Visions students this past year has made her very excited for the future of art in Arizona.
“I was so impressed with their creativity, their interpretation of the prompt, their willingness to try new techniques and how engaged they were in the process,” Sollars explains. “I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these young artists as they continue forward.”
Visions ‘22 // May 13–Oct. 2 // Center Space Gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts // 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale // Free // scottsdaleartslearning.org