Painter, printmaker, occasional mask-maker, and former ceramicist, Monica Aissa Martinez is a Phoenix-based artist who is of the region rather than merely inhabiting the region, her heritage reflected in subtle and not-so-subtle ways in her work.
In the early 1960s, on a 320-acre farm outside Knob Noster, Missouri, Anne Fay Swearngin cared for her grandson while doing the laundry. Without indoor plumbing, it was a time-intensive task and she feared that, unless the boy was thoroughly occupied, he might wander off and fall into the farm’s 160-foot-deep well. She handed him a bit of chalk and some crayons.
When ceramist Christopher Heede sits at his potter’s wheel the weekend of March 9 through 11, he’ll be surrounded by a large crowd of people as he throws his clay. But rather than demonstrating in his popular studio, Heede’s creative process will be on display at the Sonoran Festival of Art Extravaganza at Stagecoach Village, 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd. in Cave Creek.
Arizona art collectors and aficionados are undoubtedly familiar with the dozens of galleries and working studios throughout Old Town Scottsdale. Three gallery/studios, Quan’tum Art, Inc., Leslie Sandbulte Art and Blink Gallery have created a unique art gallery and studio partnership that combines a vision of artistic appreciation, business acumen and good, old-fashioned friendship. All three are located steps off Main Street and west of Marshall Way in an area known as the Courtyard.
Each year, the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce taps the town’s top business to receive the Celebration of Excellence Business of the Year award. It’s always a tough competition, and this year’s nominees are no exception.
Bringing the natural beauty of the desert to discriminating clients through her art, Dyana Hesson gathers inspiration from a variety of sources. Each painting is a work of love and, like the desert, the unique elegance of each piece reveals itself during the weeks and months during which it is created.
Luxury cruising is the fastest growing sector within the travel industry. Travelers are looking for a five-star luxury experiences while traveling to obscure or newly discovered locales.
Light pours in through the windows of Sam Pratt’s Paradise Valley home studio, illuminating abstract contemporary paintings on their canvases, the rustic flagstone floors and curated collections of things that inspire her: sketches from friends, a scrap of fabric, an artfully-arranged display of silver shoes and sculptures created by her son, who is a metal artist in Sedona.
Michael P. Johnson has presence. It’s not the fact that his 6-foot, 4-inch frame makes him tower over most of his friends or his distinct mane of long white hair that makes him stand out in a room; Johnson has a distinctive energy about him that isn’t seen so much as it is felt.
Ask any tourist what brought them to Arizona, and you’ll likely hear something about the more obvious attractions: the Grand Canyon, the weather, and spring training et al. Anyone living in the desert knows, though, that it’s the unassuming things that make Arizona special.