Political Bites: Southeast Valley Arts

What can be done to strengthen the Southeast Valley’s performing arts scene?

First, start booking quality, relevant shows in the performing arts centers.  It’s okay to step outside the family friendly box on occasion.   Second,  there is still a need for smaller venues to allow local artists to take root.  Third, get out and support the arts, you might be surprised what you find.

Background, if needed: http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2010/07/02/20100702mesa-theaters-arts.html

I love art. Hugh Macleod’s Wolf vs Sheep.

I don’t know shit about art.  Really.  I know what moves me though.  I know what connects with me emotionally.  I know what draws my attention.  My good friend Francine Hardaway brought a Hugh Macleod print in.  I went to hang the Wolf vs Sheep print and instantly fell in love.  I already knew I liked Hugh’s style.  This print however just had all the right elements for me.  The shapes, the lines, the colors… but most importantly the message in the words.

“The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness.  Choose one or the other with great care.”

This hits home.  I feel I live this decision everyday.  I can go make an existence in corporate America with great pay, reasonable security and struggle to press the boundaries that make me feel alive inside.  My personality dies a little inside when I am put into this sheep mode.  To me it goes even beyond boredom and almost into clinical depression.  However being a wolf and getting aggressive about cutting new paths leaves a path of destruction.  I lose connectedness to my family and am unable to keep friends.  Furthermore, I get so driven that I struggle to keep business relationships.  I find my self far from bored and full of life, but it can get pretty damn lonely.  Everyday I have to ask myself which path is the right one.  I am not convinced that either is, but I think that “balance” is even worse.

Everytime I look at this piece of work, I ponder what my life means to me.  So while I’m no expert, it’s art to me!

I am grateful that Tyler a local community brand manager asked for feedback on Hugh’s art.  I have been meaning to post about it’s significance to me for some time and now I had even more of a reason to.

Art in Unlikely Places / Downtown Revitalization

Revitalizing an area and encouraging urban infill is about more than attracting new business to a location.  It really is about building community and getting people involved.  One thing I love about downtown Chandler’s effort is that they understand that details matter.  They are far from perfect but they are attempting to get the little things right.  The business owners and residents really are a tight knit family.

Look around downtown and you will see bursts of color everywhere, thanks to the “Downtown Chandler Wrap Project, Making Art out of the Ordinary.”  These photographic and digital paintings, which cover trash receptacles and bollards, are now anything but ordinary. A public jury selected the work of four local artists–  Maynard Breese, Sue Cullumber, Dale Kesel and George Lenz— whose images were then transferred to vinyl with laminate. The images were then wrapped around the objects to produce one of the first exhibits of its kind in Chandler.

“We were able to use art to enhance regular objects and create a visually pleasing environment,” says Eric Faulhaber, Visual Arts Coordinator for the City of Chandler and the Chandler Arts Commission.  The exhibit is sponsored by the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, the City of Chandler’s Downtown Redevelopment Office and the Chandler Arts Commission.

Arizona Has a Rich History

I hear from people new to Arizona often complain that it is a new city without the deep history they are used to back East where they migrated from.  The truth is that Arizona has a fabulous history that pre-dates the East coast by quite some time.  The Native American history found in Arizona is almost unrivaled anywhere else.  There is a great resource in Downtown Phoenix and North Scottsdale called the Heard Museum.  If you have not been there and think that Arizona has no history, do yourself a favor and visit to be enlightened.