August Ice Cream Social to benefit ACEL Leaders!

There is nothing more refreshing than delicious, homemade ice cream on a hot night. Come to Practical Art this Friday and refresh yourself with a treat from one of our favorite local spots, Sweet Republic. These ice cream aficionados are sponsoring this month’s Charity Night in support of ACEL (Asian Corporate and Entrepreneur Leaders)!
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ACEL’s mission is “to be the proving ground for Greater Phoenix Asian American Professionals, forging leaders of tomorrow through professional development, cultural awareness, community service and mentorship.” This is not a simple networking group. ACEL focuses on building and improving communities by mentoring and connecting leaders (young and old) with community organizations and needs. We spoke to member Kim Hamby, who provided the following testimonial:
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“The first time I heard about ACEL was from a friend and business associate. He knew I wanted to get more involved in my local community and suggested checking it out.  It sounds corny, but although I had done some volunteering in the past and am a Phoenix Native, ACEL was what made me feel like I was a part of a bigger community.

ACEL’s Mentorship program, Leadership Conference and other events are unique and have positively impacted hundreds of people.  Jason Wong, founder and Board chair has been a great mentor for me and continues to pave the way for future growth. Through ACEL I have learned about opportunities to get involved through Valley Leadership, FBI Citizens Academy and other amazing non-profits. 

I would encourage anyone of any background to get involved with ACEL. If you care about personal and professional development and want to grow within our community by accessing amazing mentors and local leaders, this organization is for you.”

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Come by Practical Art this Friday from 7:00-9:00 to learn more about ACEL and eat some sweet treats from Sweet Republic. We can’t wait to see you there!

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Back to School-Necklace Pen Review!

It’s officially back to school season! Students and teachers alike are stocking up on all of the classroom essentials: notebooks, paper clips, staples,  and of course, writing utensils. If you’re in need of new ‘ink’, skip the lines at Target and Walmart and instead stop by your favorite local shop, Practical Art! We have beautiful hand-made pens and pencils to fit all of your writing needs.

We aren’t the only ones who love them. Check out this great product review from local customer Jen. D from Phoenix. She purchased a Richard Altenhofen pen as a graduation gift for her cousin.

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“I Bought this red pen on a gold chain necklace as a graduation gift for my cousin who just finished law school. I was attracted to the marbleized red detail on the pen and the fact that it comes with a stylus so you can use it to type or draw on your smartphone screen. Excellent gift—I know she will love it! Stylish, classy and I tested the pen to make sure it works and it does. Also, the little pen inside is spring-loaded so it taps down to make a cute accessory, rather than looking like a full-size long Bic pen dangling from your neck.”

Journal Making

Need a notebook or journal to use with your new pen? Sign up for our journal making class with Molly Koehn, Saturday, August 27, 2016, from 2:00-4:00pm. Your unique journal will be perfect for note-taking, creative writing, or journaling. We can’t wait to see you there!

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“Hare” works by Christy Puetz

“The rabbits mingled naturally. They did not talk for talking’s sake, in the artificial manner that human beings – and sometimes even their dogs and cats – do. But this did not mean that they were not communicating; merely that they were not communicating by talking.”

Richard Adams, Watership Down

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Rabbits. Rabbits will indeed communicate with you this month, if you come by Practical Art to view our latest show, “Hare.” Christy Puetz has out done herself with her whimsical and thought-provoking sculptures. Her rabbits will make you laugh, make you ask questions, make you frown, make you smile– her rabbits will make you feel.

Inspired by the rabbits of Watership Down, Christy has built her works using fiber art covered in combinations of tactile materials, like glass beads and repurposed or up-cycled items. The decorative outer layer represents a unique ‘skin,’ the pattern of which tells (or emphasizes) the story of the piece.  Christy explains her methods, saying, “I use absurdity, beauty, and humor to comment on issues in a way that makes difficult subjects more approachable– issues like how the history of disease has shaped the world, how humans affect animal habitat, and the mysteries of human behavior.”

To find out more about her art, we asked Christy to answer a few questions about the show. Here is what she had to say:

What processes/materials did you use to create the pieces?

I, first, envision the storyline for each piece and how the pose should look.  Then I create the pattern for forms, and hand construct them.  Last, I complete the glass bead embroidery (each bead is sewn on a few at a time).

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What inspired your work for the show?

I have wanted to do a show of all rabbits for a long time– their ears and symbolism intrigue me.  I was also inspired by the novel by Richard Adams, titled Watership Down, and the animate film by the same name.  I really wanted to capture particular emotions in both the pose and the bead pattern for each piece.

What is your favorite part about making art?

Making art is like mind yoga to me, it is an outlet for my energy.  I have so many ideas, the slow and repetitive process helps me to relax.  

Do you have a favorite piece in the show? If so, what is it?

I have two:  Dandelion and Irma.  Dandelion was the first of the series, finishing this piece inspired me to do more.  Irma was inspired by a friend that continues to influence my life.

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If you had to describe your show in 5 words or less, what words would you use?

tactile, sentimental, symbolic, humorous, beautiful

 

Meet Christy’s rabbits throughout the month of August, here at Practical Art. Come by this Friday night, August 5th from 7:00-9:00 for a special artist’s reception, and meet Christy for yourself. We can’t wait to see you there!


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CANDLE MAKING with Standard Wax!

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Practical Art is thrilled with the buzz and popularity surrounding our Make and Take summer classes. Our AZ community has seized the opportunity to learn from some of our favorite local artist and as a result have created some amazing, personalized ‘practical’ art. Next Saturday, July 30th, will be no different as Andrew King from Standard Wax leads a class in how to make your very own candles. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to partake in one of these unique class events, sign up today!

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Standard Wax candles seize the subtle aromas of citrus and black currant, bergamot and basil, and whiskey and fig. King will instruct you in the fine art of scents and help you create your own unique blend. Once you have blended the perfect concoction, he will help you pour the wax for your own candle.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Decorate the ceramic vessel with your own designs to create a fun and functional piece of art for your office, bedroom, or living space.

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There are only a handful of spots left for this fun class, so reserve your spot online or call the store today. We can’t wait to see you there!

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July Ice Cream Social to benefit Valley Leadership!

Seek refuge from the heat this Friday night by heading to Practical Art! Our friends across the road, from Churn Ice Cream, are providing delightfully cool and sweet treats in honor of our featured nonprofit, Valley Leadership.

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Valley Leadership (VL) is a 501c3 that is near and dear to my heart. As a Phoenix native and local entrepreneur, I knew that I wanted to learn and connect with other leaders around our great city. The more I heard about Valley Leadership, the Valley’s premier leadership organization, I knew that I had to apply. With determination, support, and perhaps a bit of luck, I was accepted into VL class 37.

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The goal of VL is to identify and develop the next generation of leadership. The founders, working in the 1970s,”imagined an annual succession of education change agent dedicated to the best possible future for our region.” It is the belief of Valley Leadership that great change can only happen when leaders have a deep understanding of their community. As a newly graduated alumni, I can attest that VL does a wonderful job teaching participants about the needs of the region– and then exploring ways to be a leader for change. The culmination of this exploration is group projects designed to create future sustainability for Arizona. My own project focused on learning about the organization one n ten, and finding ways to help their mission to serve LGBTQ youth in the Valley.

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Learn more about the VL projects, speak to members about their experiences, and support this unique organization–all while enjoying scrumptious ice cream from Churn! A $5 donation gets you a scoop of ice cream–a $10 donation gets you as many in-house tastings as you’d like. We can’t wait to see you there.

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Please welcome Janel Garza!

Come by Practical Art today and browse the amazing work of our newest local artist Janel Garza!

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Genius Loci Jewelry is Janel’s line of wearable artistic creations, inspired by the Arizona desert. Genius Loci is latin for “the spirit or essence of a place.” As a Phoenix based artist, Janel employs simple, clean lines, color, and symmetry to evoke the beauty and balance of our arid landscape.

Methodologically, Janel uses a laser cutter to shape and etch designs into each piece. She then delicately hand paints every earring and pendant with carefully selected colors. The ear wires are individually formed and attached. The resulting work is 100% unique!

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Genius Loci Jewelry provides beautiful, handcrafted artwork designed to amplify and accentuate any wardrobe. But don’t take our word for it– come and see for yourself! We can’t wait to see you soon.

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Summer Art Classes!

“The arts…are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

 

Grow your soul this summer by participating in one of Practical Art’s 8 artist led summer classes!

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Did you know that art can relieve stress, enhance creativity, improve brain connectivity and plasticity, make children better students, ease the burden of chronic health conditions and dementia in patients, and increase empathy, tolerance and love? Whether you are 6 or 96, here at Practical Art, we know that everyone can benefit from practicing a little art– plus, it’s just downright fun! 

That’s why we are inviting you to come down to Practical Art throughout the summer to work with your favorite local artisans. Whether you are interested in designing jewelry, learning to sew, burning wood, or painting ceramics, we have the class for you!  Sign up for one or try them all. The unique creations you make will be yours for the taking. Every Saturday, starting July 9th, visit us from 2:00-4:00pm, get out of the sun, meet a new artist, and learn a new skill. We can’t wait to see you there.

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For a full list of classes visit http://practical-art.com/artist-classes/. Sign up online, call us at 602-264-1414, or swing by the shop today!

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