Happy Thanksgiving from Practical Art

It is officially Thanksgiving! (How did that happen?)

We hope you have a safe and wonderful day celebrating all the things you are thankful for! Here at Practical Art, we are thankful for our amazing arts community, loyal customers, fantastic staff, and (if you don’t already fit into one of the previous categories) YOU!

Now, traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving is reserved for Big Box stores who promise incredible deals (coupled with overfilled parking-lots and ridiculously long lines– they don’t call it ‘black’ Friday for nothing). Here at Practical Art, however, we’ve never been big fans of the chaos, mayhem, and stress of Black Friday… but we do love celebrating the holiday season in our community. So, if you are looking for something to do this weekend other than standing in line at Best Buy or Walmart, come join us at one (or more) of the awesome local events listed below, or stop by the store any day this weekend from 10:00am-5:00pm. Help spread holiday cheer while you support local businesses around the Valley.

Friday, November 25: BLACK FRIDAY!

10am-7pm Practical Art’s Alternative Black Friday Celebration

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Get in the festive spirit by making unique, handmade robot ornaments with our favorite Space Boy Robot (Jordan Thomas).
Click Here to RSVP!

 

10am-5pm Alternative Black Friday Market, CityScape, Phoenix

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Spend the day perusing the wares of more than 30 Vintage and Local shops at the market, eat lunch at some of the best local Phoenix restaurants around, and cap it all off with a bit of ice-skating, just for fun!

Saturday, November 26: SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

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Whatever your plans, make sure you stop by your favorite local businesses to show your support and let them know how much you appreciate them! We will be open from 10-5 with lots of locally made wares & recommendations of other awesome shops for you to check out!

9am-1pm Gilbert Art Walk

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With a forecast in the mid-70s, Saturday is the perfect day to head outside and stroll around the Gilbert Water Tower, checking out the vendors at both the Art Walk and Farmer’s Market!

 

10am-5pm Phoenix Flea, Heritage Square Park

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Don’t miss the 4th annual Phoenix Flea! It’s sure to be the biggest market yet, with goods from more than 100 local artists and businesses!

Here at Practical Art, we can’t wait to see you out and about this weekend!

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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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Customer Review: Standard Wax Candles!

Here at Practical Art, we sell the amazing work of more than 130 local artists! But you don’t have to take our word for it. Loyal customer and Practical Art community member, Jenna, sent us her review of our Standard Wax candles.

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I purchased a variety of these soy-based candles to give away as Mother’s Day gifts in May. I ended up liking the whiskey + fig scent so much that I kept it for myself! Each candle comes in a stylish ceramic holder, or cup. I have, in the past, had an allergic reaction to soy candles, but not with these. They are lightly scented and the perfume or essential oil doesn’t smell cheap. They seem to be long-lasting. I definitely would buy these again. Other scents that I recommend are the “bergamot + basil” (nice light herbal scent) and the citrus + black currant which has a slightly lemony slightly tart aroma. Four out of five stars!”

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Thanks, Jenna! If you want to try out these awesome candles for yourself you can find them here at the shop OR on our webstore!

Let us know about your favorite Practical Art pieces by emailing us at info@practical-art.com or coming by the shop to talk to one of our fabulous staff members. We can’t wait to see you soon!

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Practical Art is turning eight!

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Practical Art is turning eight!  Our little shop on Central has grown and matured in ways we never would have imagined– and it’s all a result of our hard-working staff, our imaginative and talented artists, and most importantly, you, our loyal customers. In honor of our 8th birthday, here are 8 fun facts about PA.  Did you know that…

  • Practical Art houses the work of more than 130 local artists

When Practical Art opened, we carried the functional, imaginative work of eight (fitting, right?) local artists. Over the past eight years, we have expanded our network of artists to more than 130– and we are still growing. We jury new artists into the store every month, which means you can always find something fresh and innovative on our shelves!  

  • Practical Art = Functional Art

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At Practical Art we pride ourselves in finding art in the everyday– which is why we feature work that is beautiful, and usable! The truth is, it is more fun to drink your morning cup o’ joe from a Jillian Schimmel Arizona mug, roll out your favorite pie dough with a Paul Porter rolling pin, or sign your name with a hand-turned Richard Altenhofen pen.

Practical Art also features fine art in our monthly wall shows. Have you been by to see Lara Plecas’s encaustic pieces in her show, We Shall Be Free…”?

  • Practical Art believes in the power of recycling

Here at Practical Art, if you need something boxed or bagged, we are happy to oblige– but don’t be surprised if you walk out with a child’s birthday bag, or Tiffany & Co. box. All of our packaging comes from community donations. Next time you celebrate a birthday or go on a shopping trip, don’t throw your bags and boxes away! Bring them to Practical Art  and we will put them to re-use.

  • Practical Art supports local charities

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Last year, Practical Art raised more than $10,000 in support of 12 different local non-profits around the valley– and we are on pace to do even more this year! Our monthly Charity Pie Night highlights organizations around the state that are working hard to improve our community.

Our next Charity Pie Night happens April 22nd! Come by to hear about the great work of the Phoenix Zoo, meet some adorable critters, and eat delicious pie!

  • Practical Art loves local

At Practical Art we consider ourselves experts of all things local. Our staff is proud to direct you to other local shops and eateries around the Phoenix area, including Bunky Boutique, Frances, Changing Hands Bookstore, For the People (our new neighbors!), Windsor, Short Leash Hotdogs, or Southern Rail.  As proud members of Local First Arizona, we know that supporting local shops improves the economy in Phoenix.  At the national level, local businesses reinvest, on average, 64.8% back into their local community, as compared to 33.6% from national chains. At Practical Art, we know that our numbers are even higher. When you shop at our store, more than 70% will be reinvested back into our local community.

  • Practical Art offers workshops and classes led by our awesome artists

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Practical Art conducts workshops and special events in which our customers get the chance to become the artist. Past workshops have included the opportunity to cut wine bottles with Ray Del Muro and turn them into vases, creating your own candle scent with Standard Wax, or paint pottery with Jillian Schimmel.

This month we have an Ice Dyeing workshop happening with Lara Plecas on April 30th (click here to find out more)!

Keep your eyes peeled for class schedules and workshop updates on our website and in our monthly newsletter– we have some exciting events planned for this summer!

  • We thrive on being eclectic

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We love the variety of sights, sounds, and smells that you will experience when you walk in our doors. Don’t be surprised if you are confronted by scent of creosote, care of Silver Lining Soaps, or bergamot from our Standard Wax candles.  We hope you relish in our recycled  and refurbished cases salvaged from other businesses, or the newly reinvented shelves and tables handcrafted by our artists. Enjoy the myriad of textures represented by our artists: feel the silky smooth glass constructed by Marnie Brookins, the grain of Greg Corman’s wooden vessels, or the soft cushion of Elsie Leutwyler’s nits. Experience something new with each visit, and know that each experience has been hand-crafted by local artists, just for you!

  • Conveniently shop Practical Art online

Live out of state? Moving out of town? Don’t have time to come down to the shop before your best friends wedding? No problem! You can still purchase one-of-a-kind, Practical Art pieces on our web-store. Find a great selection of your favorite artists work at www.practical-art.com. We are happy to ship (for FREE during the month of April)!

We want to send a huge THANK YOU to the local community who has continued to support our shop and the amazing artists that we represent. In honor of our wonderful customers, we’ve put together a birthday goodie bag– one that highlights the best of our shop!  Inside this ‘bag’ you will find Alex Ozer earrings, a Lisa Olson original photograph, Carolyn Camp’s Silver Lining soap, and more!

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How do you get your hands on this one-of-a-kind goodie bag!?! Purchase a raffle ticket online or come into Practical Art today and purchase a celebratory 8th birthday raffle ticket for $8.00. We will draw the winning name at the end of this month!
From the bottom of our hearts thank you for helping us build a beautiful space that supports local artists & the Phoenix community. We can’t wait to see you soon!

Lisa & the Practical Art team

Got Green?

Going green this Saint Patrick’s Day? Practical Art is here to help. Come on by and grab these fantastic one-of-a-kind ‘green’ goods that will help you celebrate the spirit of the Irish!

To support your festivities, we have paired our green goods with some fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day:

Did you know…

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St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, he was British.

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Pencil pusher by Aaron Voigt

The color associated with St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, was blue, not green.

 

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AZ love t-shirt from Bunky Boutique

In the 18th century people began wearing shamrocks to symbolize their Christian heritage and honor St. Patrick– this grew into the tradition of wearing green!

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Mug by Lisa Harnish

According to legend, St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland, but modern scientists say that there never were any snakes in Ireland. This was likely a metaphor…

Owl bee habitat by Greg Corman

The first St. Patrick’s Day parades were in held in America, and the first recorded in New York was in 1762. It is now one of the largest parades in the world!

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Skateboard earrings by Lisa & Devin Kelley

The first leprechauns to appear in Irish folklore did not have a pot of gold!

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Coasters by Marnie Brookins

Corned beef and cabbage was not an Irish meal, but an Irish-American meal. In Ireland the traditional dish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day would usually be broiled bacon.

Visit Practical Art today in preparation for wearing green, drinking a Guinness, and enjoying Saint Patrick’s Day tomorrow!

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Photo Story: Studio Visit with Patricia Sannit

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With over 130 local artists represented in the shop, Practical Art is host to a wide array of individually crafted works of art. Each piece tells a story. Each piece captures the artist at a particular moment in time. Each piece reflects the artist’s mood, influences, and energy. Patricia Sannit’s work beautifully demonstrates this interconnected relationship– the relationship between an artist and their work.

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A ceramic artist, Sannit constructs her pieces using hand-building techniques. Building pieces from slabs and coils, she covers her pieces with white clay slip, into which she carves patterns and lines. Once the piece is fired to maturity, she uses a wash, stain, or glaze to finish. The carefully, hand created pieces, however, reflect more than the processes she utilizes. Sannit’s resulting works evoke a history and archaeology reflective of her experiences around the globe, studying ancient cultures and artifacts. To Sannit, her art is a contemplation of the pull between past and present, and the shared experiences across time and culture.

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A Patricia Sannit piece conjures stark white bones and ancient civilizations, bringing the past into the everyday present. A visit to her studio gives insight into how her process is integral to her vision.

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At Practical Art, we are incredibly fortunate to visit artists in their studios on a regular basis. Next weekend, you can too! Visit Sannit, and more than 50 other local ceramic artists, February 20-21, as they participate in ASU’s Fifteenth Annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour.  This event offers the public the rare opportunity to visit the working and living spaces of participating artists. Visit artist studios, and witness demonstrations of wheel-throwing, handbuilding, and glazing. Many of our Practical Art artists will be opening their spaces to you. Meet them, watch their techniques, and learn about their inspirations. View their work at the event, and then come by Practical Art to purchase your own unique piece! We can’t wait to see you soon!

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With love, from Practical Art

The Beatle’s sang, “all you need is love.”

Victor Hugo wrote, “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”

George Eliot posited,”What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life?”

For centuries, artists, authors, philosophers,and individuals from all walks of life have defined, grappled with, imagined, and sought the greatness of love. Love– from family, friends, or that special someone–inspires. It inspires kindness, passion, charity, music, art.

February is the month to celebrate love, in all of its forms! To help, Practical Art has put together a Valentine’s day gift guide. Each one-of-a-kind piece is paired with a literary quote about love, to help inspire your creativity and affection. Find a unique, hand-made piece of art that expresses your love!

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Covered Heart Dish by Sheila Cavanagh

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” Roald Dahl
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Flower Vase by Annette Weaver

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.” E.E. Cummings

 

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“She is a mortal danger to all men. She is beautiful without knowing it, and possesses charms that she’s not even aware of. She is like a trap set by nature – a sweet perfumed rose in whose petals Cupid lurks in ambush!” Edmond Rostand

 

ValentinesDay_04XOXO Coasters by Hazel & Violet

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” Robert Browning

 

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Heart Bowl by Sheila Cavanagh

“You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.” Boris Pasternak
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Vase by Tom Budzak

“You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.”William Faulkner

 

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Soy Candle  by Standard Wax

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” Leo Tolstoy

 

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Earrings by Laura Cardenas

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” Margaret Mitchell

 

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Arizona Mugs by Jillian Schimmel

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”  A.A. Milne

Happy Valentine’s day from Practical Art