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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Charity Pie Night benefiting Max Love Project

PIE NIGHT IS BACK!!! Come by Practical Art Friday, September 23rd, and eat some delicious homemade pies from our favorite local baker, Karen Olson, of Vonciel’s Pies. Gluten free? Vegan? No problem! Karen whips up amazing pies for all diets! Relish in the fact that you’re not only eating delicious, locally made goods, but you are also supporting our featured non-profit, MaxLove Project.

Did you know that 95% of childhood cancer survivors will go on to face a serious chronic illness? MaxLove is working to alleviate the reality of this statistic. They are on a mission to improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors (aka SuperKids). The volunteer driven, grassroots organization offers programs and resources focused on ‘super actions’ that promote lifelong healthy survivorship and disease prevention. These programs include culinary medicine, social support, integrative medicine, research, and advocacy. It is a Whole Body, Whole Person approach to maintaining and supporting healthy lives.

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MaxLove is teaming up to support the efforts of Dr. Adrienne Scheck. Dr. Scheck, working out of the Barrow Neurological Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, is behind the groundbreaking diet that’s helped MaxLove Project’s Chief Inspiration Officer, SuperMax, thrive against brain cancer. This ketogenic diet is a powerful and nontoxic therapeutic addition to conventional treatment. There is a lot of promise in this non-toxic approach, and our SuperMax provides a powerful case study for its efficacy. But there’s still a lot more science that needs to be done.

That’s where you come in. All of the money raised in this month’s Charity Pie night at Practical Art will help support Scheck Laboratory on behalf of MaxLove. For more information about how your dollars impact the lab, or how you can help even more, click here.

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So come to Practical Art Friday, September 23rd, eat delicious pie and support MaxLove. A $5 donation gets you a slice of a Vonceil’s Pies creation! A $10 donation gets you as many in-house tastings as you’d like! All donations, and 10% of all sales that day, will be donated to MaxLove Project!

We can’t wait to see you there!  

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“Support: something that holds up structure” works by Molly Koehn

Beginning July 1st, Practical Art will feature the amazing work of local artist, Molly Koehn. Come by and explore the relationship between humans and nature in her show, “Support: something that holds up structure.” Attend our Artist’s reception on Friday, July 1st, from 7:00-9:00pm, and meet the artist herself!

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We asked Molly to give us some insider information about her pieces, and she was happy to give oblige:

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

Many of my pieces use a process called eco-printing. It is a natural dye process that uses leaves to create a print on the fabric. The leaves are bundled up in fabric and steamed for an hour. The color from the leaves transfers to the fabric. I also use embroidery, weaving, and drawing.

  1. Is there a theme to your show? If so, what is it?

This work is looking at natural systems and the role humans play in those systems. These pieces are also looking at the idea of support. In these systems, is nature supporting us or are we supporting nature? And I definitely acknowledge that we are part of nature, but I think in general, humans separate themselves from nature.

  1. What inspired your work for the show?

Moving to the valley 2 years ago has been a huge inspiration. The greater metropolitan area is just so bizarre to me in how different it is from the desert surrounding. Arizona in general amazes me. Down here there’s cactus and shrubs everywhere, but up north it’s all pine trees and snow! I love the diversity of climates and vegetation. I see something new and interesting almost everyday. I could probably live here for the rest of my life and stay consistently amazed.  

  1. What is your favorite part about making art?

That’s a tough question. I love the general process of making—using my hands to create. I just love working hard and getting dirty.

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

I’m partial to my maggot embroideries. There is something so satisfying about the play between something gross and beautiful at the same time.

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

Maggots, leaves, landscape, support, systems.  

  1. What other artists (any local?) inspire you?

I find a lot of inspiration from land artists, specifically Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt. I’m also the biggest Patricia Sannit fan in the world.

  1. What do you want your viewers to know about you as an artist?

I’m awesome.

We can’t wait to see you at Practical Art on First Friday, and throughout the month of July!

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I Love You Dad

Celebrate Father’s Day June 19th by finding a one-of-a-kind gift –perfect for dad– at Practical Art. Fathers, grandfathers, godfathers– they help mold our foundations– our selves. We learn who we are and who we want to become through the examples of our fathers. They deserve a day of honor, and Practical Art is looking forward to celebrating them next week!

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“Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.”

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

It’s only when you grow up and step back from him–or leave him for your own home– it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it.

— Margaret Truman

 

“The monsters are gone.”

“Really?” Doubtful.

“I killed the monsters. That’s what fathers do.”

Fiona Wallace

 

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“To her, the name of father was another name for love.”

— Fanny Fern

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“[My father] didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

— Clarence B. Kelland

 

Come by Practical Art (or visit our online shop) to find something special just for dad. 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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Photo Story: Studio visit with William Letterman

Here at Practical Art, we love the sensations of handmade goods– smooth glass, sanded wood, soft wool fibers, scented wax, vibrant palettes, cool metals. We know that our mom, too, greatly appreciated the encaustic wax finish of the Lara Plecas art piece she received, or the deliberate color choices of the Pat Mahoney planters, chosen just for her. With the success of our Mother’s Day selections, we figure it’s never too early to start getting ideas for Father’s Day (dads are pretty important, too!). When we visited William Letterman’s studio, we knew that his woodturned vessels were perfect. Letterman-01

Letterman began turning wood 10 years ago. He began with pens, and soon progressed to bowls and vases, and then more advanced techniques of inlays, segmented works, and burl pieces. Using a mixture of classic and self-taught techniques, Letterman’s work is flawless.

First, Letterman selects a brilliant series of colored woods to pattern his bowls and vessels. After strategically designing flat rings out of the wood, patterned with the various shades, he then makes additional rings, increasing in size. He glues those rings of wood together to create the rough shape of the desired piece. With great precision, Letterman uses a lathe to spin the wood, and turns a tool down the slope, re-shaping and thinning the walls of the vessel. Sanding and applying a finish complete the process. Letterman works hard to perfect his craft and create one of a kind pieces and custom pieces based on a buyer’s request. The result is a beautiful, natural, and functional piece of art.

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Get a head start on your Father’s Day shopping by coming to Practical Art and exploring the work of William Letterman and more than 130 other Arizona artisans. We can’t wait to see you soon!

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Mother Dearest

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother”
-Edgar Allen Poe

May 8, 2016 is reserved especially to celebrate Mothers. At Practical Art, our Mothers– whether they are our biological Mothers, our Grandmothers, our Mothers-in-law, or our friends who are Mothers– have helped shape who we are. They mark our beginning. They mark the very best of ourselves. They mark who we choose to become.  We invite you to celebrate all of the Mothers in your life with one-of-a-kind gifts from Practical Art.

“I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.”

―Maya Angelou, Mom & Me & Mom

Does your mother enjoy gardening? Browse our collection of planters, big and small, or peruse the bee habitats and hummingbird feeders that will encourage the helpful pollinators of her flowers.

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“My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.”

―Jodi Picoult

Does your mother have killer style? Search our vast collection of jewelry and find the perfect necklace or earrings to complement her inner fashionista. Or buy her a jewelry bowl to hold her growing collection.

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“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

―Gail Tsukiyama, Dreaming Water

Does your mother adorn her walls with fine art? Add to her collection with a beautifully handcrafted encaustic masterpiece by Lara Plecas. The colorful inspired work with surprise and enchant her.

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“Mothers, I believe, intoxicate us. We idolize them and take them for granted. We hate them and blame them and exalt them more thoroughly than anyone else in our lives. We sift through the evidence of their love, reassure ourselves of their affection and its biological genesis. We can steal and lie and leave and they will love us.”

―Megan Mayhew Bergman, Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories

Does your mother love to relax with a hot cup of tea? Snag her a-one-of-a-kind mug and a delicious blend of Wisdom Nectar Tea to brighten her morning routine.

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“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”

―Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm

Does your mother host amazing parties and entertain guests? Find the perfect serving bowls and platters that highlight her unique style and favorite dishes. Or make hosting even more enjoyable by purchasing one of our fabulous Lazy Susans.  

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“Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you had your mother at your back, you’d be okay. Some deep-rooted part of you would know you were loved. That you deserved to be loved.”

―Jojo Moyes, One Plus One

Does your mother love personal piece made by YOU? Come to Lara Plecas’s ice-dyeing workshop Saturday April 30th, and make your mother a personalized textile in colors and patterns of your own design! Find out more here.

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Show your Mother how much you appreciate her by finding something as unique as she is. Whatever hobbies and interests she enjoys, we have a gift to suit. Practical Art is the perfect one stop shop for all of your Mother’s Day needs. We can’t wait to see you soon!

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