“Under One Roof” works by Jennifer Gross

Every month, Practical Art showcases one local Arizona artist with a month long wall show. Artist’s prepare, on average, ten to twenty creations (sometimes more) representing their style and skill. From graffiti art to sculptures to photographs, each show hosts different artistic materials, modalities, and motifs. Starting February 1, 2016 (and only lasting one month!), Practical Art will be home to ‘Under One Roof,’ the latest and greatest art show by the one-of-a-kind Jennifer Gross.


Jennifer Gross brings lightness and fun with her colorful characters and fanciful figures. Her work is unrestricted and playful, exuding life and inspiring joy. In an effort to learn more about her process and inspiration, we asked Jennifer Gross to give us a little insight into this month’s show:


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

A: Playful, fun, colorful, interesting, expressive.


Q: What did you use to create the pieces?

A: My pieces are created from mixed media: clay, wood panels, paper clay, assorted papers, wire, acrylics and a variety of acrylic mediums.


Q: Is there a theme, or common motif, to your show?

A: Whimsical characters and bugs are a popular theme for me, and I enjoy bringing them to life, so they continue to return to my Practical Art shows.


Q: What inspired your work for the show?

A: Two parts: Observing people and things in nature and the excitement of taking the raw materials and transforming them into whatever I create.


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

A: My favorite piece, titled “Tea for Two,” is a storybook bug character, exquisitely crafted in a pose to wish all good cheer.  Is he drinking tea or coffee?  I don’t know but I like his socks!


Have your own questions for Jennifer Gross? See “Tea for Two” and meet the artist next Friday, February 5, 2016 from 7:00-9:00pm at our First Friday Artist Reception for ‘Under One Roof.’ We can’t wait to see you there!



Gift Guide: Father’s Day!

Love your Dad? Love your kids’ Dad? Love somebody else’s Dad?!? Well, show that dude some love next Sunday on Father’s Day. Take him out for brunch, a bike ride, a beer, essentially just spend some of that good ol’ QT, and, if you’re into tokens of affection–fellas like gifts too!– we know Dads appreciate the useful, the well-crafted, and the thoughtful (’cause, really, who doesn’t?). Check out some of what us gals here at Practical Art have considered for our pops:

jg_mug2_02 jg_mug3_05 jg_mug1_01

Vessels, Vases, or World’s Funkiest Tiki Cups? By ceramic artist Jennifer Gross




Turned Pine Cone Pen by Richard Altenhofen. (Yes– PINE CONE.)


borthwick-bottleopener_05Forged Steel Scorpion Bottle Opener by Clark Martinek



 Wood Robot Box by Jordan Alexander Thomas. Psst…. his arms wiggle!



Ceramic Sake Set by Krista Peterson



…And more drinkin’ with Dad….. ceramic Old-Timey Whiskey jug by Tom Budzak


We hope you got the Moms in your life something equally as cool last month– or you got some makin’ up to do! You could even come by to pick up an original intaglio print by artist David Higgins at tonight’s reception for June’s exhibition “wire(d)”, 7-9pm. It would be an especially meaningful gift if ‘through the wires’ is how you communicate most with your Dad. (Love to Pennsylvania!)




12 Days of Christmas – Gift 7!

We’ve reached the point where y’all have been following along and I can skip the spiel, right?  IF, by some chance, you’re a new reader, make sure to check out the last SIX blogs for other top gift picks selected by some local-loving Phoenicians as part of our 12 Days of Christmas Blog series. We love ’em, you’ll love ’em, and we hope you discover a Christmas treasure among the bunch for your own gifting endeavors! And now on to the SEVENTH selection! Happy Holidays everyone!

Day 7 

Phoenician: Yvette Roeder

Item: Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shaker  by Practical Art artisan Jennifer Gross


Yvette Roeder, PR professional and cofounder of Buzzcation, chose ceramic salt and pepper shakers for her gift item. She recently fell in love with, and purchased, a Dia de los Muertos-themed set from Practical Art to add a touch of art to her dining room. Dia de los Muertos may not quite say “Merry Christmas,” but luckily there are other unique sets, all hand crafted by artisan Jennifer Gross. 

About Yvette: Yvette Roeder is a bureaucrat by day and social butterfly by night. She is a PR professional who works for the city of Phoenix and is a co-founder of the popular networking group, Buzzcation. To learn more about Buzzcation, visit buzzcation.com.

Staff Pick O’ The Week: Rock Pouches!


I enjoy writing quick little blog posts about items whose complete magic isn’t immediately apparent.


Bits of art that are less about the objects themselves and more about the experiences they cultivate.

These small 2″ x 3″ stitched fabric pouches are created by Practical Art artisan Jennifer Gross. They are ‘rock pouches’ and they owe their existence to a lovely family ritual.  Over the years, Jennifer’s family has ventured out together on hikes through the mountains and woods, and all along the route they stoop to collect small, interesting rocks.  To make the collecting process a little more special, Jennifer created small pouches that get tossed over the head and worn about the neck.  Each has its own unique identity comprised of dyed fabrics, shells, corals, beads, threads, sculpted ceramics and other bits that lend a shamanistic air to these tiny totes.

If you’re not much of a rock hound, I love that these can be a special place for a personal talisman, or can function as a sachet for your favorite fragrance.

Ask to see the full selection and find the one that suits your nature best. ($30)