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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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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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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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