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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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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“The Apple & The Tree” a Family Group Show

Have you ever heard the phrase, “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree?” Well, this month Practical Art is putting this idiom to the test! How, you ask? This month’s show features a collaboration of works from a few of our favorite local artists and their children. Representing a wide variety of mediums and modalities, the work represented is thoughtful, inspiring, playful, and endearing.

We asked a few of these wonderful creatives to give us a little perspective about what it was like working with their family for this show.

Lori and Sydney (14) Fenn reflected on the similarities and differences of their artistic styles.

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“We both enjoy using color and looking at things from a different perspective. Lori’s paintings are more abstract, focusing on patterns, whereas Sydney’s photos are more nature oriented. However, we are both perfectionists when it comes to what we create.”

They each inspire the other to be more creative. As for Lori, “I’m inspired by Sydney’s humor, her timing is perfect and she has a way with turning an everyday comment into something comedic.”

Sydney is inspired by, “My mom’s creativity and ability to make a boring situation exciting…Her creativity allows all crazy ideas to become a reality and I find that very admirable.”

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Lilly (10) and Bella (9) Pearson appreciate being raised with and around art.

Lilly says that “[My parents] inspire me by raising me with art. I love art because it gives me so many ideas and I love creating things. My favorite part about making art is doodling and drawing, it helps me get ideas for my comic books.”

Bella states “They all help me by when they do their paintings it shows me some new ideas for my paintings. My favorite part about making art is that it lets me bring out my creative side. It is different working around my family but in a good way because I learn new things.”

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Their parents, Kristin and Emmett have purposely and poignantly raised their children around art. “We raise our kids around lots of art and they have been growing up around art studios, museums and galleries since they were young. We believe very much that the best way to support their artistic instincts is to give them space, time and materials to make work, and to support what they are doing. We avoid giving too much instruction or suggestions. Children have such a pure unfiltered way of approaching creativity and we just want to foster that above all else.” After seeing the great works created for this show, we couldn’t agree more!

So, how would these talented individuals describe their pieces for the show in three words or less?

Lori: colorful, complex
Sydney: perspective, perspective, perspective!
Bella: Sunny, beautiful, creative
Lilly: Crazy, fun, ridiculous

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Meet these artists, and the others represented in this month’s show this Friday, May 6, 2016 from 7:00-9:00pm. Their work will be up throughout the month of May, so that you can determine for yourself, does the apple fall far from the tree?

Reception for the artists:
First Friday May 6th, from 7-9
Exhibition:
May 1-31

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“Entangled.” works by Andrew King

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If you own a Standard Wax candle, with its classic design and tantalizing scent, then you are familiar with the functional art of Andrew King. However, King’s artistic talents spread beyond these sensuous tapers, as evidenced by his upcoming show, Entangled. Running from Tuesday, March 1, 2016 through Thursday, March 31, 2016, Practical Art will be host to King’s series of emotionally charged pieces. His work “depicts the darkness of being trapped in a place of true unhappiness and using art to claw out.”

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To find out more about his raw art, we asked Andrew to answer a few questions about the show and the meaning behind his expressive pieces.

Q: What inspired your work for the show?

A: The show was inspired through a deep creative frustration in my life at the time, and needing to express and grow as an artist in a new way that was completely unique and personal to me.

Q: What is your favorite part about making art?

A: My favorite part about making art is that it’s the only thing in my life that makes time disappear / be completely irrelevant.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece in the show?

A: My favorite piece(s) are the largest ones. I love over-sized art that commands the attention of an entire room.

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

A: Ominous, raw and emotional

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

A: Canvas, wire, watercolor, chalk and oil pastel, spray paint

Q: Is there a theme to your show?

A: The theme is “Entangled”. “Entangled” is a manifestation of the fears, anger and anxiety caused by not living a truly creative life. Art, no matter the medium, is a materialization of emotions. A painting, sculpture, photograph or poem can move people in profound ways. This is because the work of art is not created from paint or clay or the click of a shutter; it’s created from layering feelings and thoughts and emotions and bringing them to physical form using an artist’s tools of choice.

Q: What other artists (any local?) inspire you? 

A: I have a deep appreciation for literally all kinds of art and the process behind original creations – it’s too hard to name a favorite because my ADD demands that I find greatness in everything.

Q: What do you want your viewers to know about you as an artist?

A: I want people to know that I live my life for art and the process of creating and being true to myself in my work, in the space that I occupy and the creative outlets that I choose to pursue is the most important thing that makes me who I am.A King ColorTo find out more about Entangled” and meet Andrew for yourself, visit Practical Art next Friday, March 4, from 7:00pm-9:00pm for our Artist Reception. We can’t wait to see you there!

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“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.

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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:

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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!

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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!

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Practical Art’s 2015 Holiday Extravaganza!

Twas the month before Christmas and all through the great metropolitan of Phoenix, not a creature wanted to miss out on Practical Art’s HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!! Don your favorite holiday sweater and join us at Practical Art this Friday, December 4, 2015,from 6:00pm-10:00pm.

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Only at Practical Art will you get to make ROBOT ORNAMENTS with our local robot expert, Jordan Alexander Thomas. Then watch live as December’s featured wall artist, Jesse Perry, demonstrates how he creates his painted street art. Listen to carolers sing your favorite holiday tunes as you munch on delectable holiday treats. Browse through the work of Practical Art’s 130 artists and peruse Bunky Boutique’s ‘Pop-up-shop’ to find the perfect one-of-a-kind gifts for every person on your list. Document all of your merry-making with our polaroid camera photo ops!  And when you work up an appetite after participating in all of these festivities, you can scrumptious tacos from Paz Cantina’s (one of our favorites!).

 

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Still looking for more local love? Walk from Practical Art over to Crafeteria to explore even more local art and shops. Bring your friends, your spouse, your grandparents, your kids, your neighbors– everyone! This Friday will be a night to remember and we can’t wait to see you there!

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