“People, Places + Pop” a Polaroid exhibit by Steve Hanson

Steve Hanson has bedecked the walls of Practical Art in fun and unique polaroids for his featured show, People, Places + Pop. Visit PA throughout the month of September to glimpse his creative genius on display, and take a polaroid for yourself!


It’s an unfortunate truth that polaroid pictures are a dying pastime. The digital world has virtually extinguished the use of polaroid film– but it’s not because we’ve stopped taking pictures. In fact,  it
has been estimated that more photographs are taken each year than the entire history of analogue photography! We are constantly uploading them to our computers, phones, and social media sites, but we rarely print them and hold them in our hands. We are working to change that this month at Practical Art! As Steve says, “In many ways the Polaroid format offers us the best of both the old and the new, the nostalgia of having printed photographs and the instant gratification of getting a result right away. Polaroids allow us to capture that magical moment on the spot and get a touchable photo. Each Polaroid becomes a unique, one-of-a-kind physical photograph.”

carefreepalms 6

Truer words could not be said about Steve’ photos, currently hanging at Practical Art. His images are one-of-a-kind physical snapshots of memorable moments. They are life on display. Come by today to see his work and take part in the movement to bring back polaroid photos by snapping your own unique piece of art! We can’t wait to see you there!

Artist Reception:
Third Friday, September 16th, from 6-9
September 1-30




PRIDE a Photography Group Show

Practical Art is immensely excited to host this month’s featured wall show, Pride. The show will be up throughout the month of June and features youth inspired, and created, photography. Sponsored in partnership with one•n•ten and Valley Leadership, Class 37 (which I am a proud member!), this show highlights the power of self-expression. I invite you to join us for a special Artists’ reception on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 from 6-8pm.


Over the last 3 months, through the collaboration of Valley Leadership and One-n-Ten– an organization empowering LGBTQ youth throughout the Valley– I have helped lead a group of youth in an exploration of photography. With the guidance of Valley Leadership participants, (Alex Sachs, Ben Cilek, Bobbi Lancaster, Chuck Coolidge, Koran Hardimon, Stacy Sullivan, and Tracy Guerra) and with the support of local professional photographers, Heather Kirchhofer and myself, these students participated in classes focused on developing the photographic techniques of focus, composition, lighting, and more. Using their newfound skills, these youths utilized their camera lenses to investigate, dissect, and ultimately construct a visual interpretation of Pride—a theme of their choosing. The photographs they have produced are raw, insightful, inspired, and completely student driven. Chloe Koebel related that, my favorite part so far has been the freedom to choose how you interpret the theme you are given. Everything is up to you, from the theme to the frames to the photos themselves!”


June 2016 show-09

June 2016 show-08

I encourage you to Visit Practical Art throughout the month of June to view the works of these young artists. During the reception you will be able to meet the artists, mingle with representatives from Valley Leadership, One-n-Ten, and Practical Art, and enjoy delicious food from Paz Cantina’s Food Truck! It is sure to be an evening of great artwork, delicious edibles, and invigorating conversation. I can’t wait to see you there!


Opening Reception:
Wednesday June 1st, from 6-8
June 1-30


The Buffalo Girl Art Auction…. second round of introductions!

In our last blog, we introduced you to the what, where, n’ why of the Buffalo Girl Art Auction, as well as the first couple of whos (Linda Ingraham! Jordan Alexander Thomas!) with the promise of more unveilings to follow. Well, here we be, flinging off the shroud of mystery from these next two artworks. (And if you’ve already decided you need tickets to the Dinner & Auction event– get ’em here.)



We’re pretty sure you know who Paul is. Chances are, you’ve bought one of his mesquite French-style rolling pins at Practical Art (probably under Karen’s recommendation); in fact, I’d wager that you not only have bought one for yourself, but you’ve also bought one for a friend. It turns out that, along with kitchen implements that can take a little man-handling, Paul Porter creates beautifully delicate hollow-form wood vessels– showcasing the versatility of both the material and the artist. Paul’s been with us all six years, and it’s a treat to have this opportunity to feature a piece that generally falls a little outside of our stringent ‘practical for everyday use’ guidelines. This piece falls more so within a ‘beautiful for everyday appreciation’ realm.  Paul will also be conducting a wood-turning demo for our Six Year Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, April 19th. If you wind up as the proud owner of this melon-sized vessel on the 10th, you should certainly come by on the 19th to see how tricky it is to get a carving tool inside that tiny opening!


We thought we might pair a mesquite vessel with another piece celebrating the beauty of nature. Local photographer Randy Efros served on the Contemporary Forum board with Jane, and he has remained a long-time friend of the shop. Lisa’s particularly a fan as they share a love not only of traditional darkroom black and white photography, but also of the notable photography scene here in Phoenix, supported by such hubs as the Phoenix Art Museum’s photography support organization InFocus.   Randy began his career as a Fine Arts Photographer over thirty-five years ago; his early talent brought him the attention and friendship of America’s photographic family, the Weston’s. For over thirty years he has worked closely with Edward Weston’s children and grandchildren, and has accrued, in both color and black & white, a large body of work best termed “abstract”, which has resulted in over forty-five one-man shows and 15 portfolios. He has donated this exquisitely detailed, matted, botanical print, as well as a copy of his catalogue, “Hawaii Leaves”. You folks may just have some in-house competition on this piece at the auction.

Stay tuned for the next releases, and make sure to get your tickets ahead of time! Food trucks, drinks, the auction, a celebration of the lady that brought this community together in such a magnificent way? Check, check, check, quadruple check. We’ll see you at the Buffalo Girl Dinner & Auction.



“The Year of the Horse” by Heather Kirchhofer

We’re already nearing the end of January! Can you believe it? The New Year has already brought so many great new things to Practical Art, one being our latest exhibition by artist Heather Kirchhofer.  She creates a fitting symbol for the beginning of a new year.  After all, don’t we all start the New Year with the fierce, driving force of a wild horse and with high hopes for splendor and grace in our lives? It certainly is the year of the horse at Practical Art.


From a young age, Heather found herself fascinated by the beauty found in the human face. Not keen on drawing, she picked up a camera. Over time her craft evolved – she began capturing two and four-legged subjects and today creates pieces that reveal the beauty, power and elegance of horses.

The photos are brushed, smudged, transferred and transformed to become part of the wood – combining a subject in nature with the natural medium. Her process is truly unique. Aside from her interesting perspectives and crops, these images are hand-transferred to the wood panels, which means even if she tried to recreate one, it would never be exactly the same. Like a snowflake, there will never be two identical.





Be sure to stop in to get a glance of Heather’s stunning, beautiful show before it gallops away. It’s here through January 31st!