“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.”

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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




Practical Art presents: “Electric Love” by Julio Cesar Rodarte

Practical Art-Julio_May2015 copyJulio Cesar Rodarte is in his early 30’s, and says he wouldn’t have made it this long without art. “Art saved my life. The reason I started painting was because there was a time in my life when everything was dark and joyless. When I thought I was not going to make it, art brought color back in. But most importantly, it brought inner peace, a sense of energy that has kept me in balance all these years, and an eye to appreciate beauty in simple things. It brought joy and I felt alive again.”

Emigrating from a small town in Zacatecas, Mexico to the States at the age of 16, all Rodarte dreamed of doing was learning English, eating at McDonald’s, and visiting Las Vegas– experiencing the America he’d only read about in books. And, while those simple wishes were quickly attained, Rodarte suffered a number of frustrations: day-to-day life as a gay teenager in Arizona high schools, the impermanence of Visas, and the challenge of pursuing a higher education with a citizenship status in flux. The weight of those struggles allowed a deep depression to ebb in, one that Rodarte was only able to emerge from through his art.

Rodarte cites artists Elizabeth Murray, Al Held, and Frank Stella as inspirational touch points for his work, and he cites his ability to craft beauty out of hardship as motivation to continue to create artwork, learn, and live. Join us during May to experience the radiant palette active in his most recent works; reception tonight!

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“Electric Love”
Julio Cesar Rodarte
Practical Art
Exhibition May 1st-31st, 2015
Reception: First Friday, May 1st, from 7-9


“Indispensable Dispensables” by Lee Berger

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We’re launching our Art Detour weekend with a Friday night reception for Lee Berger’s “Indispensable Dispensables- lessons still to be learned” exhibition.

Berger senses that life has become a battle for health, sanity, purpose, and value amidst systems that hydrogenate, frack, exploit, and ceaselessly digitize. The world is littered with the results of these collective decisions and processes, and our souls and psyches mirror this environment. Berger is using his art to provide another point of reflection.

These works speak to this relationship in both subject and material, employing symbolic imagery, as well as the detritus of Berger’s life: eggshells, tin cans, tea leaves, mesquite pods, espresso beans– all crushed and sifted to be adhered to the canvas as the surface for his paintings (some of which are 4’x4′).

With their inquiry into consumption, consumerism, and human behavior, Berger’s series of mixed media paintings are an intriguing thematic complement to Phoenix Art Museum’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable Andy Warhol event, so be sure to hit both Central Avenue locales tonight!

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“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke. Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.”  – Andy Warhol

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“Indispensable dispensables – lessons to still be learned”
Lee Berger
Practical Art
Exhibition March 1st-31st, 2015
Reception: First Friday, March 6th, from 7-9

**and visit us all weekend for during Art Detour 27!**