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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“Hare” works by Christy Puetz

“The rabbits mingled naturally. They did not talk for talking’s sake, in the artificial manner that human beings – and sometimes even their dogs and cats – do. But this did not mean that they were not communicating; merely that they were not communicating by talking.”

Richard Adams, Watership Down

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Rabbits. Rabbits will indeed communicate with you this month, if you come by Practical Art to view our latest show, “Hare.” Christy Puetz has out done herself with her whimsical and thought-provoking sculptures. Her rabbits will make you laugh, make you ask questions, make you frown, make you smile– her rabbits will make you feel.

Inspired by the rabbits of Watership Down, Christy has built her works using fiber art covered in combinations of tactile materials, like glass beads and repurposed or up-cycled items. The decorative outer layer represents a unique ‘skin,’ the pattern of which tells (or emphasizes) the story of the piece.  Christy explains her methods, saying, “I use absurdity, beauty, and humor to comment on issues in a way that makes difficult subjects more approachable– issues like how the history of disease has shaped the world, how humans affect animal habitat, and the mysteries of human behavior.”

To find out more about her art, we asked Christy to answer a few questions about the show. Here is what she had to say:

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

I, first, envision the storyline for each piece and how the pose should look.  Then I create the pattern for forms, and hand construct them.  Last, I complete the glass bead embroidery (each bead is sewn on a few at a time).

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What inspired your work for the show?

I have wanted to do a show of all rabbits for a long time– their ears and symbolism intrigue me.  I was also inspired by the novel by Richard Adams, titled Watership Down, and the animate film by the same name.  I really wanted to capture particular emotions in both the pose and the bead pattern for each piece.

What is your favorite part about making art?

Making art is like mind yoga to me, it is an outlet for my energy.  I have so many ideas, the slow and repetitive process helps me to relax.  

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

I have two:  Dandelion and Irma.  Dandelion was the first of the series, finishing this piece inspired me to do more.  Irma was inspired by a friend that continues to influence my life.

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

tactile, sentimental, symbolic, humorous, beautiful

 

Meet Christy’s rabbits throughout the month of August, here at Practical Art. Come by this Friday night, August 5th from 7:00-9:00 for a special artist’s reception, and meet Christy for yourself. We can’t wait to see you there!


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“Support: something that holds up structure” works by Molly Koehn

Beginning July 1st, Practical Art will feature the amazing work of local artist, Molly Koehn. Come by and explore the relationship between humans and nature in her show, “Support: something that holds up structure.” Attend our Artist’s reception on Friday, July 1st, from 7:00-9:00pm, and meet the artist herself!

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We asked Molly to give us some insider information about her pieces, and she was happy to give oblige:

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  1. What processes/materials did you use to create the pieces?

Many of my pieces use a process called eco-printing. It is a natural dye process that uses leaves to create a print on the fabric. The leaves are bundled up in fabric and steamed for an hour. The color from the leaves transfers to the fabric. I also use embroidery, weaving, and drawing.

  1. Is there a theme to your show? If so, what is it?

This work is looking at natural systems and the role humans play in those systems. These pieces are also looking at the idea of support. In these systems, is nature supporting us or are we supporting nature? And I definitely acknowledge that we are part of nature, but I think in general, humans separate themselves from nature.

  1. What inspired your work for the show?

Moving to the valley 2 years ago has been a huge inspiration. The greater metropolitan area is just so bizarre to me in how different it is from the desert surrounding. Arizona in general amazes me. Down here there’s cactus and shrubs everywhere, but up north it’s all pine trees and snow! I love the diversity of climates and vegetation. I see something new and interesting almost everyday. I could probably live here for the rest of my life and stay consistently amazed.  

  1. What is your favorite part about making art?

That’s a tough question. I love the general process of making—using my hands to create. I just love working hard and getting dirty.

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

I’m partial to my maggot embroideries. There is something so satisfying about the play between something gross and beautiful at the same time.

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

Maggots, leaves, landscape, support, systems.  

  1. What other artists (any local?) inspire you?

I find a lot of inspiration from land artists, specifically Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt. I’m also the biggest Patricia Sannit fan in the world.

  1. What do you want your viewers to know about you as an artist?

I’m awesome.

We can’t wait to see you at Practical Art on First Friday, and throughout the month of July!

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I Love You Dad

Celebrate Father’s Day June 19th by finding a one-of-a-kind gift –perfect for dad– at Practical Art. Fathers, grandfathers, godfathers– they help mold our foundations– our selves. We learn who we are and who we want to become through the examples of our fathers. They deserve a day of honor, and Practical Art is looking forward to celebrating them next week!

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“Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.”

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

It’s only when you grow up and step back from him–or leave him for your own home– it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it.

— Margaret Truman

 

“The monsters are gone.”

“Really?” Doubtful.

“I killed the monsters. That’s what fathers do.”

Fiona Wallace

 

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“To her, the name of father was another name for love.”

— Fanny Fern

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“[My father] didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

— Clarence B. Kelland

 

Come by Practical Art (or visit our online shop) to find something special just for dad. We can’t wait to see you there!

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Copper Hummingbird Feeders by Nancy Biggins!

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Practical Art loves gardens. We not only love the flowers, plants, and greenery, we love the creatures that live in and visit our gardens– particularly, hummingbirds! Did you know that hummingbirds can fly up, down, sideways, and backwards? These stunning, iridescent birds spend their days constantly sipping nectar from flowers to maintain their racing metabolisms. That is why Nancy Biggins (one of our great local artists!) has designed beautiful copper hummingbird feeders that help provide sustenance for these gorgeous aviators.
Nancy’s feeders work incredibly well– I have them up on my own patio! The beautiful copper is elegant and graceful, while the bright red caps attract the hummingbirds. On a more practical level, these great feeders are drip-free, and bee, wasp, and bat proof!

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Come by Practical Art today to help make your garden or patio more hummingbird friendly. You’ll be just in time for the summer months when these birds begin migrating south through our lovely state! Did we mention that they make a perfect MOTHER’S DAY gift? (Remember you only have a few more days to shop for mom!)
We can’t wait to see you soon!

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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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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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