Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall into Your Weekend with FreeFall Fridays at Mesa Arts Center!

 It is the age old question: What am I going to do this weekend? Mesa Arts Center has you covered.

Come out for FreeFall Friday! Starting September 19 and continuing until November 21, FreeFall Friday is a live music event in the outdoor Alliance Pavilion on the Mesa Arts Center campus.

Phoenix-based band Ear Candy, featuring Vaughn ‘SWIF’ Willis will be performing each Friday night. There will be two sets, the first from 6-8PM and the second from 9-11PM You will have a great time listening to Ear Candy play covers and original music. You’ll never get bored as you hear songs from R&B, Jazz, Neo Soul, Reggae, Pop, Blues, and Top 40 genres.

FreeFall Friday is also a great way to support Downtown Mesa’s businesses and restaurants. Select Downtown Mesa restaurants have partnered with FreeFall Fridays to offer drink and dinner specials from 8-9PM Il Vianio, Margaritas Grill, Nunthaporn’s Thai Cuisine, Queen’s Pizzeria and CafĂ©, and Republica Empenada  are all offering FreeFall Friday specials.

FreeFall Friday will coincide with many other wonderful events in Downtown Mesa. Listen to Ear Candy, grab a bite to eat and check out Flash Park Friday on September 19th. On September 26th, you can participate in Motorcycles on Main as well as FreeFall Fridays. Second Friday Night out on October 10 also matches up with FreeFall Fridays and will offer you even more fun and entertainment. Kill two birds with one stone; see a performance in one of Mesa Arts Center’s theaters before or after a FreeFall Friday set. Plan a creative date with the help of Mesa Arts Center; come to both free and ticketed events here. The options are endless and the fun doesn’t stop. See you here!

By Marketing Intern Katie Selph

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Season, New Artists, New Art to Enjoy and Buy at TheStore at Mesa Arts Center

Find unique and affordable artwork created by a carefully selected group of Arizona artists when you visit TheStore at Mesa Arts Center. Exhibiting artists are members of the MAC Artists Cooperative and TheStore is a gallery of locally made art – ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, paintings, photography, wood, and more – featuring many one-of-a-kind pieces.

Several new artists have joined the Co-op this year including:

JeriLyn Alderman - Glass
Julie Blankenship - Jewelry
Ben Browne - Photography
Adriene Buffington - Fiber
Lisa Harnish - Ceramics
David Miller - Photography
Malai Suriyasataporn - Jewelry

Come see what these new artists are offering in TheStore for our new season. You can count on finding a member of the Artists Co-op in-store whenever you visit. Artists demonstrate how they create their artworks and also are available to answer questions or to help you pick out the perfect piece of art for yourself or to give as a gift. Art is available in a wide range of prices to fit any budget and because TheStore is part of the Mesa Arts Center Foundation, no sales tax is charged on your purchases.

TheStore is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10AM – 5PM, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10AM – 7:30PM, and Sunday from Noon – 4PM. TheStore also is open for many major theater performances and special events on the MAC campus.

Learn more about TheStore at Mesa Arts Center at or call 480.644.6515 during store hours.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You Are Invited: Meet the artists and help shape two new projects at MAC!

Your feedback and input is invited as we shape parts of the ArtPlace Project at Mesa Arts Center (MAC). RSVP to Jean Kaminski at, or call 480-644-6607.

Shade Sculpture:
Thursday, Sept.11, 4-­6PM
MCA Museum, Mesa Arts Center
Join us for an opportunity to hear renowned artist Cecil Balmond talk about his conceptual design for a Shade Sculpture, called The Cloud, for Mesa Arts Center’s North Plaza, and to provide your feedback and ideas.

His exciting vision for a major iconic artwork at MAC, and the public lounge area it will shade, will be refined based on feedback and ideas from the public. Learn more about Cecil Balmond here.

Daily Tous les Jours Interactive Art Installation:
Saturday Sept. 13, 10AM - Noon or Monday Sept. 15, 4-6PM 
MCA Museum, Mesa Arts Center
These workshops mark the beginning of a process through which the artists will work with the community to develop a concept for an interactive work of art at the north end of the MAC Campus, and then test its feasibility, build a budget, and create a timeline and construction documents. The project is supported by a grant from ArtPlace America, which has provided $300,000 to design, build and install the interactive work resulting from this process.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Education @ the MAC: Hitting play on Jazz from A to Z!

In the next few weeks, we will be kicking off the new Season here at the MAC, and that includes Jazz from A to Z, celebrating America’s greatest musical contribution- jazz. Through a partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, in New York, the MAC will host four different jazz artists and various concerts, workshops, clinics, and special events with each.

Coming up, September 15th through September 17th, Rodney Whitaker, jazz professor at Michigan State University and renowned bass player, will arrive in the valley to work with students and educators alike. High school jazz band students will receive valuable one-on-one time with Rodney through jazz clinics which bring Rodney straight to their classroom.

For Arizona educators, Rodney will hold a special bass evening class at the Nash, local Jazz venue in downtown Phoenix, on September 15th. Through a partnership with Arizona State University, educators can attend a workshop for free hosted by the MAC and taught by Rodney Whitaker and ASU Professor, Marcie Hutchinson. The goal of these workshops is to integrate jazz across all subject areas to teach history using music as a primary source. Educators receive two tickets to a Jazz concert and a free student ticket to the Young People Concert in February featuring Victor Goines.

To learn more visit:

Enjoy some of Rodney’s greatest songs and collaborations by visiting our 
Spotify Page – look for the Rodney Whitaker Playlist
Username: Jazzfromatoz

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Look into Surrealist Painting with Tyson Grumm

     Image Caption: Tyson Grumm, Giganstropod, 2012, acrylic on wood, 28 x 48 inches

When people think of surrealist painters, Salvador Dali or Rene Magritte may come to mind. Artist Tyson Grumm is also of the surrealist persuasion, and his artwork is being presented in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Ten-in-One. Some of Grumm’s pieces are set in a museum. “The idea of the organized and serious environment in which museums exhibit works of art, or objects of historical significance, fascinates me,” Grumm says. “It was experimental to see what would happen if I dropped something as unexpected as a sideshow act into that world.”

Grumm’s works often contain animals, and his animal choices are diverse; one piece showcases an alligator while another houses a snail. “Humor and whimsy is a big part of why I enjoy putting animals in my art,” Grumm states.  “Humans have a deep fascination with animals and we create parallels to them existing in our world. I tend to gravitate towards animals that have quirks (such as ostriches or penguins) and humorous attributes that bring out their human-like characteristics.”

A particularly interesting aspect of Grumm’s process is that he takes chances with his paintings, not knowing exactly how the work will take shape until he is well into the process of painting. He doesn’t begin with a vision or a sketch. In fact, he allows the landscape of his works to inform him as the painting unfolds. Grumm explains that he “enjoy[s] not knowing how the final story will conclude and this is where the observer comes in to complete the narrative [of the work] in their mind.”

Grumm’s paintings can be seen in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum beginning September 12, at the Season Kickoff Festival, Ten in One: A Cirque-ish Event.

By Kayla Dorvel