Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Field Day for Your Senses!

Plants are blooming, Spring Training season is here and the weather could not be more perfect. It is the time of year in the Valley when the heat of the summer is temporarily forgotten and the serene song of the sunny outdoors is as enticing as ever.

As we look for excuses to be outside, spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity offers an option for friends and entire families. Happening over four days when most Valley schools are on spring break, the festival brings a multitude of things for busy hands and restless minds to do.

At the free festival on Mesa Arts Center’s campus, the four Greek elements – earth, air, fire and water – will be weaved into a celebration of the arts, innovation and creativity. Live music, immersive activities, hands-on happenings and tasty foods will be in abundance.

Arrive in the afternoon to catch live bands playing in the shaded Wells Fargo Garden or stroll down the Shadow Walk to explore interactive art pieces. Play in the Sandboxes of Life, where you can “paint” with light in the sand; make music In Dark Waters by touching a large glowing sculpture that responds with music and shimmering lights; and make Water Light Graffiti by manipulating a huge panel of LED lights that respond to water sprayed on its surface. Take a break with kettle corn or snow cones, enjoy performances in the grassy lawn, or contribute your creativity to the Incredible Shrinking Mural, a colorful tapestry of shrinky dink art.

On Friday and Saturday night the festival will transform to spark! After Dark, with night-time performances and a culminating fireworks display on Saturday. Try it out any day between Wednesday, Mar. 18 and Saturday, Mar. 21; let your senses run wild! www.mesaartscenter.com/spark

By Casey Blake 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Explore the Arts at Mesa Arts Center

Do you need a hobby? If so, Mesa Arts Center has just the thing for you! From glass blowing to sword making to ceramics classes, whatever your interest may be Mesa Arts Center has a workshop for you. You can expect much more than a straight lecture; these are hands-on, do-it-yourself kinds of deals. You will literally get your hands dirty and make some new friends along the way!

Maybe you've always thought you had a little Picasso in you but you never knew where to start or how to channel your inner artist. This is where Mesa Arts Center comes in with our drawing and painting workshops. These workshops give you access to the supplies you’ll need to channel that inner artiste. They are also accompanied by great instructors that are there to guide you as you master your craft.

Have you ever wanted to make your own chalice so you can feel like a King or Queen while you’re at the dinner table? Now you can in one of Mesa Arts Center’s glassblowing classes. Come enjoy this class and make that goblet you've always wanted or maybe a fancy wine glass. The possibilities are endless!

Check one of our glassblowing instructors in this great video!

What are you waiting for: bring your artistic talents down to Mesa Arts Center today!

By Samuel Childress 

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Chamber of Music A Mostly Silent Installation by Diane Gilbert

 In her exhibit at Mesa Arts Center, artist Diane Gilbert has taken old guitar strings with little square textiles attached to them to create what I might describe as a beautiful gazebo of double helix DNA strands, or even a bee hive. At first I thought the space felt very empty, but I soon realized how wrong I was.

With all of her pieces are hanging from the ceiling, her pieces don’t fill the room where you feel crowded and can’t walk around. Rather, her pieces fill the room because of all the shadows they cast. She has spaces between parts of the pieces, so that pieces of her work are really two instead of one. Depending on where you walk in the exhibitions, you get to look at the shadows they cast from many different angles; every step you take you can see a new piece of her art work. She leaves space between the works so they can breathe. With all that space in the room I think it allows for what Gilbert wants to convey, and that is: there is a “visual language.”

Less is more with her art. She talks about how she wants to “evoke wonder and contemplation.” With the spaces and shadows she plays with there is definitely room for wonder and contemplation. Going back to less is more, I feel that when you see an art piece weather it be a painting, a drawing or a ceramic piece. I feel that if there is too much going on that the viewer will never look at that piece of art in a way that may evoke an emotion in them. If there is too much going on you just write it off as an interesting piece. With the work of Diane Gilbert’s, when there is so much empty space I feel like it lets the wheels in your head start to turn and you begin to connect the dots from piece to piece with all that extra space she has laid out.

I began to wonder why use guitar strings. I mean why not use some yarn so you could add color to it.  Then I read what she was going for with using the guitar strings and thought: “Wow that is awesome”. She said that using the guitar strings is like having “frozen music”. By taking guitar strings from different artist she meets and incorporating them into her art it is like she has a frozen in time guitar marching band. I suggest when walking through her exhibit that you think of all the guitar players out there. Think of all the songs that are played on their guitars and let your imagination bring that exhibit to life.

By Samuel Childress   

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mesa Arts Center Receives Rukkus Accolade

Who is Rukkus? A colony of live music aficionados based in New York City with an insatiable appetite for concerts. Rukkus writers and photographers scour tons of diverse music scenes across the U.S. to find the best live acts in music today. They also check around for great places to enjoy that music.

From New York to San Francisco to Philadelphia to Minneapolis to Florida, Mesa Arts Center was recently spotlighted as #8 of The Best Places to See Live Music: The RukkusPicks. They stated, “Whether you’re into comedy or dramatic theater, jazz or classical music, Arizona’s Mesa Arts Center is guaranteed to have something for everyone.”

Mesa Arts Center is proud of its offerings and pleased to receive acknowledgement. Every season we provide a plethora of music and arts experiences to choose from and enjoy. Shakespeare, Sesame Street, Japanese Drums, National Geographic Live, Spoken World Poetry, Jazz and Classical music and many other performances cross our international award winning venue stages. Along with Rukkus, we invite you to join us.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Creative Aging: Arts for all of our lives

“This class was a delight. I'll remember how wonderful it felt to be free to trust my body to move,” said a 72 year old participant of her experience in the Mature Moving Me class at Mesa Arts Center.

To thwart stress and depression as we age, studies have shown that participation in arts activities can boost mood and support an overall sense of well-being. Now in its third year, Mesa Arts Center’s Creative Aging Program presents two unique workshops on storytelling and creative dance movement. Each of the workshops offers social and creative outlets to enhance self-esteem, morale, and overall health for adults over 55. Workshops are held at Mesa Arts Center now through the end of April, and they are free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

Rita Hawkins, an 83 year old participant, said of the program, “I feel so exuberant after I leave here.”

Workshops include Mature Moving Me, a collaborative dance class for seniors that is appropriate for all levels and all abilities as well as What’s Your Story, a 90-minute workshop that leads participants in transforming memories into recorded history or legend.

“I love seeing the light in their faces because it’s a very playful atmosphere — open and playful — and we just come alive,” says another pleased participant.

For the most current discussion on healthy aging and the arts, join Mesa Arts Center and The Arizona Commission on the Arts March 13, 2015 for Arizona Creative Aging Summit: Arts Across the Aging Spectrum. Creative Aging is a national movement aimed at fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. The summit will convene arts organizations, teaching artists and aging and healthcare service providers interested in the significant impact the arts can have on quality of life for older adults.

Friday, March 13, 2015 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum @ Mesa Arts Center
One East Main Street | Mesa AZ 85201

By: LaDawn Lingard