a city, modified: 20 years of modified arts

A City, Modified, is a cross between historical exhibition and invitational. The show surveys Modified Arts’ origin in 1999 to the present day and explores the galleries’ history as a music venue and arts space in downtown Phoenix through photographs and historical memorabilia. It is also an invitation to a selection of artists that have had an impact on the space and the arts community in Phoenix over the last two decades.

Participating Artists Include:
Annie Lopez
Brent Bond
Christine Cassano
David Dauncey
Daniel Funkhouser
James Angel
Jerry Jacobson
Douglas Miles
John Randall Nelson
Laura Spalding Best
Malena Barnhart
Monica Aissa Martinez
Rembrandt Quiballo
Sergio Aguirre

Who: Modified Arts
What: A City, Modified
When: November 15 – December 14th
Opening Reception: Third Friday, November 15th, 2019 6pm-9pm
Closing Reception: First Friday, December 6th, 2019 6pm-9pm
Where: Downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row

407 E Roosevelt, Phoenix AZ 85004
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 9a-5p, Saturday 12-4p
or by appointment at info@modifiedarts.org
more → www.modifiedarts.org
Facebook invite

Congratulation Modified!

Here are 2 of my memories (in photo)…

2010 / Converging Trajectories, Crossing Borders to Build Bridges

2011 / What Goes On and What Takes Place


anatomical drawing workshop with med students

I teach an anatomy drawing workshop at the college of Medicine on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Participants come from several programs (including a couple of faculty) though the majority are Northern Arizona University (NAU) students in Occupational Therapy (OT).

They introduce themselves and I enjoy hearing why they signed up to come to the drawing workshop.

One young woman tells us she saw a kidney and thought it beautiful and wants to learn to draw it. I understand completely. Another speaks about the piriformis muscle – she explains, it’s from the Latin and means pear (shaped). She wants to see and know this. I don’t know piriformis means pear-shaped, I want to see this too! Someone else explains she would like to learn to draw the human body when needing to explain something – instead of the usual stick figure. I smile and note if I had a patient and needed to be efficient – that stick figure would come in handy.

I move around the room and learn every participant has a personal reason for being here, including an appreciation of anatomy. Someone tells me she likes my artwork and thinks this could be fun. Thank you. Yes, it will be! I tell her.

I want to say a lot of things to them. I want to talk about science and art and their connection, and I want to talk about Leonardo (I never do!). We have 3 hours together – they’ll start something today but will probably finish up on their own.

They arrive ready with organ (subject-matter) references. And medical models are available. We talk about a contour study and I quickly explain the value of working organically. While Cindi (Director of Art in Medicine) provides a variety of papers (surfaces) and materials – the majority of the group chooses to work on black paper (I’m excited to see the black paper – I know what color does on it). A couple of the participants pick out beautiful rice papers and after some conversation – they work in parts and layers – bringing a more sculptural sensibility to their work.

Here are some captured moments of the afternoon. Note everyone begins with a careful contour study and then loosens up (with some prodding) to bring in color and texture. The nervousness steps aside and the afternoon brings a little science and a little art together. Ahhh…creativity!

On a side note: I particularly enjoy the overall conversation. It’s an unusual experience being around medical (health and wellness) people. They’re familiar and comfortable with the body in a way that the average person is not.

The afternoon is coming to an end and  I hear comments like … Oh! I love your kidney! Oh…look at your brain!! 

I learn some new things. I don’t take notes but I probably could (should) have.
Thanks everyone. And a special thanks to Cindi and Rebecca.

My drawings and paintings are on display right now at UA College of Medicine in downtown Phoenix until March of 2018. You can see the exhibit M-F, 9 to 5.
An Artist Reception is in the planning for February 2, 2018 – First Friday, 6-8 pm.

install / cella


Invited to show my work with Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art, it’s the alternative art space that pulls at my attention. I want the challenge.  I spend yesterday installing drawings in the repurposed shipping container.  The long, narrow area has forced me to think and work differently. I realize quickly my original plan is not going to work.

A few curious passerby’s wander in. One woman, from Canada, tells me she’s read about Roosevelt Row and when planning her visit to Phoenix, puts it on her list of places to see.  I ask if they can walk though the space so I can see how they move in it. They are more than excited to comply. They do what I am hoping they will do, plan B works. Are you in Science, she asks. That’s the perfect question. I also meet a group of college students from Boston. They come close to ask questions and take photos.

I title the show Cella and after being in there all day, the name is right. It most definitely is like a small chamber, it is  in fact a rectangular room, simple and windowless, with an open entrance set to the front. Lets see how it will do with a crowd of visitors…I can only guess.

I walk away thinking the room appears like a sterile environment, suitable for anatomy study.


Handout and artist statement:

Layout 1

Exhibition runs:
March 18, 2016, Third Friday, 6 – 10
April 1, 2016, First Friday, 6 – 10
Art Detour, March 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday
Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix (between eye lounge and Modified in downtown Phoenix)

today in the new york times


Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

PHOENIX — Two men stepped out of a rental car here recently and walked up to a modest ranch-style house with a cat and a grapefruit tree in the yard, worried that the homeowner might mistake them for missionaries or salesmen.

They were neither. They were representatives of one of the world’s wealthiest art patrons, Alice Walton, the Walmart heiress and founder of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. And they had come all the way from there to the door of Monica Aissa Martinez …

Click here for full article

sex: a woman’s perspective

This summer I received an invitation from Beatrice Moore:

I am organizing an exhibit of all woman artists for September at Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery, in the Bragg’s Pie Factory building and I wanted to invite you to participate.

“Sex: A Woman’s Perspective” is intended to be interpreted in any way the artist likes. I’ve intentionally left off any descriptors so as not to influence the interpretation someone decides to make. This exhibit is one of several that will emphasize the work of Valley women artists. 

I didn’t wait too long to reply, especially after going through the list of invited artists – most of whom have been actively working in various mediums in the Phoenix and Valley art scene for many years.

Beatrice notes: the exhibit is comprised of women artists who I feel can interestingly, and provocatively, engage the public in a spoken, visual, and tactile dialogue about the many meanings and various interpretations of ‘sex’.

Artists include: Babs A’Delic, Melinda Bergman, Sue Chenoweth, Susan Copeland, Mona Higuchi, Dena Johnson, Carolyn Lavender, Annie Lopez, Carrie Marill, Monica Aissa Martinez, Lara Plecas, Christy Puetz, Irma Sanchez, Heather Smith-Gearns, Karolina Sussland, Jen Urso, Yuko Yabuki, and Denise Yaghmourian; with a special body painting project by Gingher Leyendecker.

Below are a few examples of works – you only see a part of the art or ‘in progress’ shot. You’ll want to  go see the show in person – for the complete experience.
(Some photos offer artist website link.)

detail 1

Carrie Marill
Quiet Conditions  – detail
gouache on paper

flesh image4ad

Irma Sanchez
Flesh – detail      
2′ x 2′ 
#4 of Sugar Panel Series.
Royal Cream Icing, (artists own recipe) applied to untreated wood, gel food color additive, gouche and silver aerosol.
– Experimental


Christy Puetz
Karla – detail
glass beads, cloth, mixed media


Karolina Sussland
Digital Print – in process

Lopez Area of Concern

Annie Lopez
Area of Concern – detail
dress made of cyanotype prints on tamale wrapper paper


Yuko Yabuki
Oracle – in progress
acrylic on wood


Sue Chenoweth
The Ghosts of Christmas Past – detail
acrylic, wood and mylar on panel
24 x 18″


Denise Yaghmourian
I Love My Bicycle Face – detail


Denise Yaghmourian
Succulent – detail
Mixed Media


Yuko Yabuki
Oracle – in progress
acrylic on wood


Monica Aissa Martinez
I don’t think it needs a title – detail
Casein on Canvas
18″ x 35″

WHO: Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery
WHAT: Sex: A Woman’s Perspective – Curated by Beatrice Moore
WHERE: Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery
in Bragg’s Pie Factory,
1301 Grand, Phoenix, AZ
WHEN: September 6 at 6:00pm until September 21 at 4:00pm
Opening Reception: 6-10pm, September 6, 2013
Closing Reception: 6-10pm, September 20, 2013
Special → Artlink Collectors Tour, September 21, 1-4

The exhibit will also be open Saturday September 21st from 1-4pm.
and by appt. : contact Beatrice Moore at 602.391.4016 or email her for more info.

Click here to → rsvp on Facebook

about the space:
The Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery is a relatively new space on Grand Avenue in the historic Bragg’s Pie Factory building. The goal of the space is to showcase both established and lesser known artists, and create a place where fine art and community endeavors co-exist, and at times, overlap. The space is intended to be utilized as a community space as much as a gallery, and provides a venue where non-commercial work is encouraged and embraced. Film, performance, music, exhibits, historical explorations, science, and a host of other topics and various mediums are encouraged as part of an eclectic mix and a variety of approaches.

when one thing becomes something else


I’m writing this post with appreciation and thanks for the friends who support my work. And I’m writing this post with a practical way to move designs out into new space. An artwork made for a particular event brings different sort of experience.


Homage to The Cat – Issa cup of Tea was originally painted for this years Mesa Arts Center fund-raiser. I barely lived with her, as I had to make and deliver within a very short time. I didn’t even sign the small work until I was at the center and saw I’d forgotten.
She’s in California now. I have a standing invitation to visit anytime.


Jackalope – In the View Finder is a work on paper for who else but Jackalope Ranch our own Phoenix Culture blog. It commemorates their birthday. They made a sticker that showed up … well … across Phoenix, and … America. I liked receiving photos of where the sticker – stuck.


Last month MADE art boutique invited me to take part in an Artist-Made Coasters show. I turned these 2 designs into a set of 6 coasters. Why not.

I received direct orders via Facebook, from out-of-town friends. Very cool. And I’ve replenished the art boutique, they sold the initial sets. It will be a limited series, I’ve placed 3 orders, I may do two more. It has been fun moving the designs further. And connecting. How supported am I. It’s a statement not a question.


Today I am informed, postcards are in. The cat design, with the help of Facebook again – is now a postcard. Far may she travel.

HomageToTheCatblog I’ve had lots on my plate this year, but these little side projects have been nice breaks. And one thing has led to another. I’ve learned new things about material, finishes, quality, costs and pricing. I’m continuing with the serious art making, that won’t stop – but I think now and again I’ll work these little practical art works in to my schedule. I have 3 more cats that I used to know in mind for 3 future paintings, maybe a snail,  and possibly a bird.

The postcard came about through a Phoenix Postcard Competition (yes…MADE sponsored). I was given 200. The rest are at MADE art boutique waiting to be purchased and mailed out. All proceeds go to them. And you’ll also continue to find my coasters there.
Thanks Christy. Thanks Cindy.

hot phoenix day = in studio painting

It’s hot in Phoenix. And if that heat’s not enough – I headed to Hot Yoga – early this morning.

I spent the rest of the day very focused, in the studio. I have started a male torso. I reworked areas I thought I’d completed yesterday. I wonder if you can see the changes?

I know I’ve mentioned a 3 person winter exhibit at Mesa Contemporary Arts. Carolyn, Mary and me have launched a blog for the show.  We got the title organized and things are moving smoothly as planned.

Mary was in my studio yesterday.  She’s planning to write about my work.  I’ll be in Carolyn’s studio next week. You can read about our working together at → Formal and Informal.

I already posted a few detail shots from this new work. Go … visit if you’re inclined.

an inside look: phoenix artists…and so much more.

Artist / Designer / Photographer…and those are only three of the hats Anthony Zeh wears these days – man, the guy’s busy!

You may recall I wrote about Tony in February when he invited me to take part in his 100 Artists Portraits project. Last month he showed some of the photographs in the series (at Bokeh). He’ll show 25 more this coming First Friday, in the Onley Gallery, at Trinity Cathedral.

The project aims to educate and celebrate both the history and diversity of our arts community.  I particularly appreciate the mix Tony is capturing with that camera of his. The photographs depict artist at work, in studio – set next to a compositional slice of their materials. Here are a few photos to remind you of the series and share more of my favorites.

Timothy Chapman – Painter

Annie Lopez – photographic media artist

Colin Chilag – Painter

Jenny Odom Ignaszewski – Painter

You can see all the photos to date, and new ones as they go up, at his website.

Oh…and look at the other project that was birthed along the way. It’s titled Solo and it’s simple… great fun, great composition.

Solo Portraits

Tony photographed visitors to his Bokeh opening. He refers to the set as 100 portraits of people wondering through the art community. The head shots are full of variety: both introverted and extroverted expressions are to be found.

Are you enjoying the work Tony?
I enjoy the work immensely. It’s a great adventure getting to see how the  artists work and to see what their studios look like. I love connecting with new people and talking to them. This project has opened me up to that.

His excitement is clear, he continues…
In conjunction with the opening of the exhibits, I’m also shooting portraits of the people who come to the show. They are simple head shots, in the black and white style I have developed. This really lets me connect with the whole community!

More of these images can be seen at Artsaz.com.

I ask him if the main project changed in any way since he began it last August?
The project has pretty much stayed the course as the style has not changed. The speed at which I am photographing has unfortunately slowed down.  He explains it all takes time and it all costs money. He drives around the entire county to visit studios and photograph artists.  He’s working on raising funds.

I had a September goal for completion, but I don’t think that will happen. But what will happen is A Portrait of 100 Arizona Artists will be completed within the Arizona Centennial, with help and support from the community.

Tony sent me the pdf of the invitation (below).  I was certainly not expecting this pleasant surprise.

Anthony Zeh is documenting artists who work in various forms, with various content, and of various generations, who have participated in the shaping and encouragement of the artistic culture in metropolitan Phoenix, in the last 20 years. That’s an ambitious project and it’s pretty great.

I’m jazzed to be a part of the grouping.

WHO:    Olney Gallery presents                  
               Anthony Zeh 
WHAT:  Anthony Zeh Photographs
               An Inside Look: Phoenix Artists
WHERE: Olney Gallery
                100 West Roosevelt
                 Phoenix, AZ 85003
WHEN:    June 1st – August 19th, 2012
WHAT ELSE: *Tony will be shooting visitor
portraits from 7-9,  opening night only. 

Olney Gallery is located inside Trinity Cathedral, right in front of a great labyrinth.
After (or before) you see the exhibit,  walk the labyrinth.

So…what all is Anthony Zeh doing to get his project out, and raise funds…
here let me outline a few things as best I can…

his web site → A Portrait of 100 Arizona Artists
All prints of artists are available for purchase.


again…He’ll be shooting portraits at the gallery (all ages welcome) – opening night only.
He will offer 11×14 limited edition, signed Art Prints for $100.
Tony’s Smug mug account offers less expensive pictures.
No charge to have your photo taken, but you must sign a release.

Look at the community portraits, on his web site → Solo

And there’s a book! It’s for sale…click on the photo below.


He’s YouTubing too…didn’t I tell you…the guy is busy!

Email Tony for more info.

A Portrait of 100 Arizona Artists received a Ted Decker Catalyst grant.

a map of phoenix

Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context — a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”Eliel Saarinen

We are all cells in the same body of humanity.  Peace Pilgrim 

I’m enjoying this project so much, I’ll be doing a series of maps one day. My Phoenix map is not yet complete but it’s getting there. Then I’ll have to figure out the hanging system….frame…foamboard…laminate…string…

You Are Here, A Collection of Maps of Phoenix will be on view at Regular Gallery with an opening on Friday, October 21.

Hosted by Jackalope Ranch and Regular Gallery.

a legend

Making a map, reconstructing a map, playing with the idea of a map…this is what I’m doing. A city, a living organism, the bigger picture…this is what I’m thinking. Liking all the crazy detail coming forward. It’s new work for an upcoming exhibition at downtown’s Regular GalleryPhoenix New Times Amy Silverman and Claire Lawton invited me, and 9 other artists, to create a Map of Phoenix. This weekend I’m setting up the map’s Legend. It’s occurs to me very late last night, I probably should have done this first.

Legend, I’ve learned, comes from the Latin, legenda, “things to be read.” Maps inform by using symbols.  A map’s legend tells you what the symbols mean.  In the case of my map there are the usual practical map symbols…city street, interstate, park…and then on top of that is alteration and abstraction, implying something else. I not only want to layout Phoenix, I want to point to a larger idea.  If I set the legend up right, there will be no need for an artist statement. It will not only lay out what I’ve done, but why.

This posting is visual help to me, really…as this is work in progress. I think I don’t need text in the legend, but my husband says I do…

City of Phoenix (a living organism)

A Cell (a living organism)

Above, the start of the Legend

Cell Membrane – City Wall
Golgi Apparatus – Post Office
Lysosomes – Waste Disposal and Recycling

Mitochondria – Energy Plant
Nucleolus – Mayor
Nucleus – City Hall

Nuclear Membrane – City Hall fence and security
Ribosomes on Endoplasmic Reticulum – Highways and Roads

Cytoplasm –  Lawns and Parks


Bigger picture.

Organ (kidney) – State

United States – Body System (digestive system)

Planet – I am Here  You Are Here

To be continued…

an august convergence

Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges is an invitational group exhibition.
Of the 42 artists in this exhibit, 21 of them are based in Brazil, from the cities of Niteroi/RJ, Pernambuco, Rio De Janeiro/RJ, Sao Paulo/SP, Maraba/Para, Porte Alegre/Rio Grande do Sul. Arizona artists come out of Phoenix, Douglas, Tempe, and Scottsdale. Mexico City/DF, Mexico and Buenos Aires, Argentina artists are present. As others coming from US cities including Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, and San Francisco.

One very ambitious grouping, curator Ted G. Decker brought forth upon this continent, and into our very own arts community.

At a time when Arizona is being subjected to SB1070 bad press and boycotts, it feels good to be a part of something inclusive, inviting, and by all accounts diverse and creative. And it’s taking place right in the heart of downtown Phoenix, at Modified Arts.

Justin P. Germain writes The show brings together diverse examples of contemporary art without a predisposed thematic element-seemingly the only link between the artists is the curator.  But the exhibition is not only a tool to organize and build interest in contemporary art. It serves as a framework to construct a community in which the cultures of the curator, the artists, and the viewers are brought together to re-code assumptions about group identity.  The artists are forever connected through the exhibition.  The viewer engages with the art and therefore with the artists.  Thoughts and ideas create a dialogue. Influences are made.  Connections become clear. The experience of the exhibition unifies and defines the constructed community.

The dialogue Germain refers to, is palpable. The whole experience is a professional and generous act on Ted’s part.

There’s a large variety of work: traditional/non-traditional, old media/new media, comfortable/uncomfortable, direct/indirect,  thoughtful/lively, quiet and easy.  There are  younger emerging artists, more mature artists and those in between.

I find Gustavo Artigas’ (Mexico City,DF, Mexico) Serigraphs appealing. The five on display, are part of a series titled Risk Paint Series. Images give the name of a pigment along with its health risk. As an artist who uses dry pigment regularly, I find the work not only visually striking but directly informative. Pigment, a health hazard, my health hazard. I speak with Gustavo about the series and also his other work, a video titled  Avalanche.
What does the video depict?  Opinions vary within the group. Go see it, you decide.

Gustavo Artigas (Mexico City, DF, Mexico) Cobalt Blue (from Risk Paint series)2009 Serigraph, #5 / Ed. 70 22" x 35.5"

Gustavo Artigas (Mexico City, DF, Mexico) Lithol Red (from Risk Paint series), 2009 Serigraph, #5 / Ed. 70 22' x 35.5"

Phoenician, Christ Puetz has an installation of richly colored, wonderfully textured, yet apparently sickly birds. In the beaded soft sculpture installation she calls Accidental Host, Christy refers to the cells of breast cancer, Bubonic Plague and other such diseases. Beautifully informative. Her and I discuss bacteria and the over load of fear concerning it, especially in American culture. I was going to write in our current American culture, but this isn’t new. We have quicker and easily repeated ways of distributing information and news these days. Is it growing worse, this fear?

Christy Puetz (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) Accidental Hosts, 2009 - 2010

Jen Urso, also from Phoenix, includes a large drawing previously exhibited in earlier stage. It’s been added to quite a bit, at this point. She truly, as Paul Klee would suggest, takes the line for a walk. I spent a good amount of time standing in front of the large, paper and fine marker work. Words like cellular and neural networks come to mind. But that’s not what’s behind the work for her, that’s only my interpretation.  She began drawing in January, and will continue until it’s complete. Slow, because it’s so intricate and large. Steady, because she documents the work and her days.

Leo Ayres, Rio de Jineiro, Brazil

Numerous artist use the body as subject matter. Brazilian Leo Ayres, pictured above, dropping in via SKYPE (on Saturday), alongside  his work, also plays with the idea of sexuality. A seeming delicate doily, maybe one your grandma might have on her traditional wooden end table,  turns out to be a paper cutout of what appears to be figures in various sexual positions.

Chico Fernandez also uses the body, his body, in both photograph and video. He and I discuss the comfort/discomfort people have with their bodies, and with sexuality in general, in his country of Brazil and in the US. The dialogue’s a good one.

Veronica Villanueva, currently from Scottsdale, though originally from Mexico, shows a multi-block reduction woodcut.  Hearts, hands, figures, Mayan symbols and forms fill the picture plane. A rich, deep color, texture and strong design are present. I ask her about process. She talks about the difficulty of printing this particular image, and tells of the press and its instability. Still, she pulled a great print. Printing is never as simple as it appears.


Verónica Villanueva (Scottsdale, Arizona, USA) Life of Dreams, 2005 27.5 x 19.5"

There’s clay, plastic, video, photography, works on paper, on canvas, prints, installations: large and small, gouache, graphite, pen and ink, yarn, hair… Did I mention the hair?

This small work becomes more intimate when I realize what the grid is made of. It’s one of those things you must see in person to appreciate. Go. See it.

And while you’re there note the magical photographs of Jo Jankovsky and Robert Martinez, the nostalgic portrait (and spinning toy top) by Rafael Navarro, the rich and mesmerizing painting of Mary Porterfield, the colorful linear works of Sharon Dowell, and the striking leather image by Marco Turrubiartes.
And yes, take a look at my painting (photo in the previous post) too.

There’s still so much more I can say.

I hope you get a sense that the grouping is broad, exciting, intelligent and full. Again I’ll say,  there’s new media, old media, emerging artists, mature artists. Easy and uneasy, bright and subtle, playful and disturbing, quiet and loud, it’s all present, thanks to curator Ted G. Decker and Modified Arts.

The show has been extended though Oct. 9th. You’ll have numerous weekends, and a couple of first Fridays to attend.  Make time to drop into the gallery. The exhibit is provocative.

What: Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders to Build Bridges (curated by Ted G. Decker)

Who: 41 artist from Brazil, Arizona, Buenos Aires, Charlotte, Chicago, Mexico City, New York and San Fransisco

Where: Modified Arts
407 East Roosevelt
Phoenix, AZ 85004-1918

When: Opened August 20th.
Will run from August 20th thru October 9, 2010
Gallery Hours: Friday evening & Saturday 1-5pm,
First Friday 6-9pm, and by appointment

For more info visit Modified Arts. Org
Or visit Ted Decker.Com

art detour

I’m off the beaten path, from my usual downtown art viewing route. Facebook invitations and wall posts direct my steps this particular Art Detour afternoon.

First stop, Another Gallery. Not downtown, but on the way…from my home, at least. Open, well-lit, cozy.
Situated on 3rd street, south of Indian School. Owner Larry Forsythe, greets us and tells us about the artists he exhibits, and their work. A variety of media fills his gallery: painting, sculpture, and there’s prints…linocuts, monotypes…etc.
Wendy Willis’s very fun…blue, blue water, people in swim suits, turtles…prints. Mark McDowell’s paintings and prints. Gregory West, very realistic looking paintings…and prints.

We’re invited to the back room where  a ceramic wheel, shelving and two electric kilns sit.  Larry dabbles in clay.  I like the space, and I like the ‘behind the scenes’ studio peek.

We head out, southeast, 16th Street, North of McDowell. A row of apartment complexes, now called, City Wide Studios, artist studios.  For Art Detour, each apartment is an exhibition space. 3D artwork in the first spot…3D glasses hang from the center of the room for ones use. Put a pair on, and the images on the wall extend out or recede into the walls. Amusing. I talk to the group: Peter Christenson, Matt Garcia, Teresa Miro, and Matthew Mosher, all art students from ASU.

The next area is filled with LCD monitors and a sound system.  I run into artist and ASU faculty, John Haddock.  These are his students. He fills me in on the various performance works taking place on this weekend. (John has work at Modified, btw…we talk about this too).

A few spaces down I meet Adriene Jenik, Professor and Director of the School of Art, at ASU. She appears to be dressed in mourning (or as death itself). She’s marking the walls. Each mark represents an (documented and verified) Iraqi death since the war began, 8 years ago. Her artist statement is at the entrance.  She’ll  hold vigil, and mark, for the 3 days. (Click here for her resource)
Looking around the room, I note the bottom area is marked about 12 inches from the ground up. Passing of time, passing of life. Death. Quiet. Somber realization.

One space uses a computer and web cam to pick up movement. Robert Madera projects the colorful image (of the viewer. me, at the moment…I realize) onto a corner area. A moving and changing canvas. Frequency is generated and produces sound, as I move within the space. Interactive. Entertaining.

Each area offers information, in a different way. Technology is prevalent.

Next…southwest to Grand Avenue.

I enter a few galleries, one in particular gets my attention.  I note a rather large sculpture, a black Snoopy dressed as a Native American. Recognize the wit. Hector Ruiz. And his large (woodcut) black and white prints are on the wall alongside Fausto Fernandez’s large, colorful paintings. I know the work from our Local’s Only exhibition, at the Phoenix Art Museum. I talk with Hector. He invites me to go back into his studio/work area.  It’s a long, narrow, energizing area of materials and ideas, complete and incomplete, raw and in process.
He carves wood and stone, draws, paints, prints…scribbles, writes…starts, stops… Even though I am an artist and I have a studio, I never take this sort of opportunity for granted. An artists studio is sacred space.

I decide on one more area before I call it a day. West of Grand. A long, dry street leads me to WestWind Studios. Bob Booker, Executive Director of the Az. Commission on the Arts, sits outside his studio.  He’s closed it for the afternoon, but he opens it back up. Another bit of sacred space. I find that I  connect so much more when I can see work area, process.  I am curious about his materials, everything from sweet colorful  tissue paper to black tar.

I enter a few more artist studios in the complex, and finally I walk into the last one. Pleased to see Dominic Miller sitting in a large, open room with light streaming in through the windows. Cacti and succulents fill areas. We talk about his work at Modified, and we talk about things in his studio. He has a large, gridded sheet of paper taped up on the wall.  What is this? I ask. I don’t know, he chuckles. He does know, the idea is getting formulated. I spend a bit more time there and then I head out.

Thanks to Larry, John, and his grad students, and all the artists whose work was out for the Art Detour experience.  And thanks to Hector, Bob, and Dominic for a more personal studio visit…appreciate it.

familiar artists+familiar spaces+new work=new experience

Raining in Phoenix today. Usually I want to stay in studio and work, when it’s like this. Instead, I opt to go out, and visit a couple of art spaces downtown.

Modified, new exhibit up now…so worth the trip…rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

Jon Haddock’s Vintage Mouse Porn is at the entrance. As a grouping they are strong. Archival Ink Jet prints, no color…only value. There is a disturbing neutrality about them. I giggle with some more than others.  Am I nervous? Accepting? What is it that I am looking at? John is clever, intelligent. Technically skilled.  There’s something going on here. The images are representative of existing photographs.

Dominic Miller, mixed media work, across the entrance wall.  Black inked paper with tiny holes punctured through it. The texture creates line work. Meditative.  Rhythmic. Interesting, the juxtaposing of these two artists work in the same area.  I look, back and forth.

Sue Chenoweth. Prints. The inked, copper plates are on the wall. Printed on white paper, with black ink, and touches of color, in one viewing. Black paper with white ink in another. Process. She’s not a printmaker…really? Would’ve fooled me. Energetic and narrative, titles and images catch my attention.

Karolina Sussland, two large paintings.  Different from what I know of her work. Landscapes. Iridescent. White. Striking. Stark. Luminescent. Quiet. Graphic?

Randy Slack. Not subtle. Very graphic. Large. Bright (especially compared to everything else). Pin up girls. Not sure what to make of the work in general. But there are some specific things that tell me something more is going on.

Jen Urso…drawing. A large sheet of paper hangs, and she will be drawing, day by day…is my understanding.  Photographs capture progress, both hers and the works. There is something stirring about a huge, beautiful sheet of clean, white paper, with methodical line drawing taking up one tiny corner.

I talk a bit with Adam and then I am off.

great space

On to MonOrchid. I am in love with the space. It’s a mix of old and the new; cement, metal, wood, high ceilings, spiral staircase, loft, curved wall, metal lined door. Light streams in one end.  Artwork lines opposite area. Visually…exciting.

I do take note of the artists: Lara Kupcikevicius and Christina Ramirez.  The Ted Decker Catalyst Fund supports the exhibit. I want to photograph the works.  But I refrain.  It’s wonderful. Organic. Quite. Playful?  Yes, a little bit.  Color, texture, design, and technique…it’s all imaginative. Linear.

Bokeh Gallery. Fun. Delightful?  Yes. New York’s Bob Carey, photographs are on view. A guy in a pink tutu…always delightful.

Before I leave, I go back and take a couple of shots of building areas. I introduce myself to Wayne Rainey, the owner.  He steps outside for a bit and I compliment the space he’s created.  It’s really exciting…did I say that already?

Art spaces and artists developing, growing and changing. I’ve been down there allot lately, but today I wondered, for a brief moment, if it had been a while since I’d visited cause…it was all looking so different. It’s new…but not new. It’s a new month, new work. New experience. It’s pleasing the eye, but it’s also stimulating the mind.

then and now


Wishes to Remain Anonymous, 2009 Encaustic and mixed media on panel

Artist Kate Timmerman  is having a solo exhibition, opening the 3rd Friday in November, at Modified Arts. Kate is a mixed media artist who works with materials like wax, pigment, wood, plaster, lead and steel.
The exhibit titled “Then and Now,” will consist of works that date back to 1998 and into the present, included are 12 new works. Kate says of her progression “I noticed themes that were re-emerging over the last decade and I hope this grouping shows the audience how artists revisit themes in new ways and how we also keep investigating themes as we grow and learn.”

This exhibition will look at themes of creatures, desert botanicals and text abstractions.  You’ll see realistic portrayals of bonobo chimpanzees in oil and encaustic, and more abstracted creatures richly constructed with layers of pigmented wax, influenced by outsider art. Timmerman includes botanical works that are distorted and sculptural.
Kate’s references range from personal issues of identity to broader political and social topics.

Who:                 Kate D. Timmerman

What:                Then and Now, A Solo Exhibition

Where:              Modified Arts
                          407 E Roosevelt

When:               Opening Reception Friday, November 20th, from 6-9 p.m.
                          Artist Reception December 4, First Friday.
                          The show will hang thru December 12th
                          *The gallery will also be open Nov 21, Dec 5 and Dec.12th, 1-5 pm.

In addition, visitors will  also have the opportunity to enter a lottery to win one of Timmerman’s paintings with a donation of pet food for the benefit of Poverty’s Pets. Poverty’s Pets is a downtown Phoenix group that rescues, neuters and places animals. Kate will be accepting pet food donations throughout the run of the exhibit. The drawing will be held on the last day of the show, Dec. 12th.

For more about Kate’s work visit  kdtimmerman.com.