You don't have to be an art expert to enjoy art. But every now and then, it's nice to give the neurons a nice workout while learning a bit more about all things visual arts -- so we've assembled a list of ways you can learn more about everything from local artists and their work to becoming a successful arts entrepreneur.
Some are designed for artists, and some for art lovers. We've even found a little something for arts educators. Some happen as soon as the first week in February, so make friends with our round-up right away if you're up for a little boost in the arts I.Q. department. Check details before you go, since some of these events require registration and payment.
Object of the Month Phoenix Art Museum February 7 and 26 (and additional dates)
These lectures, which focus on specific art objects, are free for members or included with museum admission. This month's object is Taos Indian Women by Joseph Henry Sharp. Attend a whole bunch of these lectures and you'll be able to wow all those winter visitors with your expertise on the museum's collection. For more information, call 602-257-1880 or visit www.phxart.org.
While you're there, check out the Lemon Art Research Library, a non-circulating library with more than 40,000 books, periodicals, artist files, and more -- including files on local artists. The Library's collections include materials on art criticism and art history with emphasis in Asian, Latin American, Western American, European, Modern & Contemporary, and Fashion Design. Folks can use library resources free of charge during public hours.
Art Renaissance Lectures Shemer Art Center February 12 (and additional dates)
These lectures, presented by the Phoenix-based non-profit Art Renaissance Foundation, focus on well-known artists and their works. Next up is Gustav Klimt, who worked in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. February's presentation and slideshow is by Michael Sarda. While you're there, explore art exhibited inside the historic home's rooms transformed into galleries. For more information call 602-262-4727 or visit www.shemerartcenter.org.
Ceramic Studio Tour Locations vary February 21 and 22
A rare opportunity to explore the working and living spaces of more than 50 professional ceramic artists in metro Phoenix. The free self-guided tour presented by ASU Art Museum is a chance to meet local artists, see exhibits of functional and sculptural works, buy local art, and view artist demonstrations of wheel-throwing, hand-building, and glazing techniques. This year's 14 studio hosts include the ASU School of Art Graduate Ceramics Studio, where you can see the work of nine guest artists. For more information visit www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu/studiotour.
Arizona SciTech Festival February and March Locations vary
This year's crop of more than 800 Arizona SciTech Festival events includes several S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) offerings, including the chance to visit maker spaces and learn about 3D printing and other technologies with applications for the arts. For more information visit www.azscitech.com.
Artist Talk: Postcommodity Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art March 19
Transdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity -- comprised of Ravon Chacon, Cristóbal Martinez, Kade L. Twist, and Nathan Young -- discuss their two installations for SMoCA, which question common national narratives and the commodification of nature, history, and culture. For more information call 480-874-4666 or visit www.smoca.org.
For artists and/or arts professionals
Taking Your Work to the Next Level Arts Intersection February 5 to April 16
A seven-session seminar featuring focused critiques that help emerging artists and photographers in the creation of a cohesive body of work. Participants can work on practical projects such as bringing a specific project to completion, establishing a unique artistic voice, or preparing a portfolio for admission into a school or gallery. We figure it'd be cool to create a portfolio filled with jackalope art, but we're having a hard time finding jackalopes to pose for sittings. For more information call 480-361-1118 or visit www.artintersection.com.
Audiences Everywhere™ Phoenix Art Museum February 11
Arizona Commission on the Arts presents a workshop with Matt Lehrman of Audience Avenue. It's designed for non-profit arts organizations large and small, and features a "whole-organization approach to understanding your organization." Topics include shifting from a "push" to "pull" paradigm, recognizing audience personas, using social media to connect audiences with your organization's mission, and more. Lehrman founded the former Alliance for Audience & ShowUp.com, and served as CEO during a decade spent working to activate public engagement with a diverse array of Arizona arts and culture. For information call 602-771-6517 or visit www.azarts.gov.
PAVE Symposium on Entrepreneurship and the Arts ASU Memorial Union May 8 and 9
Hands-on workshops, speakers, pitch sessions, and research presentations on the theme of "Creativity and New Venture Creation in the Arts." Three presentation tracks focus on theory, practice, and pedagogy. Includes interactive creativity workshop led by Elizabeth Long-Lingo and keynote speeches by Ruby Lerner, CEO of Creative Capital, and Steven J. Tepper, Dean of the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. For more information, call 480-965-5337 or visit www.filmdancetheatre.asu.edu.
Also check out a nifty tool created by the PAVE Program in Arts Entrepreneurship: a USB drive that's loaded up with text, templates, downloadable resources, and helpful links for arts entrepreneurs. Topics covered include budgeting, financing your work, public relations and marketing, legal issues, and public art. Our fave, of course, is the press release template. Folks can purchase the Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit for $75, and all proceeds benefit the PAVE Arts Venture Incubator -- which has helped to launch more than 20 arts and culture enterprises in and beyond metro Phoenix.
Emerging Arts Leaders Arizona Multiple events and locations
This affiliate of the national Emerging Leaders Network of Americans for the Arts is a resource for early career arts and culture administrators eager to expand their professional network and improve job-related skills. Arts professionals gathers throughout the year for networking, field trips, and professional development. We last caught up with them at Sun Up Brewing Company and Brewhouse, where ideas and conversations imbued the space with some pretty incredible energy. For more information visit www.ealphx.org.
For arts educators
Arts Integration & Appetizers Phoenix Arts Museum February 4 (and additional dates)
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Free Wednesday evening professional development series for educators that explores ways to use art objects as primary source material across the curriculum. Participants receive free teaching resources, enjoy hands on activities, take gallery tours, and more. Upcoming topics include The Power of Observation (February 4), Everyone's a Critic: Developing and Defending an Informed Opinion (March 4), and Incorporating Contemporary Art into Your Classroom Curriculum (April 1). For more information call 602-257-1880 or visit www.phxart.org.
Also explore their day-long professional development workshops for educators. Next up is Thinking in Pictures: Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester and the Power of Observation on Saturday, February 21.