Artist Cheryl Brandon Commemorates Phoenix with an Inside Joke

Best of Phoenix hit newsstands Sept. 26. In conjunction with this year's Vintage Phoenix theme, New Times is collaborating with R. Pela Contemporary Art to present "Hot Plate!" It's an exhibition of one-of-a-kind, Phoenix-inspired commemorative plates made by local artists. Leading up to the show's Oct. 4 opening, we're profiling each of the contributing artists and visiting their studios. Today: Cheryl Brandon.

Artist Cheryl Brandon moved from Kansas City to Phoenix in 1996 to escape the cold and the rain. She enjoys living in Arizona, but says she misses the large and mature art scene of Kansas City.

Brandon is a figurative ceramicist who is inspired by clay. The desert's animals and lush plants inspire some of her works, but people also play a role. She says that people, like clay, are shaped by experience.

See also: Hot Plate! Best of Phoenix Commemorative Collaboration Opens Oct. 4 at R. Pela Gallery

The ceramicist can often be found working on her sculptures in her home studio in North Scottsdale.

What's your earliest memory of Phoenix? 1996 is the first time I saw Phoenix, when I moved here from Kansas City, I remember the Mountains, and thought it was odd to see mountains without vegetation. The plants were odd too, like I was on another planet.

What inspired your plate for this show? A nursery rhyme,"Hey Diddle Diddle" from childhood, understood the show is about Phoenix, but the object is a dish, or plate. Thus the "Dish ran away with the spoon". But in the center of the dish (plate) is the commemorative part... The Judgmental Map, and is something that only a person who actually lives in Phoenix would get and understand. Like an inside joke....

Phoenix needs more... I would love to hear less about the starving artist and struggling arts scene in Phoenix and more about the extremely talented and diverse group of Artists that are here and thriving. Also, I would like to see more support for the Arts in Phoenix by all.

Phoenix needs less... I would love to hear less about the starving artist and struggling arts scene in Phoenix.

What's on your plate this fall? My fall plate will be filled with frantic production of figurative works for the upcoming Peak Season with shows at the Herberger, Vision Gallery, Arizona Artists Guild, and an exciting first for me is that my new work "Wanna Play?" will be published in the Feb 2014 issue of Lark Books; "500 figures in Clay".

See Brandon's work when "Hot Plate!" opens October 4 at R. Pela Contemporary Art.

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