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Kathleen Vanesian's Phoenix Art Manifesto

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In early 2012, we began inviting creative types around town to write a manifesto -- a personal list of 10 hard-and-fast rules of life or pieces of advice. Each manifesto was paired with a local designer who illustrated one lesson/rule in poster form.

We loved the Manifesto series so much that we decided to invite some of our favorite New Times writers to contribute their lists of rules for making your way through the food, art, shopping, and music scenes in Phoenix for this year's Resolution Guide.

Kathleen Vanesian's Phoenix Art Manifesto (illustrated above by Phoenix designer Joshua Rhodes, aka Subtle Takeover) is in this week's print edition of New Times, along with words of wisdom and designs by a collection of Phoenicians. See Vanesian's advice after the jump and details on Jackalope Ranch's Manifesto exhibition, on view this Friday in downtown Phoenix.

See also: - Manifestos: Jackalope Ranch's Poster Show of Life Lessons and Rules by Phoenix Creatives - Phoenix Photographer Andrew Pielage to Open the Drive-Thru Gallery on Roosevelt Row

• Art is where you find it, so there is no shame in rooting through trash cans, dumpsters, Goodwill, or your mom's garage to find it.

• If you are looking for art galleries that are actually open on a regular, real world schedule in downtown Phoenix, good luck.

• Never confuse an artist with his or her artwork. They are two completely different animals that usually have very little to do with one another.

• Just because something is hanging in the Phoenix Art Museum doesn't automatically make it fine art.

• There is no constitutional right -- state, federal or otherwise -- to earn a living by making art just because you have a degree in it from Arizona State University.

• Be open to new art materials when looking at contemporary art. Elephant dung, dissected dead cows, and fingernail clippings can be compelling.

• There is no rule that art has to be beautiful, representational, understandable, or life-changing, but it does need to provoke some sort of reaction from the viewer.

• Frank Lloyd Wright is not a deity to be worshipped.

• Embrace that which might repel you, aesthetically speaking, just for a moment. You might find something of interest in your negative reaction.

• If you must collect art, keep your eyes peeled for up-and-coming artists whose prices do not involve selling your firstborn. To that end, haunt downtown Phoenix galleries on a regular basis.

-- Kathleen Vanesian

Stop by Downtown's Drive-Thru Gallery to see the original collection of Manifestos published on Jackalope Ranch. Authors include Deborah Sussman, Tom Leveen, Kim Porter, Jill Anderson, Jo Novelli, Clint Bolick, Vermon Pierre, and James Garcia whose life lessons have been illustrated by Anton Anger, Jon Ashcroft, Peter Storch, John Walters, Safwat Saleem, Nina Miller, Nicole Stumphauzer, and Casebeer Jones.

The exhibition will be open on January 18 (Third Friday) from 6 to 9 p.m. at Drive-Thru Gallery, 918 North Sixth Street on Roosevelt Row. We'll have drinks and snacks (even a s'more stand) and share live music with neighboring gallery 1Spot for its grand opening with art by Damian Jim.

Stay tuned to Jackalope Ranch for more info.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.