Palabras Bookstore Has a New Location, Plus More Phoenix Art News

West Valley Arts CEO Sandra Bassett.
West Valley Arts CEO Sandra Bassett. West Valley Arts

Here's a look at some recent metro Phoenix arts and culture news, from an upcoming unity-themed art walk to new public art.

Black Leaders Honored

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women recently honored Sandra Bassett, CEO and president for West Valley Arts in Surprise, with its 2020 Economic Empowerment Legend Award. The nonprofit focuses on gender equity in health, education, and economic empowerment. The local chapter recognized several cultural leaders, including Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, vice president for cultural affairs at ASU and executive director for ASU Gammage.

Scene from Arizona Opera's 2014 production of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna. - TIM TRUMBLE
Scene from Arizona Opera's 2014 production of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna.
Tim Trumble

Opera Diversity Series

Arizona Opera will launch a new video series called LOUD! (Living Opera, Understanding Diversity) in early 2021. Conceived by Teniqua Broughton and Luis “Weezy” Egurrola, two creatives with a longtime presence on the metro Phoenix arts scene, the series will highlight connections between opera and other artistic endeavors while creating conversations with “diverse cross-sections of the community.” Specific details have not been announced.

BIPOC Artist Webinars

Arizona Commission on the Arts will launch a series of four peer-to-peer webinars for BIPOC teaching artists or arts educators interested in sharing best practices. Each seminar focuses on working with a specific age group, and takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning in January. Participating is free; online registration is required.

click to enlarge Part of Christine Lee's work for a new Scottsdale fire department. - SCOTTSDALE PUBLIC ART
Part of Christine Lee's work for a new Scottsdale fire department.
Scottsdale Public Art

New Public Art in Scottsdale

Artwork created by Christine Lee for Scottsdale Public Art was recently installed inside Scottsdale’s new Fire Station 603 located on Indian Bend Road east of Pima Road. Lee created a terrazzo floor design titled Rug Runner that features a repeating diamond pattern that’s prevalent in protective gear and equipment, as well as a wall design called Wallpaper Tapestry, which incorporates imagery from the fire department’s shield and silhouettes of desert terrain including Camelback Mountain.

Regional Unity Artwalk

Seven metro Phoenix cities and towns are presenting the Unity Art Walk: A Visual Journey of Diversity, Culture and Equity from January 5 to 31, 2021, as a way to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. while bringing community members together through arts and culture. The self-guided art experience is the latest iteration of the Roadside Attraction exhibition series organized by the Phoenix-based ArtFarm collective.

click to enlarge Rudi Gernreich fashions at the Wiltern, 1985. Photo Collection, Los Angeles Public Library - COURTESY OF PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
Rudi Gernreich fashions at the Wiltern, 1985. Photo Collection, Los Angeles Public Library
Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

Fashion Exhibit Rescheduled

Phoenix Art Museum has changed the opening date of its upcoming exhibition “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich” to April 7. The exhibit will include more than 80 fashion ensembles highlighting social and cultural impacts of the designer’s work, which included unisex clothing, the thong, pantsuits for women, and myriad gender-fluid designs.

New Palabras Location

Palabras Bilingual Bookstore recently moved and will reopen in a new space at 906 West Roosevelt Street, Unit 2, on January 12. The bookstore was previously located along the Miracle Mile on McDowell Road. Owner Rosaura “Chawa” Magaña recently invited people to share videos and photographs of special moments at the former location.

click to enlarge Veterans participating in a ceramics class. - ARIZONA ARTISTS GUILD
Veterans participating in a ceramics class.
Arizona Artists Guild

Art for Veterans

Paradise Valley Community College will be using a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support research and free arts classes for veterans to be presented in partnership with the Arizona Artists Guild. The veterans will be using clay to make pottery and sculpture during Saturday classes taking place January through June 2021. Veterans can apply to be part of the program.

Yuma Seeking Public Art

The City of Yuma Division of Arts and Culture is seeking an artist to design a large scale sculpture that will be integrated into an existing fountain in historic downtown Yuma. Artists can apply through January 27, 2021. Submissions will be reviewed for various elements, including visual impact, interpretation and creativity, composition and design, and craftsmanship.

click to enlarge 11th Monk3y Industries on Grand Avenue in Phoenix. - LYNN TRIMBLE
11th Monk3y Industries on Grand Avenue in Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

Creative Space Burglary

The 11th Monk3y Industries creative space on Grand Avenue was burglarized on Christmas night, according to owner Ruben Gonzales, a designer with a reputation for supporting other artists and local nonprofits. Friends have started a GoFundMe account, hoping to raise $10,000 to help the small business with expenses from replacing merchandise to improving security.

Hang & Focus Podcast

California playwright Steve Yockey will be the first 2021 guest for Arizona Theatre Company's Hang & Focus podcast. Yockey's credits include co-executive producer of Supernatural and executive producer of HBO's The Flight Attendant. He'll appear on the January 8 podcast hosted by ATC artistic director Sean Daniels. 
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble