Phoenix Artist Kyllan Maney: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 49. Kyllan Maney.

Looking for Kyllan Maney? You'll find her at the library.

Or, you'll find her work anyway. The artist and educator, who teaches painting and mixed media at New School for the Arts and Academics, is currently showing at "Expressively Frida" at Burton Barr Central Library.

See also: Xanthia Walker of Phoenix's Rising Youth Theatre: 100 Creatives

And starting Friday, July 18, she'll have work on view at GreenHaus as part of the exhibition "Generations." In the past, she has shown at Art One and Mesa Arts Center, in addition to working on collaborative mural projects with artist Lauren Lee at Mesa Urban Garden and Mesa Public Library.

The Phoenix-based painter says that teaching and making art go hand-in-hand. "Without the practice of my work, I would not be a teacher," Maney says. "I find working daily with student artists is extremely inspiring. They are full of ideas and creatively, they think outside the box. I see their fresh approach as a constant lesson to my work."

And that well of inspiration has Maney perpetually plotting new projects. This summer, she's started drawing on maps that she'll incorporate into paintings, mixed media pieces, and murals. "I love maps," she says, "they communicate a place and time for certain memories. I find that people are drawn to maps for the same reason." She also has a mural proposal in the works. And with Lee, her frequent collaborator, Maney will create and install a Día de Los Muertos community altar at Mesa Arts Center in October.

Considering that Maney's summers are full of studio time, we have a feeling she'll have a few more projects on the docket sooner than later.

I came to Phoenix with my adopted family when I was 5 years old. My grandmother had lived in Sun City for years and we would visit her every summer. On one of these summer vacations, after a dismal Detroit winter, my father decided to sell the house and move us to the sun.

I make art because I feel empty without it. I need to work every day somehow or another to feel complete. Otherwise, I am a depressed mess. I see it as my daily meditation.

I'm most productive when it is night. I work best when everyone in the house is asleep. I really love the hours between 10 and 2.

My inspiration wall is full of butterfly and bug specimens, my favorite drawings, maps, invitational postcards to art openings, artwork by artists I love, including my daughter, Rachel Bess, Matt Dickson, Linda Parker and great art of current and previous students. Intermingled with artwork I have inspirational images of Virgin of Guadalupe, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keefe, and colorful calveras.

I've learned most from the process of making art. I am grateful for all the great art instructors and mentors I had had along my path, they have taught me many things about myself and my work. All of their words of wisdom and direction are ingrained in my process, different voices resonant at different moments.

Good work should always be creative, have a strong voice, be true to the artist who created it, have a strong composition and great attention to the application and/or use of the medium.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more continual growth. I have been showing in Phoenix galleries for a while. I am amazed by the progress Phoenix has made in this time. I remember back in the day when politicians wanted to get rid of the downtown arts area and now we have a mayor who embraces it and is involved. I see the future of Phoenix to be an art mecca for artists and art lovers.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale 58. Vara Ayanna 57. Nathaniel Lewis 56. Ruben Gonzales 55. Lisa Poje 54. Bobby Zokaites 53. Frances Smith Cohen 52. Julie Rada 51. David Miller 50. Xanthia Walker

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