Visual Arts

Tonight: Mayme Kratz and Melinda Bergman Talk Inspiration and Process at SMoCA

Claire Lawton
Melinda Bergman's Not a Cloud in the Sky: A Meditation on the Life Ideal at Modified Arts 
See also: Phoenix Artist Mayme Kratz Chronicles Beauty in Creative Space See also: Art That Makes Phoenix So Irresistible See also: SMoCA's Lit Lounge Brings Shaz Bennett, Molly McCloy, Eden Mcnutt, and More to the Stage in August

Melinda Bergman and Mayme Kratz are staples in the Phoenix arts community. The female artists work in different media -- Bergman in paint and hand-painted Macramé beads, Kratz in resin and found natural materials -- and have very different artistic backgrounds, but both will share their inspirations and process tonight at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Bergman and Kratz both have work in SMoCA's permanent collection sculpture exhibition, "Significant Forms" on view through September 9. The show's title comes from what English art critic Clive Bell described as the quality "shared by all objects that provokes our aesthetic emotions" -- significant form.

The exhibition also includes pieces by Ken Price, Barbara Hepworth, and Jean Arp. Kratz's piece, in the center of the gallery is a small nest secured in a house-shaped resin form. A few steps away is Bergman's large, chemical compound-like sculpture.

Photo by Esther Groves
The two will present tonight at 7 p.m. and Kratz will share a video on her "Tumbleweed Bower" that was featured at Icehouse in April 2011. She then described the 15-foot-high cube made from tumbleweeds she collected from the west side of Phoenix as "a structure of passion, inhabited by the wind."

Bergman's home was recently featured in Apartment Therapy, and her show, Not a Cloud in the Sky: A Meditation on the Life Ideal at Modified Arts in 2011 was a bright example of the power of storytelling and interactive sculpture. Bergman then described her show as a reaction to storybooks. She says she started illustrating when her grandson was born; she still draws and sends him colorful scenery and whimsical creatures. But her collection and installation at Modified included a bit of a twist -- empty picnic tables were scattered on deserted, pastel landscapes, and wandering characters in her illustrations seemed to always be reaching for the unattainable.

Bergman and Kratz will present inside the Lounge. Seating is limited and first-come, first-served, so get there early and save us a spot.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton