October 12, 2010

Finding Culture in Phoenix, the Sunnyslope Art Walk, part 1

We all have been given gifts in life. I have been blessed with my share - for which I am truly grateful. But as those of you who know me would doubtless agree, none of those talents are in any way related to handmade art or even simple crafts. My mother was and my four sisters are, actually quite incredible in this area. Somehow, the art gene (non-singing one) skipped me. BooHoo. Here's the last attempt I made at doing something handmade with my 4 year old. According to the websites I visited, like this one, a very simple project (what-EVER Martha Stewart!). Here's how ours turned out...
It was supposed to be a beautiful little ball of felt. Ours looked like 
animal intestines.

It should come as no surprise that I distinctly prefer enjoying the art of others, rather than slogging through a project whose result I'm bound to detest in the end anyway. This weekend, I did just that! My family and I got a little exercise and culture enjoying the Sunnyslope Art Walk and we had a wonderful time seeing the work of people who definitely have the art gene.

Since I met too many to introduce in a day, this will be a "to be continued" post. I have no financial connection to these artists - they're just people whose stuff I enjoyed! ***Also, for those of you who are new to blogging and links, you can contact these artists by clicking the underlined titles of their businesses or the underlined items they create. Help contribute to the local economy and spend your money locally!***

So here, without further ado, is the art of some people who are incredibly gifted!  Let me introduce - (alphabetically, no favoritism).

Artist No. 1 - Christine Boerner - Genius creator of Chocolate Art, A.K.A. The Baker's Daughter
Christine Boerner, The Baker's Daughter

Christine grew up under the tutelage of her parents, Karl and Stefanie Boerner, owners of Karl's bakery. Then she spent several years in Europe becoming a master of her craft. Chocolate lovers everywhere know that good chocolate is, in itself, a work of art. Not only is Christine's art edible, she uses only the finest quality ingredients to make it. For those of you who are not lovers of chocolate (read: CRAZY people), you can still see the beauty of her work below. She was also recently featured on Channel 10. Currently, you can find her chocolate at Karl's bakery on 7th Street and Dunlap and she'll be celebrating the opening of her own store - next door - on October 30. 
Ummmm... chocolate

Artist No. 2 -Kate Rowan Carey, owner of A Blissful Life. In her own words, "purveyor of lovely little treasures for your home and body". And her creations, which range from darling little cloth flower barrettes to trivets to (my favorite) cloth coffee cuffs, are perfect for adding a bright spot of color to your home. One of the best things about Kate's work is that it is sustainable in the sense that it is reusable. Having a party and need decoration? Check out one of her cloth banners. Does your daughter (granddaughter?) love playing princess? Do your part to save the planet and buy one of these little cloth crowns instead of the plastic ones.

Ms. Kate Rowan Carey, owner of A Blissful Life

Artist No. 3 - Purvi Desai, the beauty behind Zaaina Skincare, found at Central Slope, herbal infusions and reclaimed studio
 Purvi Desai with her own line, Zaaina Skincare
Ms. Desai spent 10 years utilizing her finance degree by working for Fortune 500 companies before taking a decidedly different path. Zaaina Skincare makes products specifically balanced for different skin types, free of nasty stuff like parabens, artificial fragrances, dyes or chemical preservatives. In fact, Zaaina products are made from my favorite things - herbs. Purvi uses essential oils like tea tree and lavender to preserve the products safely and naturally. This also means they smell amazing. The product ingredients are available both on the packages and on the website and there's not a weird chemical among them. Check out the label on the skincare you're using and consider a switch to something natural (and locally made!).

Zaaina carries products for men, women and babies. You can visit them on their website www.zaaina.com or become a fan on their facebook page under Zaaina Skincare. You can also find out more about Central Slope at their website or by becoming a fan on their Facebook page.

Central Slope, Herbal Infusions and Reclaimed Studio, 
located south of Dunlap on Central Avenue

Artist No. 4 - Robert Lievens of Fallen Wood Turnings
Mr. Lievens does exactly what his business name suggests - finds fallen wood and turns it into works of art. He's become so known for his work that people often bring wood to him from locales around the nation. We used to frequent the Downtown Phoenix Public Market instead of the Roadrunner Park Farmer's Market, and Robert would often be there. So fascinated was I by his knack for highlighting the most beautiful aspects of the wood he uses,  I would stand and stare at the incredible things he'd crafted out of trees lost to our crazy Arizona storms.

When my younger sister bought her first house, I knew I wanted my gift to her to be something of beauty. I chose a sun catcher created from wood and pink agate from Robert's collection. He is also a knowledgeable and friendly person and spent some time showing me some of his photography (multi-talented guy!) on a camera he recommended to me. (As you can tell, I'm in the market for one!)
Mr. Robert Lieven and one of his windchimes
Robert Lieven's work includes jewelry, bowls, ornaments, bells and windcatchers. If you are interested in adding a beautiful, touchable piece of art for your home or garden, this is the place to get it.

Stay tuned for more artists tomorrow!

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