October 14, 2010

Finding Culture in Phoenix, the Sunnyslope Art Walk, part 2

After a brief commercial interlude that included some bean cooking and hummus making, we are back to the remaining artists I met this weekend at the Sunnyslope Art Walk. If you missed part one - you can click here to read it.

Strangely enough, while both my husband and I are musicians, we didn't really get the 411 on all the bands that were playing there - mainly because they were playing (not talking). But there was a wide variety of music from artists like Full Moon Jazz, Desert Gumbo, The Beaded Lizards, T-Bone Daily and many more. Now back to THE LIST...

I must begin by apologizing to Madison Hallock because I promised to go in alphabetical order, thus proving my impartiality to the artists introduced. Alas, unbeknownst to me, my nearly-two year old rearranged my notes as I was distracted by my day job (mothering) and dear Madison moved to part two. Of course, now she's received even more blog space than she would have before, so it's better for her. Wait. Madison, did you bribe my daughter with yogurt balls or something?

As usual, I digress...

And now...Drumroll please!

Artist No. 5 - Madison Hallock of merMadison.

This was the first thing that caught my eye when we reached the art walk because it's truly unusual.
a merMadison gourd
If you're thinking, "Hmmm, that kinda looks like a pumpkin."  Well, you'd almost be right. It is a gourd, which is related to the pumpkin but has a lot harder shell. If you shake it, you'll actually hear seeds inside rattle. Madison dries the gourds, then carves and burns these intricate designs all over them. I was simply taken by their shape and beauty. Of course, at my house, they'd probably briefly become a musical instrument. Right before being smacked on the ground to remove the seeds. by crazy-little-people.
Here's another pic of her work. 

In the background, you can see there's a gourd decorated with intricate feather designs. It's amazing that anyone could draw something this detailed on paper, let alone convey their vision to a round object. Madison has a few more incredible looking creations like her apple and cameo gourds and the Koi designs. You can find them on Etsy or become a Facebook fan. There, Madison. Hope I made up for the alphabetical error.

And - on to -

Artist No. 6 - Cathy Manthey of Sophia Maria Designs
These little bits of fabric and color just filled the girlie side of me with joy. Yes. Apparently, I do have a girlie side hidden behind the hiking boots, books filled with big words and gardening gloves. This might explain my recent penchant for pink. Which is fully. Indulged. Here. Check out these DARLING designs.
Cathy Manthey with some of her Aprons
(Ok - I have to just insert here that I'm currently using a veeerrrryyyy old
*and crappy*
digital camera that just doesn't do justice to Cathy's lovely aprons. )

Regardless... Girls - you know how standing in the kitchen, cooking your life away can just be soooo exhausting, especially when you've been going all day and your feet feel like they simply won't hold you another minute? I'm totally convinced that wearing one of Cathy's aprons would immediately lighten the load.  

Rob - are you listening? Honey

And, that's not all. Sophia Marie Designs doesn't just do aprons, they have the most adorable little magnets you've ever seen - with a vintage look. Anyone need some FLAIR?

Would these be perfect to attach the shopping list or the kid-created art to the fridge or what?!

So, get started on your Christmas shopping early (really, Robert...), and contact Cathy Manthy through her Facebook page or email her at smdesigns@cox.net

Moving on...
Artist No. 7 - Barbara Redmond, mixed media artist
Barbara Redmond
Some of you will remember from part one of this post, my venture into felt - AHEM - art. After viewing that exercise in futility, it will come as no surprise I hold Barbara's work rather in awe. My first glimpse into the world of felting came several years back while my college vocal ensemble was traveling through the British Isles and we ventured into a street market in Ireland, where vendors were selling gorgeous felted wool purses and scarves. I couldn't believe that wool could be so beautiful or so soft and when I saw they were priced at nearly 100 EUR, I knew I couldn't afford them either. Thankfully, while Barbara's scarves don't come close to the same cost as those of the Irish, they certainly are just as beautiful. 

You may be wondering why in the world a girl in AZ would want a wool scarf. Well, these are not your grandmother's scarves. They are lightweight, delicate and filled with nuanced textures and colors. Perfect for a cool, Phoenix night out in "fall" - when you need a touch of color that won't roast you alive. These would be especially great for my vocalist friends who are always wrapping things around their necks  - even in our mild winters. Here is a post from Barb's blog on how she makes her scarves. You can reach her there or through her Etsy page.

Artist No. 8 - Katie at Flights of Fancy
You can actually see the work of our next artist in Barbara's picture above - because they shared a booth. Katie is Barb's daughter and talent must run in the family. She's a bubbly lady with a great smile who clearly has her hands full. 
 Katie and her blue eyed boy
Yet, somehow she still finds time to create these incredible wind chimes out of items that most of us would consider junk. The way she combines the shapes and colors turns them into something beautiful. Here's a closer look.
Yes, people. That is an old metal pitcher. 
I love this thing and it's now on my wish list. (Rob, are you writing this down?) 

For your very own conversation piece created by Katie at Flights of Fancy, contact her at kt61180@yahoo.com 

This concludes the list of artists I met at the Sunnyslope Art Walk - though there were many more worth mentioning. After all, people, we had our four and (nearly) two year-olds in tow. And even being the
├╝ber cultured girls they are, while chomping yummy Baker's Daughter chocolate and sitting in their comfy stroller - they were soon ready for new sights. So, feeling duly cosmopolitan-ized, we strode past the rest of the attractions and headed for home.

Did any of you go to the art walk? I love hearing from you! Leave me a comment. :)

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