Phoenix Center for the Arts
Sometimes our egos can get too big and need to be lanced, like a boil. I’ve found that the fastest way to make my ego shrivel up is to look at just how old certain artistic giants were when they made their marks on the world.
Orson Welles directed, co-wrote and starred in “Citizen Kane” when he was just 25. Arthur Rimbaud stopped writing poetry at 19, after producing brilliant poem after poem in his teens. And animator Don Hertzfeldt won the 2010 San Francisco International Film Festival’s “Persistence of Vision” Lifetime Achievement Award when he was just 33 years old.
That’s a lifetime achievement award at 33. Don’t be alarmed if you’re feeling a strange tingling sensation, ladies & gentlemen: that’s just your egos diminishing. I know mine is.
If you’re wondering just how good a filmmaker has to be to win such acclaim at such a young age, you’ll have a chance to see Hertzfeldt’s award-winning work for yourself when No Festival Required screens Hertzfeld’s animated trilogy “It’s Such A Beautiful Day” this Saturday at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.
No Festival Required’s Steve Weiss wanted to bring Hertzfeldt’s animations to the Valley after seeing some of Hertzfeldt’s work in one of the touring “The Animation Show” festivals (that Hertzfeldt put together with “Beavis & Butthead/Office Space” creator Mike Judge). Weiss told me that he’s been trying to do a Hertzfelt program for the last 8 years, and that Saturday’s screening of “It’s Such A Beautiful Day” (which includes a bonus short film by Hertzfeldt) is the first time that this work will be screened in Phoenix.
And it may also be the last: the prolific film-maker self-distributes his work and is very meticulous about their presentation (bootlegs of his work are all over the Internet, much to Hertzfeldt’s chagrin, who laments their poor film quality). He’s also known for his stance on licensing: Hertzfeldt refuses to do commercials (which hasn’t stopped many advertisers from biting his style, the worst offenders being Pop Tarts).
His style of animation is deceptively simple, using pen and paper stick figures (photographed on a Richardson 35mm animation camera stand, one of the last of its kind) and imbuing them with tremendous pathos and soul. He is so good at doing so much with so little that it’s going to be hard to think of stick figures and NOT think of him, much in the same way one can associate sunflowers with Van Gogh and Sweden with ABBA. It’s like his stick figures are the Platonic ideal that all stick figures throughout human history have been aspiring to be… and always falling a little bit short.
I’ve seen the first film in the “It’s Such A Beautiful Day” trilogy, “Everything Will Be OK.” If the other two films (“I Am So Proud Of You” and “It’s Such A Beautiful Day”) are as good as “Everything,” then this screening is a NOT-TO-BE-MISSED cinema event.
“Everything Will Be OK” is funny, disconcerting, strange and beautiful. It’s the kind of film that can make a person feel like they’re tripping on drugs, or wish they weren’t. Watching it I could understand why a man in his 30′s deserved to win a lifetime achievement award; and if he continues to produce this kind of work in the future, I hope he wins dozens more of them. I just don’t want to hear about those awards: the last thing my poor ego needs is another lancing.
“It’s Such A Beautiful Day” screens Saturday, November 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door and are also available online.
Some news items don’t need translation. That’s why DPJ launched the From the Wire series, so we could serve the destinations here by posting information and announcements – in their own words.
The Phoenix Festival of the Arts, the City’s first signature arts festival, will take place in the heart of downtown Phoenix at Hance Park December 7-9, 2012.
Hosted by Phoenix Center for the Arts and sponsored by Lou and Evelyn Grubb, this free festival will become an annual tradition in the Valley of the Sun.
“Our goal is to unify the Phoenix arts community and to show how accessible the arts really are,” said Joseph Benesh, director of Phoenix Center for the Arts. “The arts aren’t just a weekend activity. Phoenix has a huge cultural landscape, where people can find things to do any day of week – and we want everyone to know that.”
The Center, operated by Phoenix Center Arts Association (a 501c3 nonprofit), is a historic facility dedicated to making the arts truly unique, affordable, and enjoyable since 1975.
“Unifying the Arts” The festival will unite the arts and arts organizations through a cross-pollination of artistic markets in a way Phoenix has never done before. Just as First Friday’s have become a destination for citizens throughout the valley due to cooperation from galleries, retail, food, and performance venues, the festival will similarly serve to stimulate economic growth within the community. Furthering this model, the festival will act as an added tourism attraction in the winter.
Event highlights include nearly 90 hours of live arts entertainment on THREE stages! Plus dozens of arts vendors, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, a children’s play area, flash performances and more!
Phoenix Arts Guidebook: This take-home guide to all things arts-related in Phoenix will feature information on the participating arts organizations, with coupons to help you enjoy the arts in the months to come. A minimum of 5,000 will be handed out at the festival…for free!
Community Participation: Mayor Greg Stanton is the honorary chair and will participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, December 7.
The inaugural Phoenix Festival of the Arts is made possible through the contribution of Lou & Evelyn Grubb, and sponsored by APS, Hensley Beverage Company and SM Moving Systems.
Members of the arts community around the Valley are invited to participate, including:
• Arts vendors who produce locally made original art.
• Valley arts organizations large and small!
• Performing arts groups (ex: poetry, choirs, dance, hip-hop, symphony, folk, etc.)
All applications can be found on phoenixfestivalofthearts.org. Applications must be submitted by Friday, September 28, 2012.
Event Facts at a Glance
The Inaugural Phoenix Festival of the Arts
December 7-9, 2012
Friday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, December 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(Art exhibitors will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days)
Limited street parking available. Avoid the hassle and take METRO Light Rail to the McDowell/Central Ave or Roosevelt/Central Ave. Bike racks are also available.
Phoenix Center for the Arts, operated by Phoenix Center Arts Association (a 501c3 nonprofit). Our mission is to provide the community with opportunities to participate in the visual and performing arts through creative and affordable quality programming.
Made possible through the contribution of Lou & Evelyn Grubb, and sponsored by APS, Hensley Beverage Company and SM Moving Systems.
Nearly 90 hours of live arts entertainment on THREE stages. Plus dozens of arts vendors, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, a children’s play area, flash performances and more!
Phoenix Arts Guidebook:
This take-home guide to all things arts-related in Phoenix will feature information on the participating arts organizations, with coupons to help you enjoy the arts in the months to come. A minimum of 5,000 will be handed out at the festival…for free!
About Phoenix Center for the Arts Phoenix Center for the Arts is a historic building located in downtown Phoenix well suited to provide art, music, and performing art classes and programs. This facility, known to most as the Phoenix Center for the Arts or The Center, is now managed by the Phoenix Center Arts Association, a nonprofit organization. Our mission is to provide the community with the opportunities to participate in the visual and performing arts through creative and affordable quality programming. The association now offers online registration for classes year round. Summer classes include the Summer Extravaganza, and arts program for youth 6-14. For more information, visit phoenixcenterforthearts.org.
Look closely under the dust and construction of the Phoenix Center for the Arts and you might catch a glimpse of Joseph Benesh, the energizer bunny behind the Center’s growth as an arts and culture hub in Downtown Phoenix. As the new operations manager, he’s a man on a mission to raise awareness city-wide of this amazing Downtown arts resource.
Classes, Classes, Classes!
Located at 3rd Street and Moreland, (on the eastern end of Hance Park, just off of the I-10) the Phoenix Center for the Arts is run by the Phoenix Arts Association, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, in partnership with the City of Phoenix. Benesh was hired in August of 2011, just after the Phoenix Arts Association took over operation of the programs from the city.
Since 1976, the Phoenix Center for the Arts has been a cultural center in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, providing the citizens of Phoenix with “year-round opportunities to participate in the visual and performing arts through creative and affordable quality programming.” That means classes, lots and lots of classes!
“We have two students who’ve been taking classes at the Center for over 30 years, and recently one man who’d taken his first class 30 years ago has returned to take the same class, in the same classroom,” said Benesh.
Since Benesh was hired, class registrations have grown by 37%. Adults can participate in everything from painting and drawing to metals and jewelry, from ceramics, glass, and music, to printmaking and photography. Youth classes (for kids age 6 and up) cover music, dance, art, and theatre.
Connecting with Hance Park
The 33,000 sq. ft. facility includes a gallery; eight visual art studios; four rehearsal/class rooms; 16 office spaces; a large music/performance studio and a 216-seat theater.
The current renovation will create a brand new entryway for the Center on the north side of the building, making it the only building that opens directly onto Margaret T. Hance Park. The three-story entry, scheduled to be completed by May, will face the parking lot and provide a highly visible and accessible “way in” for people. Benesh is also a member of the Hance Park Conservancy Board and is actively involved in the redevelopment and rejuvenation of Hance Park.
Incubating the Arts
Benesh has been reaching out to small arts organizations to invite them to make the Center their home. He envisions making the Center an arts incubator, and providing the legitimacy and stability of a home for small arts organizations finding their legs.
“We can provide inexpensive office space, quality rehearsal and performance space, and the synergy of a network of other arts organizations to interact with, “ said Benesh.
Benesh is excited about the projects that he and his board are working on for the future, including purchasing a portable amphitheater for the eastern end of the park to be shared with local arts and culture organizations, using the $5.5M in bond funds to renovate the Center theater into a 600 to 700-seat house, and the inaugural Phoenix Festival of the Arts planned for next November. He envisions a weekend-long event, showcasing artists and arts organizations from throughout the Valley.
Visit the Center website for class schedules, or drop by on a First Friday, or during Art Detour in March to check out their gallery openings and performances.
Save the Date for Downtown Phoenix’s Premier Art Tour Event!
Art Detour 24 returns March 17 & 18! The free, two-day, self-guided tour of artist studios, art spaces, and other art venues in Downtown Phoenix promoted by Artlink, Inc. in cooperation with participating venues. Experience the creative spirit of the downtown arts community and save the date: March 17 & 18. Visit ArtlinkPhoenix.com.
Artlink Phoenix is inviting artists, galleries, retail venue owners, and neighborhood arts enthusiasts to the Phoenix Center for the Arts this Sunday, January 29, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Learn how you can participate as a venue or volunteer in Art Detour 24, scheduled for March 17 and 18, 2012. Artlink members will be on hand to share information about First Stop!, Kid’s Detour, Public Hanging, pop-up galleries, destination signage and transportation. Refreshments will be served.
If You Go
What: Informational Meeting for Art Detour 24
Where: Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street, Phoenix
When: Sunday, January 29, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
(From the Wire includes press releases received from reliable sources that help tell the story of the many happenings in Greater Downtown Phoenix. Yep, they are ripped from our inbox.)
Phoenicians know some of the best gifts are found when we Shop Local Phoenix businesses, and one of the best times to do that is during Artlink’s First Friday Art Walk, taking place tonight from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. So, download your map, discover these galleries and shop your heart out.
Heritage Square Gallery
Grey Scale Forest: A Cenotaph
Multimedia artist J Morales transforms the gallery into a Cenotaph in honor of the green world we are turning into ashes.
“Enter the 36 chamBEARS”
The latest in Tara Logsdon EKLbearmy’s mission to promote higher thinking.
New works by Phoenix favorite - Christine Cassano
Holiday cards, gifts and coasters available!
Phoenix Center for the Arts
A group exhibition of painting and drawing curated by Edna Dapo.
Arizona debut of Jenny Gentry. who was raised in Albuquerque and on the reservations of Arizona. Solo show of over 100 photographs, oil studies, and large canvases.
The newest exhibition of self-portraits by Daniel Funkhouser
New work by Sarah O’Donoghue
“Who’s in the House?”
An exhibition of selected prints.
Steel/Vision: New work by Steve Gompf and Hank Fries
A stunning end-of-year exhibit of new work by Steve Gompf, one of Phoenix’s finest and most popular artists, and new work by Hank Fries, an emerging artist whose sculptures are bound to bring him new fans.
Olney Gallery in Trinity Cathedral
“Rhythms of Grace”
An exhibit of paintings and drawings by artist and musician James Van Fossan.