Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scottsdale, AZ: an art Mecca in Southern Arizona

Howdy folks!
We took my sister-in-law to Scottsdale for a day trip on the 17th. Scottsdale is a fun place for walking around, especially if you love art. It has a concentrated arts district, supposedly the third largest in the United States, behind New York and Santa Fe. So....what art work stood out for us? We concentrated on contemporary, often abstract work rather than western art. We did a serious amount of window-shopping as well as checking out the work at these galleries:

Calvin Charles, especially the petite works show. My favorite pieces were by Mary Meyer...sublime! Her pieces in the petite show were so subtle and delicate.

Gerbert Contemporary (formerly Chiaroscuro Gallery). We loved the sculptures by Howard Ben Trethis one was featured in the window of the gallery. I loved the weight and mass of large cast glass forms, but the shape and frosted surface made me think of something light and airy. 

French Designer Jewelry. I love one-of-a-kind artistic fine jewelry and this place is similar to Concepts Gallery in Carmel, CA, on Ocean Avenue. (Sadly, Concepts closed a few years ago).  I tried on bracelets by Kit Carson made from old license plates with silver and gemstone accents. His hand-engraved pieces are masterful.

Art One Gallery We loved this gallery so much we stayed and spoke to the owner for almost an hour! We may be buying work here soon- I covet this piece by John Babbit but I have to save up for it and find a place to put it- it's a pretty big painting, but oh so awesome:

Aside from the fabulous art; one thing was disconcerting: many galleries had closed because of the economy. Last time I had been here was about two years ago and some had closed...but even more were gone. It was sad to see empty showrooms and places out front of galleries were large sculptures had been but the only thing left were holes in the concrete for bolts. Despite this, it's still a wonderful place to go to see art since dozens and dozens of galleries are open and doing OK. 

When you need a break from gallery viewing, you simply must have coffee here...best espresso ever. Seriously. Starbucks is great when you are stuck at the airport- but when in Scottsdale, go here for coffee. My European sister-in-law first remarked on how amazingly good the coffee was to a gentleman behind the counter. Turns out, he was one of the owners. He and his partner buy coffee like you buy wine- they smell and taste the beans. You could truly taste the care they put into it. And there is a location in San Francisco in case you are on the left coast.  

And for lunch, we tried Arcadia Farms Cafe.  I found it on Urban Spoon and boy am I glad we did! Fabulous food. One of the best entree salads (Grilled shrimp, baby lettuce, grilled corn, etc.) I have had in a long time. And they have a beautiful shady patio with ficus trees. I also noticed they have mini red velvet cakes ...maybe next time! 

I will probably be going to an Art Walk in Scottsdale in the next couple of months- high season brings out all of the fun arty events. Next time I will go to different galleries and report back!


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