Flux hosts two benefits

Flux Gallery is hosting two benefits in January 2011. The first, on Friday, January 21, will benefit the Primavera Foundation. The second, on Saturday, January 22, will benefit the Ben’s Bells Project. Featured at both will be the art of Peter Eisner, Carol Ann, Katherine Minott, Lee Roy Beach, Maurice Sevigny, and Shirley Wagner, as well as, of course, my work, with 30 percent of sales of the artwork going to the organizations.

The mission of the Primavera Foundation is to provide pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development, and neighborhood revitalization. It addresses the systemic causes of homelessness by providing a continuum of services designed to move people out of poverty and into a self-sustaining life. These services include: street-level outreach, drop-in services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent affordable housing, workforce development, financial education, homeownership opportunities, and neighborhood revitalization.

Join us at Flux on Friday, January 21, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to support this important and necessary organization. Add beauty to your home and help someone else find a home at the same time.

Flux Gallery presents an evening of art to benefit the Primavera Foundation, Friday, January 21, 2011.

The Ben’s Bells Project, begun by Ben’s family to commemorate Ben’s sudden death at age two, has as its mission is “to inspire, educate and motivate each other to realize the impact of intentional kindness and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby changing our world.”

Ben’s Bells are beautiful ceramic wind chimes, crafted and assembled by hand by people all over Tucson and beyond. By the time a Ben’s Bell is assembled, at least ten people have worked on it, making it a true community effort. Ben’s Bells are not for sale. Twice a year, hundreds of Ben’s Bells are hung randomly in public places around Tucson and beyond, with a written message to simply take one home and pass on the kindness. The only way to get a Ben’s Bell is to find one or to be “Belled.” To date, more than 17,510 Ben’s Bells have been released.

The point? To remind people how much power they have each day to make the world a better place simply by being kind.

Help support this organization by joining us at Flux on Saturday, January 22, from 5 to 8 p.m., for “Connecting through Kindness: An Evening of Art.” Learn more about Ben’s Bells and how to get involved at their web site, bensbells.org.

Flux Gallery presents "Connecting through Kindness," an evening of art to benefit the Ben's Bells Project, Saturday, January 22, 2011.

Flux Gallery is located at Plaza Palomino in Tucson, at the southeast corner of Swan and Fort Lowell Roads, in Suite 136, across from Dark Star Leather and next to Abstrax Salon and Day Spa. Its normal business hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter small-works show at Flux

Small-works show at Flux Gallery, December 10 and 11

Flux Gallery will feature small works for sale on Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11, 2010, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in conjunction with Grey Dog Trading Company’s annual winter Zuni fetish show. (Grey Dog is just a few doors away from Flux at Plaza Palomino.) Customers who present a same-day receipt from Grey Dog will receive a 10% discount on the small works at Flux, or Flux customers can present a same-day receipt from Flux at Grey Dog to receive a 10% discount on their fetishes.

In addition to the small works by member artists Carol Ann, Lee Roy Beach, Peter Eisner, Maurice Sevigny, Shirley Wagner, and me, we will also have work by incoming Flux member Katherine Minott, a photographer with a love of color and texture. Katherine won’t officially be joining Flux until January, but this show will give visitors a preview of what is to come.

Join us next weekend at Plaza Palomino, and give your loved ones the gift of beauty this season. For further information, please contact Flux (520-299-5983) or Grey Dog (520-881-6888) directly.

Two more events

I am busy getting ready for my next two events. First up is the Tucson Open Studio Tour, this weekend. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, 167 artists all over Tucson will open their studios to the public. You can download a combination calendar and map guide showing the locations of all the studios at the Tucson Pima Arts Council site or pick one up at various locations around town, such as libraries and galleries. I am taking a short stack to Flux Gallery tomorrow (actually later today), when I staff the gallery. Five of the Flux artists will be opening their studios: me, Maurice Sevigny, and, at the same shared studio, Bryan Crow, Steven Derks, and Peter Eisner.

If you want more info, the Arizona Daily Star had an article about the tour in its Sunday paper. If you forgot to get the paper or already recycled it, and you’re willing to register and login, you can read it online at azstarnet.com.

The studio tour gives you a chance to see how (or at least, where) your favorite artists work. My studio will, of course, be a lot cleaner than it usually is (although I can never entirely get rid of the sawdust), but you can see my equipment and my wood and learn about my process. You can also see my work, of course, including some in progress, especially pieces I am trying to finish before the following weekend, when . . .

. . . the Tucson Museum of Art holds its annual Holiday Artisans’ Market at the museum (140 N. Main Ave.). The show is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can find me in my usual spot, Booth 105, on the east side of the museum, catercorner from Old Town Artisans. This will be my last show of 2009, so after Thanksgiving I will finally get to finish laying the new floors in my house.

Flux Gallery

Nine of us Tucson artists have responded to the current economy by banding together and starting a gallery of our own. We’re calling the gallery Flux, to emphasize its changeable, fluctuating, fluid nature, and we have acquired space in Plaza Palomino, at the southeast corner of Swan and Fort Lowell Roads. We have our first show pretty much installed, though we’re still tweaking which pieces are placed where, and we’re preparing for our grand opening on Friday, October 16, 5–9 p.m. There’s a wonderful of variety of work to be seen, and we’re hoping to have a big crowd to help us celebrate. In addition to the art, we’ll have wine, water, appetizers, and music from a string quartet, so please mark your calendars and join us.

We’re a diverse and talented group that includes painters, sculptors, photographers, mixed media artists, and me! Here is who we are:

“Shidoni,” by Carol AnnCarol Ann: After eight years of painting semirealistic expressive watercolors, Carol began to experiment with collage, acrylic, and a more abstract style. This new nonobjective evocative approach anchors her work and has become her passion. Worldwide travel and the American Southwest, where she lives, continue to be her primary influences and inspiration. She loves the labor-intensive layering of paint and paper as she mines and refines her work to represent the concepts and the heart of the places her paintings represent.

“Deception,” by Lee Roy BeachLee Roy Beach: Throughout his forty years as a research psychologist, Lee studied, among other things, the neurological and experiential aspects of visual perception: how the mind creates visual representations of environmental events from partial and unreliable sense data. He found that this act of creation makes the representation both meaningful and compelling to the observer. As a result, he strives to avoid dictating the observer’s experience, providing only enough visual data for the observer to create his or her own artistic experience, thereby inviting participation in the creation of the work itself. The goal is for the observer to have an artistic experience that is both intellectually and emotionally stimulating and that is unique to him or her. He has been painting since the late 1950s but began his art career in the mid-1990s and has exhibited work in numerous shows and galleries.

“nonexiestance [sic],” by Bryan CrowBryan Crow: Bryan says this about his work: “I feel compelled to draw or paint every day. I try not to judge or filter what comes out; instead, I try to learn what I am going through, by letting go. Oftentimes I paint patterns and designs to get the creative process started. I enjoy making something concrete and meaningful out of the random mix of words and pictures that come to mind. When I watch my thoughts and pick out spiritual, psychological, meaningful, and arbitrary words, phrases, and ideas, I begin to put the puzzle together that results in the final image. When I put meaning to all that runs through my mind, I put meaning to my life.”

Sculpture by Steven Derks 
Steven Derks: Finding and collecting curiosities in thrift stores and junkyards is a lifelong preoccupation and a passionate experience for Steven, rather like going to church. Three or four times a month, he visits one of Tucson’s four junkyards. Steven walks around alone, looking at the forlorn piles of bent, twisted and rusted metal lying all over the place. Now things start to happen very fast; everywhere he looks he begins to see metal transformed into finished sculptures. Most of his sculptures are conceived right there in the scrap metal yards, where he finds both the vision and the ingredients for his work. Most of the time, during one visit, he is able to locate all of the actual metal parts that will be necessary to complete many sculptures, but occasionally an exciting piece of rusted metal will languish in his studio yard for months, waiting for the day he will find the piece or pieces that are missing.

“Beech Tree, Handcolored,” by Karen Dombrowski-SobelKaren A. Dombrowski-Sobel: After a 15-year career as a designer in large New York City architectural firms, Karen turned her lifelong hobby of fine art photography into a new profession. That was twenty years ago. Having developed and printed her own black-and-white work for many years, she started selling her work in galleries in New York, the Hamptons, Sag Harbor, and Carmel. In addition, she created fine art portraits for many NYC and Long Island clients. Being a painter early in life, she used those skills first in her hand-painted black-and-white photos and, more recently, in the digital work she creates with Photoshop. She moved to Tucson in 2005, after traveling around the country for a year. She is concerned with environmental issues, and her recent work centers on the landscape, and trees, in particular. Her wish is to create with her work an intimate relationship between the viewer and the subject, to inspire more thought and care for our wildlife and natural habitat.

“Burning Bush,” by Peter EisnerPeter Eisner: Peter currently has his studio at 801 North Main in Tucson. His work includes both freestanding metal sculpture and woven metal wall pieces. Peter’s work is currently being shown in Tucson at Gallery 801, the gallery at the restaurant Elle, Flux Gallery, and Art Marketplace.

“Tuscan Poppies,” by Maurice Sevigny 
Maurice Sevigny: Maurice is originally from Massachusetts, where he majored in art education, ceramics, printmaking and painting at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University. He taught studio art and arts education at Western Kentucky University, then served as the director of the School of Art at Bowling Green University (1977–1986). He was department chair and Marguerite Fairchild Centennial Professor of Art at the University of Texas at Austin (1986–1991). Since 1991, he has lived in Tucson, where he served as dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona for 18 years. He did postgraduate studies at Harvard University and completed a summer residency internship in figurative realism and painting at the La Napoulle Foundation, in the south of France. In 1998, he completed a sabbatical teaching and studio art research residency at the Rohampton Institute, London, England. He has exhibited frequently and his paintings are in many private and corporate collections.

“Prelude,” by Shirley WagnerShirley Wagner: Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Shirley obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Youngstown State University and lived in New York City before moving to Tucson in 1983. She now resides with her husband and three sons in the Tucson desert, about which she says, “What appears at first to be harsh and desolate terrain carefully reveals a partnership of dynamic forces working together to survive. I am inspired to create a living plane to chronicle the harmony of these extremes.” She was a visual arts specialist in Tucson’s public schools before dedicating herself full-time to her wood assemblage work. Shirley was nominated for the Arizona Governor’s Art Award in 2006, in recognition of her contribution to the arts. She has been featured in various local publications, including the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Lifestyle, and her work is in various private collections throughout the United States and Germany.

“Mother and Child,” by Lynne YamaguchiLynne Yamaguchi (me!—pardon the third person . . .): Seven years ago, acting on a gut feeling, Lynne quit her career as an editor and book designer to become a woodturner—giving notice at her job before she even knew how to turn. Now an internationally known turner, Lynne uses traditional lathe techniques to create nonutilitarian, sculptural vessels that are deeply informed by her Japanese heritage. In 2007, she was a fellow in the International Turning Exchange, an annual eight-week residency sponsored by the Wood Turning Center in Philadelphia. She has demonstrated and taught woodturning techniques across the country and sells her work through galleries and art shows, and online.