Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quintessential Flagstaff

Betsey Bruner in a rare appearance in front of the camera at the Recycled Art Exhibition.

I spent the weekend engaging in quintessential Flagstaff things; First, I went to the NAU Art Museum opening of Portland artist Sherrie Wolf, with her show, "Historyonics."  I do think it's a Flagstaff phenomena to be interested in all things Portland, and you MUST check out this show before it closes on June 2.  It represents WHY we are drawn to Portland artists.
So next, there was Artwalk (need I say more?)  And then I bought a bike (a piece of artwork in and of itself.)  But the most utterly Flagstaff thing I did was go to the most utterly Flagstaff show; The 10th Annual Recycled Art Exhibition.  

This show has been going on for a decade at the Coconino Center for the Arts and features art that is made from recycled materials. Their website says "Artists from all over Coconino County come together to promote recycling through this creative, fun and inspiring exhibition. It's one of Flagstaff's favorite exhibitions each year!"

Robin Cadigan, gallery director for the Coconino Center for the Arts talked to me about the show.

"I often hear from people that visit the gallery that they are not creative, and have no artistic bone in their body. But they are there, in the gallery looking at and appreciating art. There is something about recycled materials and found objects that seem to be accessible for people to create with, even if they don't consider themselves artists. There is a challenge in using discarded items and repurposing them," said Robin.

"The Recycled Art Exhibit seems to inspire people to work on a grand scale. We have several 5 foot pieces this year, more than ever before. This large scale work is exciting to install and engages viewers in a different way than a small work sitting on a pedestal."

I think the Recycled Art Exhibition captures a certain zeitgeist of Flagstaff aestheticism.  We are people who love our natural world.  We are also a creative, scrappy community--we work with what we've got.  To be able to create art out of something that promotes this is the epitome of our cultural representation. 

Recycled Art will be open through Saturday, May 12th, Tuesday- Saturday 11am-5pm. There are free workshops every Saturday at the Coconino Center for the Arts. 

happy faces.

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