Black Bird Exhibition and Bazaar Opening

This past Saturday evening was the opening of the Black Bird Exhibition and Bazaar at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Being late Fall in Arizona one expects the temperatures to be a little cool, but we were all surprised by the blistery cold that crept through these past few days. Needless to say, it was a chilly evening. Add to that the Sun Devil Stanford game, the Tempe Arts Festival and a swim meet held at ASU and you can imagine the hustle bustle that enveloped Tempe.
The opening of the show proved to be a lovely evening. This particular exhibition was open to artists that have previously shown their work at the TCA gallery. Because of this, the variety of art displayed was very diverse and inspiring. The seventeen artists are:

  • Tanja Bauerle, Gilbert
  • Miro Chun, Phoenix
  • Desert Vista High School Students, TUHSD
  • Julia Rosa Jones, Phoenix
  • Sarah Kriehn, Phoenix
  • Stacy Marko, Tempe
  • Monica Aissa Martinez, Phoenix
  • Troy Moody, Tempe
  • Barry Richardson, Good Year
  • Christine Sandifur, Phoenix
  • Mary Shindell, Phoenix
  • Ryan Huna Smith, Tucson
  • Michelle Startzman, Mesa
  • Shirley Wagner, Tucson
  • Joan Waters, Chandler
  • Denise Yaghmourian, Phoenix
  • Sherrie Zeitlin, Phoenix

I met several of the artists and really enjoyed chatting with fellow creatives.


Mary Shindell
It was an absolute delight to get to know Mary at the opening. She is an extremely diverse artist, who is deeply affected and shaped by the environment around her. The Sonoran desert, in which we live, permeates her creations. Mary is a formidable draftswoman, and the intricate line work in her drawings is mesmerizing. Two of the pieces on display are large digital prints that, to my immense surprise, she created using Illustrator. There is also a collection of her lighted sculptures in the bazaar that you just have to take a look at.

Monica Aissa Martinez

Monica is originally from El Paso, TX, but has lived in the valley for several years now. Her drawings, paintings and prints are very detailed and I found her anatomical depictions embellished with intricate line work to be very impressive. Monica mentioned that she is fascinates with anatomy which clearly comes across in her work. She loves working in egg tempera and has inspired me to explore the medium. Look at her website where she features videos of her painting. As an artist, I have always been inspired to watch other artists while they work. It is easy to get lost when observing her creative process.


Desert Vista High School Students, TUHSD

There were paintings from Desert Vista High School student artists. Their canvas was the old Tempe Town Lake rubber dam. You will most likely remember how one of the dam barriers burst, not too long ago, emptying the entire Tempe town Lake into the empty Salt River bed. Now you have the opportunity to purchase a piece of history with some beautiful paintings by young artists.


Joan Waters
It was a delight to chat with Joan. Her background lies in drawing and painting but she discovered a love for welding and creating metal sculptures after taking a class at Mesa Community College. Her piece “Ultimate Reality Show” is a huge fifties style television sculpted out of oxidized metal. What a wonderful piece this is! It stands quite high, and whoever will purchase it will no doubt gain hours of enjoyment creating their own reality show fun.


Here are the three illustrations that I have on exhibit. Each is a concept piece from a different manuscript that I have written. These are not yet published, but I hope they will be soon.


In the bazaar section, I have some canvas prints, art prints, books and even some mugs for sale. This exercise of producing products of my illustrations for sale was actually very enjoyable. So much so, that I am considering adding a shop to my website where people can purchase items featuring my art.
The exhibit and bazaar is open until January 4th, 2014. If you are in the downtown Tempe area, stop by and enjoy the show.
Five articulated artist mannequins from a previous exhibit, Green Revolution, were given to Black bird artists, along with the challenge to turn them into works of art.  This was a wonderful opportunity to transform an ordinary object into something magnificent. I participated in this challenge and will post a write up about it as well as the resulting sculptures shortly.
Happy creating,

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