By Michelle Talsma Everson, October 2020 issue.
As par for the course this year, this fall’s usual arts season is different due to the limitations placed on group gatherings because of COVID-19.
However, as artists have always found ways to thrive even under challenging circumstances, many local arts centric organizations have found ways to present their work to the public — whether it be in-person or virtually.
Some are using art as fundraisers for important causes, others are offering up virtual entertainment, and a few even are hosting in-person events with safety precautions in place. Read on to see what’s going on this fall in the arts world — both online and in-person.
This list isn’t exhaustive in any way; just a few select events to consider. If you have a favorite arts organization, they likely need your support now more than ever before, so be sure to visit their website and offer your support.
CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER
TheaterWorks has reinvented how you, the audience member, can experience live theater, developing an entirely new theatrical production in Arizona. CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER is an immersive, multi-sensory, intimate theater production where audience members literally walk into and through the world of Alice in Wonderland. Every theater, rehearsal space and hallway in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts has been transformed into Wonderland. Up to 10 ten audience members per performance will experience Wonderland as Alice would, flowing through the rooms to discover scenes, encounter inhabitants and immerse themselves in a new way to experience theater through the story of Alice in Wonderland. This 100-minute immersive theater production and multi-disciplinary arts experience showcases visual art, music, puppetry, dance, theater, and multi-media design. Shows are happening through October 18.
Art + Chocolate Gold Palette ArtWalk October 8
The Scottsdale Gallery Association is pleased to announce the return of its long-running Gold Palette ArtWalk series with its Art + Chocolate-themed event on Thursday, October 8. Serving as the kick-off to the Association’s 46th season, the Art + Chocolate ArtWalk, held throughout the Scottsdale Arts District — which resides along Main Street from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard and north of Indian School on Marshall Way to 5th Avenue — welcomes guests to peruse galleries and view local and national art and to be serenaded by a steel drum band as they stroll through the streets of Old Town. Participating galleries will feature chocolate tasting courtesy of local chocolatier Cerreta Candy Company.
MAC offers fall online classes and to-go art boxes
While the building is closed due to COVID-19, Mesa Arts Center is offering fall Online Art Classes, a new series of virtual classes; Art To Go Boxes, at-home activity boxes for purchase; and Arts in Service online, classes offered exclusively for veterans and service members. The online art class series and Arts in Service classes are now open for registration. Art To Go Boxes are also available for preorder now, and will be available for pick-up later this month.
Empty Bowls at Arizona Center
The signature fundraising event of Waste Not is Empty Bowls, which will be held outdoors from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on October 16 at the Arizona Center in Downtown Phoenix. For more than 20 years, Waste Not has partnered with the Arizona Clay Association, whose members make and donate hundreds of gorgeous clay bowls for attendees to purchase and all proceeds benefit Waste Not. Every clay bowl serves as a reminder of hunger in the community and that someone else’s bowl is always empty.
Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour hosts online auction
Running Friday, October 2 through Friday, October 16, the Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour (PAAST) will host their inaugural online art auction. The organizers are excited give art lovers a chance to purchase works from over 60 award-winning juried Studio Tour artists. Among the auction items, art patrons will find a wide variety of mediums to suit their fancy, including painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, fibers and wearable art. Artists and patrons will also be able to connect virtually through enhanced information on the tour website and in person with artists who will have their studios open to visitors by appointment. Winning bidders will be announced on Saturday, October 17 during a gala online event. Proceeds will support the artists, as well as children’s art programs in the Quad Cities.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts opens for the fall season
As Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts reconnects patrons to the arts during its 2020–21 season there are myriad changes the public can expect. These plans will be consistent with ordinances from the city of Scottsdale and Maricopa County, as well as the State of Arizona’s Phased Reopening Model. With these safety measures in place, the center plans to present a variety of in-person and virtual arts events. These include concerts, comedic and dance performances, and more. See their website for the most updated list.
Arizona Theatre Company’s digital season
Arizona Theatre Company’s digital season includes online readings of: Covenant by York Walker, directed by Tamilla Woodard – (ATC premiere October 27-31); and The Realness by Idris Goodwin, directed by Wendy Goldberg – (ATC premiere in November). Readings can be accessed on the Arizona Theatre Company’s website as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo. There is no charge, but donations will be greatly appreciated to help continue to support the local nonprofit.
Hidden in the Hills
Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour, Hidden in the Hills (HITH), is scheduled to take place during the last two weekends of November: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 20, 21 and 22, and November 27, 28 and 29. Coordinated by the nonprofit Sonoran Arts League, this year’s free, self-guided tour features more than 139 artists at 35 private studios throughout the scenic Desert Foothills communities of Cave Creek, Carefree and North Scottsdale.
2020 Foothills Empty Bowls Project
The 2020 Foothills Empty Bowls Project will be held completely online this fall. While the Art Auction has been online for several years, this is the first time in 21 years that the bowls also will be offered online. Individuals can bid on the art and purchase bowls donated by members and friends of the Sonoran Arts League, a key sponsor of the Empty Bowls Project. “We are excited to offer the art auction and bowl sale online so people can support this worthy cause and spend the time they need to bid on their favorite works of art and purchase as many bowls as they like (sight unseen of course),” says Carole Perry, founder of the event. The event goes until October 16.
Arcosanti Open and Ready for Tours
Arcosanti is a living work of art that locals can schedule a tour through and explore. During the tours, visitors will learn about the rich 50-year history of Arcosanti as well as discover why and how the project continues to influence and inspire young architects, urban planners and designers around the world. Each tour is led by a knowledgeable resident who can offer first-hand insight to life at Arcosanti. During the tours, visitors will also receive free posters to remember their trip. Located in Mayer.
1st Annual Plein Air Art Festival
The Highlands Center for Natural History and the City of Prescott are pleased to hold the 1st Annual Prescott Plein Air Art Festival, an event featuring live, outdoor painting from famed Arizona artists, a reception and sales event, as well as an online art sale. From October 1 through October 3, more than ten professional Arizona artists will focus their artistic talents on the outdoors in an effort to celebrate Prescott’s diverse landscapes. The public is invited to observe and engage with the artists of the Prescott Plein Air Art Festival as they work from dawn until dusk at seven local sites. On October 4 from 2-8 p.m., the finished paintings will be displayed during the Reception and Sale at The Finn – Touchmark. The Online Sale of the remaining Plein Air artists’ paintings will take place October 6-17.
Art From the Heart Virtual Art Auction
Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona was set to hold its annual Art From the Heart art auction in the spring of 2020, but had to postpone due to
COVID-19. A virtual version of the art auction is being planned for Oct. 21-26. The six-day event will take place fully online and feature the work of approximately 80 local artists. The auction will kick off on Wednesday, October 21 with a video welcome and toast. John Randall Nelson is the event’s featured artist. Inspired by American Outsider Art, he creates a visual folklore in his collaged paintings and sculptures with a menagerie of figures and symbols, from dancing jackrabbits and swaggering cowboys to lucky wishbones. Funds raised during the Art From the Heart art auction will go toward programs and services so that Free Arts can continue to serve neglected, abused, homeless and foster care children in our state. Watch for more details at www.freeartsaz.org.
MARIA HUPFIELD: Nine Years Towards the Sun
“MARIA HUPFIELD: Nine Years Towards the Sun,” a solo exhibition of Canadian / Anishinaabek artist Maria Hupfield will feature more than 40 works by the conceptual performance artist, according to Heard Museum. The exhibition, curated by Heard Museum Fine Arts Curator Erin Joyce, will take place over several exhibition spaces and range in content from performance, sculptural installation, video, and document. It runs through November 15.
Fall Concert Series at Scottsdale Quarter
Cooler temperatures are just around the corner, and that’s one more reason to enjoy evenings at Scottsdale Quarter with your favorite Valley bands. After shopping or dining, unwind and stick around for the Fall Concert Series, a free concert series taking place in The Quad. Live music kicks off Saturday, October 3 from 5-7 p.m. and will run at the same time every Saturday through October 24. Featured bands include: The Instant Classics, Desert Dixie, Sugahbeat, and Rock Lobster.
FOUND:RE’s online gallery exhibits
FOUND:RE Contemporary, the commercial gallery space located at 1100 North Central Avenue, is pleased to announce the launch of its interactive new website that offers art enthusiasts a digital component in which to view exhibits and purchase pieces online at www.foundrecontemporary.com. FOUND:RE Contemporary’s website gives at-home art enthusiasts a chance to view the gallery’s first show, Geometric Elegance: Art in the Age of Computational Beauty, which debuted in February, as well as upcoming shows.
Ballet Arizona offers online fall season
Ballet Arizona’s fall offerings also include new ways for patrons to stay connected with the company. The company announced it will host its free, inaugural Ballet Arizona Book Club that will meet quarterly via Zoom. The first session, a discussion of School of Ballet Arizona alumnus David Hallberg’s memoir, has already garnered a large response and a second date has been added. Also on the community engagement front will be several educational programs that locals can take advantage of virtually throughout the year. Visit their website for more details.