Families, like works of art, come in endless varieties. An exhibition that explores and celebrates the multiple meanings of family runs June 23 to Aug. 25 at Tempe Center for the Arts. The exhibition features pieces by professional artists working with different media and themes, plus a special wall for juried works by Tempe teens.
Professional artists represent several Valley cities. Stephen Marc, Melissa Martinez and Kathleen Scott Moore hail from Tempe. Lynette Andreasen and Corinne Geertsen live in Mesa. Both Jane Kelsey-Mapel and Annie Lopez are from Phoenix. Other artists include Shannon Smith of Tucson and Vala Ola of Cave Creek.
Many artists note connections between their own family life and the way they approach or make art. For a time, Smith focused on her “identity as a woman and a female artist.” Nowadays Smith’s photography reflects “her family life and the balance she maintains as a mother, artist and educator.”
Moore notes that the way she “sees the world” was shaped by her father’s participation in historical reenactments. Her artwork reflects “the fine line between family history and legend.” Martinez created an installation of handmade paper butterflies to “represent the happiness her young son has brought to her life.”
Lopez was born into a family whose Phoenix roots “go back more than 120 years” and recalls getting her first camera at the age of 13. She’d often escape the noise of a busy household (she’s the middle of five kids) by taking pictures away from the house. Her work explores heritage, memory, identity and more.
Teen artists ages 14 to 18 were invited to submit work for consideration, and works by students from four Tempe schools were selected — Desert Vista (Rupika Kepur, Stephanie Paragas and Samantha Park), New School for the Arts and Academics (Cody Anernathy and Stephanie Solis), Corona del Sol (Anastasia Plyasvnova) and Marcos de Niza (Ashleigh Watts).
The public is invited to a free opening reception from 7-9pm on Sat., June 23. Free tours and mini youth art workshops are available on request. Free family art workshops led by exhibiting artists and TCA staff take place noon-4pm every Saturday throughout the exhibition (no RSVPs are required). The workshop schedule is:
June 30: “My Family Story” with Jennifer Campbell
July 7: “Day Pop-Up Cards” with Laura Hukill
July 14: “Silhouettes” with Lynette Andreasen
July 21: “Tea Set Families” with Jane Kelsey-Mapel
July 28: “Family Photo Collage” with Stephen Marc
Aug. 4: “Family Role Reversal” with Shannon Smith
Aug. 11: “Family Tree” with Michelle Dock and Rolf Brown
Aug. 18: “Miniature Chairs” with Marco Albarran
Aug. 25: “What’s Your Story?” with Annie Lopez