Parents who bemoan the impact of technology on their 21st century teens can take comfort in knowing that concerns about the dehumanizing influence of technology were already taking shape 50 years ago.
The young@art gallery in Scottsdale is holding an opening night celebration tonight to spotlight the work of teen artists inspired by The Whole Earth Catalog, which is considered an important documentation of the counterculture mindset of the ’60s and ’70s.
Exhibition presenters note that the catalog represents a movement focused on identifying and creating tools to empower creativity, adding that works in “Steering the Spaceship Earth: Teens Respond to the Whole Earth Catalog” demonstrate the teen artists’ “vision for creating harmony in their own lives.”
Zenara Daley, a 15 year old who attends Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, created a sculpture for the exhibition during art class. She’ll attend Friday’s 7-10pm opening to see how people react to her work — which features two hands, with roots, wrapped around each other.
One hand holds a pill bottle, the other an apple. “Americans depend on pills for everything,” explains Daley. “My sculpture is about going back to basics to be healthy.”
For Daley, exhibiting art is no less important than creating it. “It’s good to get out there and show people are interested in these works,” she says. “Art is important,” insists Daley, “even though people don’t take it as seriously as sports.”
Several teens created sustainable/repurposed fashion that will be donned and paraded through the young@art gallery throughout Friday’s opening celebration.
Desert Mountain High School student Amara Spizzirri created “Dress for a Better World,” featuring logos from popular soda brands, out of aluminum cans and brads.
Those who attend the young@art event can also enjoy the free SMoCA fall opening celebration taking place from 7-10pm. Those who miss the opening can enjoy the exhibition through January 6, 2013.
The young@art gallery is operated by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art education department, but housed in the adjacent Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts – which is located at 7380 E. 2nd St. in downtown Scottsdale.
A related exhibition titled “West of Center: The Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977″ also runs through January 6, 2013. Click here for information on additional SMoCA programs, events and exhibitions.