It’s happened: That brisk touch to the air and the lush greens of foliage near the end of our monsoon season, both signaling that fall is a bit more than two weeks away.
The change of season into fall is a great time for the First Friday Art Walk, as the rains subside, temperatures are moderate and snowfalls are well in the future.
Flagstaff’s monthly free street party, a delight for both locals and out-of-towners, promises to be extremely lively Friday from 6–9 p.m. mostly in historic downtownFlagstaff.
Enjoying Art Walk may have been helped by the 15th annual Open Studios art tour on the weekend of Aug. 25 and 26, which provided a wonderful and convenient way to visit art studios around town.
Studio doors swung open and the public visited their favorite local artists and gained some insight into the creative process.
Some of these same artists participate in the monthly Art Walk events, so there will be that friendly feeling of seeing old friends again when you walk into galleries Friday night.
To refresh your memory about their art, don’t forget to swing by the Prelude exhibition, which features one work of art from each Open Studios artist, and will be on display through Sept. 18 at theCoconinoCenterfor the Arts, 2300 N. Ft. Valley Road.
During Open Studios, I popped into #23, Zizziba Studio and Z House Gallery, where owner and potter Dina Barnese welcomed guests toFlagstaff’s newest gallery.
“Zizziba—that’s just a word I made up,” explains Barnese. “It just means ‘Happy.’”
Another claim to fame, Z House is located well on the eastside of town at 2320 E. Rte. 66, departing from the more common choice for galleries to operate near or in the downtown area.
Z House is being advertised as the First Friday “Hot Spot” for September in the flier for the event provided by Flagstaff Cultural Partners, where 45 other locations are also featured (visit www.flagstaffartwalk.com to download the September guide).
“This place may be off the beaten path but it is definitely worth the detour,” Barnese says on the gallery’s Facebook site. “We’ll have lots of art going on, with refreshments and live music by the fantastic Rob Dutton out back on the fabulous new patio!”
Barnese notes the gallery and studio opened June 1 and will be celebrating its grand opening the weekend of Sept. 22 and 23, which will feature music by several local musicians, including Psyche’s Playground, Rhythm Oasis, Rob McFarland, Tom Carpenter, Kyle Montgomery and Rob Dutton.
The journey to create Z House was daunting, with much hard work since she closed on the property in September 2010.
“I bought this property two years ago when I was searching for a larger studio space for my pottery business,” says Barnese. “I worked out of a bedroom at home for several years and outgrew the space. This property came with a little house and an outbuilding—both badly in need of restoration.”
About 21 artists, in addition to Barnese, exhibit their work at the gallery. Work ranges from found-object assemblage to photography, oil paintings, watercolors, prints, greeting cards, fiber arts, clothing, and, of course, pottery.
Future plans for the property include operating the art gallery, weekend pottery workshops during warm months, children’s pottery birthday parties and art classes.
Parking is limited, although extra parking is available alongFourth Streetand the city bus does makea Fourth Streetstop.
There will also be much not-to-be-missed Art Walk action downtown, including the spotlight thrown on our own High Altitude Roller Derby girls, a core group of more than 20 women who are indulging their passion for the sport of roller derby.
New this year, the team, led by founders Cat Jalet-Andre and Alisha Kuyper, has created quite a stir with team colors (orange and blue), and a name that abbreviates to a pun-friendly H.A.R.D., which advertises how they train, hit, and in general, compete.
The first derby-related stop will be Headlines 2000, 113 E. Aspen, where you can enjoy derby prints by local photographer Ryan Williams and find out how to get involved in H.A.R.D.
Next, visit MartAnne’s, 10 N. San Francisco, where 12 new “Derby Girls” paintings by local artist Emma Gardner will be on display.
“I wanted to do a series of 12 paintings of Derby Girls as skeletons, using the personas they have created for themselves and pushing them a bit further,” saysGardner. “They are tough, sexy, scary, empowered and cute. They have it all. Starla Cupquake, Kim KiMalicious and Annie Venom are a few of the players I have painted. I think it’s cool that empowered women are taking back the fish nets.”
Along with artist Hannah Stone, Gardner will also have work up at Sundara Fine Arts Cafe & Boutique, 22 E. Rte. 66, where coffee, tea, beer, wine and sangria will be served, along with late-night dance party music from DJ LJ.
Finally, catch up with some of the H.A.R.D. players who will be hanging out at McSweeney the Salon, 1112 E. Rte. 66.