For Art’s Sake 

Scottsdale Arts Festival 

Celebrates Art, Music, Food & Fun

text by Sarah Robinson  photos courtesy of Scottsdale Arts Festival

Expect delicious food, thirst-quenching beverages, toe-tapping tunes, a giant games garden, and plenty of family activities at the Scottsdale Arts Festival…but the foremost attraction is undeniably the art itself.
Above: An overview of the Festival grounds, 2017.

Leave your car nearby and step onto the well-groomed grounds of Scottsdale Civic Center Park, a popular site for dozens of concerts, weddings, picnics, and festivals as well as Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture. You’ll feel the buzz of anticipation as you approach with the sunlight on your shoulders, hearing the growing murmur of an enthusiastic crowd browsing through the work of 175 artists.

“Now in its 48th year, the Scottsdale Arts Festival continues to be a point of pride for Scottsdale Arts and is one of its largest fundraisers,” says Jamie Prins, Associate Director of Patron Experience & Scottsdale Arts Festival Director . “We bring the talents of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to one event to provide an overall experience that appeals to people of all ages.”

Top, left: Necklace by Yumi Ueno. Top, right: Art by Fred Stodder. Bottom: Attendees browse the work of one of the 175 artists represented at the Festival, 2017.

“The Festival offers a chance to not only see works of art, but to engage and participate in creating your own pieces of artwork, as well as see local artists in action,” Prins explains.”We offer a variety of options with two stages of entertainment, giant games garden, a community art studio, a print-making workshop, 14 local food trucks and vendors, and bars and refreshments throughout the beautiful park grounds.”

The Festival was the first event to work with the Phoenix Street Food Coalition, which seems fitting to have  culinary arts that match the quality of arts that are presented. Hungry visitors can snack on kettle corn at Barrie’s Original Kettle Korn and Italian ice at Lu Lu’s or refuel at food trucks parked on-site, including Even Stevens, Hibachibot, Local Lunch Box, The Maine Lobster Lady, Paletas Betty, Press Italian, Que Sazón, Satay Hut, Soundbite by Short Leash, Sweet Street Mini Donuts, Tom’s BBQ and United Lunchadoras.

Above: The popular Maine Lobster Lady food truck returns to the Festival this weekend.

On two stages more than 20 Arizona performers and ensembles run the gamut from folk, rock and R&B to jazz, blues and salsa, with appearances by familiar favorites like Cold Shott & the Hurricane Horns. Other performers include Salt Petal, The Blood Feud Family Singers, Muskellunge, Miguel Melgoza, Treasurefruit, Las Chollas Peligrosas, The Haymarket Squares, BD Frank, Cecile Hortensia, Power Drive Band and Painted Soul Featuring Desiree White.

For those with extra curiosity, Scottsdale Public Art provides an interactive concept called Barter Boat by RADAR ART, where visitors will be asked to trade small possessions for an eco-friendly bag filled with curated objects collected from a previous city.

Creativity has always been a strong point for the Festival, and this year’s Community Art Studio will offer creative activities for all ages, including community mural, paper sculptures, face painting, paper-hat making and more. Mini workshops on mime, poetry and creative movement will take place throughout the weekend.

Top, left: Earrings by Chelsea Stone. Top, right: Painting by Stephanie Saint-Thomas. Bottom: Guests browse the work of one of the many jewelry artists represented at the Festival, 2017.

Creativity has always been a strong point for the Festival, and this year’s Community Art Studio will offer creative activities for all ages, including community mural, paper sculptures, face painting, paper-hat making and more. Mini workshops on mime, poetry and creative movement will take place throughout the weekend.

And don’t forget to take advantage of free admission to SMoCA, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently showcasing three new exhibitions featuring Claudio Dicochea, Luis Alfonso Villalobos and three generations of Inuit women, the museum will open at 10 a.m. Also on view at SMoCA’s Young@Art Gallery, inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts lobby, will be To Dream Huge Dreams, featuring the work of fifth-grade students from Summit School.

The Festival’s array of booths is mouthwatering for any art lover. Stretch out a hand to feel pleated silk, and smooth your fingertips across a sleekly finished wooden bench. Every corner reveals strikingly different ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and prints. This year’s Festival will showcase 175 jury-selected artists from the United States and abroad who work in painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography and other media. Artwork will be available for purchase directly from the artists and via the Festival’s online art auction.

Above: The popular musical group Cold Shots & the Hurricane Horns returns to entertain attendees.

The entire Festival is a fundraiser for the Center for the Arts, including those raised by an online auction featuring work donated by artists — support the Center’s wide range of programs. Fortunately for patrons, it’s also the perfect place to find every gift and soul-satisfying piece of art you’ll need until the Festival comes again next spring.

 

Scottsdale Arts Festival
Friday, March 9 through Sunday, March 11
Scottsdale Civic Center Park
www.ScottsdaleArtsFestival.org