Art has the power to spark passion, deep elation, sensations of love, bliss, and even imagination. And today, there’s a growing mass of research and scientific evidence depicting just how art impacts mental wellbeing, health, brain function, and feelings of love. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that art is often incorporated into the […]
In this edition of “At Home with the Artists”, we venture inside the home and working art studio of figurative artist Kim Ballard. She takes us on a full tour of her Minneapolis loft that previously served as a fire station, and even shows us where she stretches her own canvas.
Perfecting The Art Of The Salon-Style Gallery Hang
The “Salon Style Hang” can be traced back to 1667 and the beginning of the French Royal Academy salon in Paris. Showcasing work from the academy’s students and masters, the floor-to-ceiling layout highlighted art across an array of genres, styles and mediums, and crowded together selections that both complemented and contrasted one another. Naturally, this […]
The Beatles said, “Love is all you need.” But maybe there is something else. Maybe there’s a precursor to this sentiment. And maybe that thing is art. Not to discredit the Beatles. We certainly need love. But art can spark passion, evoke deep elation, conjure up sensations of love and pure bliss, and even unlock […]
Painting Western Landscapes from the Intersection of Memory and Reality
Martin Blundell’s decades-long journey as an artist started on an ordinary day. In grade school, he had a teacher who would separate his class into groups for art projects. One day, Martin used watercolors to paint a scene of yellow aspen trees. His teacher was genuinely impressed, and soon enough his parents also took notice […]
Using Oil, Acrylic and Sculpture to Celebrate Joyful Moments in Life
Stuart Yankell’s foray into art was heavily inspired by two individuals: his father, who was both a research biochemist and accomplished artist, and his father’s best friend, Leon Bibel, an artist who worked under Diego Rivera in the 1930s. Growing up around these two taught Stuart to look at the world in new ways that […]
Uncovering the Dynamic Power and Beauty of Florals
Elizabeth Butler was raised in a big family that loved art. Creativity was encouraged and nurtured, which led her to explore a number of mediums from a young age. She always knew art would be a part of her life, but she didn’t know it could be her career. While in college, Elizabeth pursued a […]
Celebrating the Familiar with a Contemporary Flair for Nostalgia
Erin Berrett is an oil painter known for still lifes depicting beloved objects, such as newspapers, candies and household items. Her style is a mix of contemporary realism and nostalgia, and her works celebrate the familiar with a modern flair all her own. Erin has created art her whole life, progressing from drawing and doodling […]
Interpreting Pathways Between Heaven and Earth Through Symbols
Michael Beckerat’s journey in art hasn’t been a continuous path. He first began drawing when he was very young, but stopped making art for a long time. Then, about eight years ago, he was house sitting for some artist friends when he reignited his passion for art. Alone with no cell phone, no internet service […]
Stirring People’s Emotions Through Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Artists can never be sure when inspiration might strike –– or at what age. For Santiago Michalek, it happened when he was just a child spending time with his grandfather. “He used to draw these really terrible stick drawings of horses, and I thought they were incredible because I was three or four years old,” […]
Bringing Steel, Wood and Concrete to Life with Contemporary Sculptures
Steel, wood and concrete are all around us, and for artists like Carlos Page, the possibilities of these mediums are endless. Carlos’ first experience creating art was 30 years ago in San Francisco. He had left his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina to apprentice for a few years with a metal-works artist in the Bay […]
Creating Joyful Landscapes Through Color and Movement
Michael McKee is a pastel artist from Cleveland who now calls Arizona home. And while today he’s known for jaw-dropping abstract and landscape pastels that are bursting with bright colors, it wasn’t always his medium. Michael’s introduction to art was at six years old –– an interest that was fostered by musically inclined parents who […]
Uncovering What Inspires This Third Generation Artist
Colin Branham is an acrylic artist based in Malibu, California. As a third generation artist, creativity is something he grew up around. By middle school, his immense talent was already beginning to emerge and take shape. In fact, the first piece of art Colin ever sold was in middle school. One of his pieces was […]
Engineering a One-of-a-Kind Technique for Weaving Glass
Mark Lewanski was a kindergartener when his passion for art was first ignited. Before his teacher had the chance to introduce students to shapes, Mark had mastered spheres, cubes and pyramids. He became fascinated with these three dimensional shapes, and spent hours drawing and shading them in. As Mark got older, his interest in the […]
Adolfo Girala grew up in Cuba in the 1970s and spent much of his youth playing on the beach. At the time, art was the furthest thing on his mind. It wasn’t until later in life that he had the desire to explore his creativity. While working as a computer repairman, Adolfo started painting little […]
Evoking Peace and Calm Through the Beauty of Still Lifes
An appreciation for art was instilled in Leslie Duke at a very young age. Some of her earliest memories involve studying beautiful artwork in children’s books with her mother and poring over fine art prints her father had collected from some of his favorite artists. Over the years, Leslie’s creative interest continued to grow, and […]
Ryan Schmidt’s fine art stainless steel sculptures are instantly recognizable, sweeping upwards and out into sleek curves, arcs and lines, and capturing the reflections of the surrounding landscapes.. The sculptures are polished with a mirror-finish, catching the sun, clouds and movement around them, and inspiring the viewer with new discoveries every day. Ryan is such […]
Capturing a Sense of Mystery Through Fine Art Photography
Jon Linton has always had a deep appreciation for the arts –– he just didn’t realize what a significant impact it would have on his life. After living in New York City and working in the fashion industry, Jon moved to Arizona to start a magazine dedicated to art. Years later, when his friend and […]
Paying Homage to Indigenous Cultures With Historical Accuracy
When he was in third grade, James Ayers received an assignment that would foreshadow his future career as an artist. At the time, the holidays were just around the corner so his teacher tasked his class to draw Santa Claus. What James soon realized was that his Santa came out markedly better than everyone else’s––including […]
Showcasing the Beauty of Nature With an Unexpected Medium
Everyone’s journey in life takes a few twists and turns, especially those who choose to pursue art. Take Cathy Sheeter, who grew up in a family that encouraged her creativity from a very young age. In fact, one of her earliest memories consists of her holding crayons. Cathy’s mom even made a point to draw […]
In our Gratitude Series, we explore the relationship between art and gratitude, and the impact both have on our world. Martin Blundell, an oil painter based in Bountiful, Utah, believes art has the power to create new realities and understanding for people. Leading with this philosophy, Martin approaches his artwork with a dedication to inspire […]
Opening Night of the 30th Annual Celebration of Fine Art
Now celebrating its 30th year, the Celebration of Fine Art is widely recognized for a diverse array of exceptional art, but more importantly for an inviting and interactive atmosphere that encourages connection between art lovers and artists. It’s because of this atmosphere and the ability to interact with artists and learn about their process that […]
Three Decades of Connecting Artists and Art Lovers
In 1989, Tom and Ann Morrow were vacationing in Southern California when they came upon a trio of art festivals: the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, the Laguna Art-A-Fair and the Sawdust Art Festival. Known as one of the West’s top art destinations, it was only natural Laguna Beach would appeal to Tom and Ann’s […]
30 Years: Celebrating Three Artists Who’ve Been Here Since the Beginning
In 1990, Tom and Ann Morrow put out a call to artists to gauge their interest in participating in a new kind of art show in Scottsdale, Arizona. To their delight, hundreds of artists responded, so the Morrows set up a jurying event in a rented garage in the Scottsdale Airpark to select the final […]
Todd Paxton is a renowned bronze sculptor celebrated for capturing the humanity and history of the subjects he creates. He is drawn to themes ranging from parenthood and honor to love and longing, and works with precision to depict stories through the subtlest of details. Whether it’s the defiant tilt of a chin, the tension […]
James Ayers is a painter of historic Native American cultures. Dedicated to honoring the customs and beauty of these traditional cultures, James has gained a reputation for his historical accuracy, which can be seen reflected in the hair, clothing and weapons of his subjects. “I study historic artifacts, research customs and rituals, and marry these […]
The opportunity for artistic discovery is not limited to paintings on canvas. Arizona’s arts and culture scene is rich with a wide range of offerings. Wherever your interests may lie, there are concerts and productions that will inspire you. When you’re in town visiting the Celebration of Fine Art, we recommend you also make time […]
The thing about creativity is that you can’t ignore it. Creativity will nag at you until you finally let it work its magic. This was certainly the case for Robin Damore, who for nearly 20 years was dedicated to growing an advertising agency she co-founded. While there are many aspects of advertising that call on […]
A trip to Celebration of Fine Art wouldn’t be complete without immersing yourself in the other world-class art exhibits and events the Valley has to offer. Though you may have visited some of these in the past, they are constantly evolving and worth experiencing again and again. First up, there’s Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of […]
Hannah Friel is a resin and mixed media artist based in Scottsdale, Arizona known for creating ethereal works of art that resemble nature. Her first foray into the world of art began as a child watching her grandmother paint with watercolors. Almost immediately, she was drawn to the mess of an artist’s studio and the […]
When it comes to places to vacation and unwind in the winter, Arizona is hard to beat. Scottsdale in particular is celebrated for crisp weather, exciting sporting events and its unique landscape. But Scottsdale also has a thriving food scene that’s not to be missed. If you’re visiting the Celebration of Fine Art, you’ll meet […]
They say gratitude is good for the heart –– and it isn’t any wonder why. Living a life of gratitude shifts the focus away from what’s lacking to the abundance around us. It’s about seeing the world through a series of miracles, both tiny and tremendous. In that regard, art runs many parallels. In this […]
Oil painter Whitney Hall was born and raised in San Diego, where she studied under contemporary impressionists, expressionists and colorists. About a decade ago she relocated to Montana and began to shift her subject matter from humans to animals. Today, Whitney’s colorful compositions are rooted in the figurative approach she honed in Southern California, and […]
Diana Ferguson is a jeweler known for embracing bold, graphic designs to create whimsical, lightweight earrings, bracelets and more out of metal, paper, resin, glass and beads. Her work, which strikes a balance between feminine and fun, is often described as colorful conversation starters. For years, much of Diana’s inspiration for jewelry stemmed from her […]
Matt Sievers has painting in his blood. His father is artist Greg Sievers, who has been participating in the Celebration of Fine Art for more than 25 years. “I grew up painting with my dad,” Matt says. “There are five of us kids. He was eager to teach any of us that would listen, but […]
Bringing Happiness to Life Through Cheerful Creatures on Canvas
What does your hometown have to do with what kind of artist you become? For Jenny Foster, a small Arizona town along the Colorado River surrounded by petroglyphs and pottery shards left by the American Indians was exactly what fed her early exploration into art and continues to influence her style today. “When I was […]
Art Lovers Unite! Introducing Celebration of Fine Art’s Couples of the Tent
To round out our “Tent Series” blog posts, we’ve put together a special one that we think you’ll adore –– this year’s couples of the tent! Not only are each of the show’s 100 artists lucky to do what they love for a living, some of them get to do it alongside of the person […]
Celebration of Fine Art’s Red Apron and Gate Greeter Teams
Office team? Check. Cafe team? Check. Men of the tent? Check, check, check! We’ve shown some love to a few of the teams that help our world go round, but it’s high time we introduce you to our Red Apron and Gate Greeters! There is no way that this show would be what it […]
Creating Works of Art to Honor the Vibrancy of Nature
There’s no question budding young artists can be helped along by supportive families. That was the case for Leah Rei, who was born in Colorado but raised in Arizona. Her childhood is filled with memories sewing, embroidering, coloring and making collages to pass the time. “I was introduced to art at a very young age,” […]
When you walk into the Celebration of Fine Art and turn to the left, one of the first studios you’ll see is Montana Blue Heron, a space filled with unique, colorful baskets, woven sculptures and three-dimensional wall art in dramatic shapes and sizes. Montana Blue Heron is a collaborative effort between husband and wife Marilyn […]
Few people enjoy a direct and seamless path into a successful career as an artist. To some, it’s an obvious calling from a young age. To others, it’s a result of the zigs and zags life throws out along the way. The latter was the case for acclaimed woodturner David Barkby, who didn’t fully pursue […]
Celebrating Romanticism in Modern Scenes that Call Upon the Past
For Greg Sievers, art has always been a major part of his life. When asked about his earliest artistic endeavors, he often recounts a charming story that foreshadows his future career as an artist. “I got kicked out of 5th grade for drawing caricatures of the teacher,” Greg laughs. “My mom had to get me […]
Using a Trademark Style to Capture Classic Scenes of the West
The West has always captivated Kirk Randle, who grew up in Utah amongst the sweeping landscapes and expansive skies synonymous with this part of the country. He was young, just barely a teenager, when he began to observe and appreciate his surroundings with an artistic eye. “My grandmother was a painter and when I was […]
Many of the artists at the Celebration of Fine Art discovered their creative inclinations while they were young children. But who says there’s an age requirement to become an artist? Take, for example, Pete Tillack. Today he is an oil and acrylic painter renowned for his highly recognizable style, but he didn’t begin to explore […]
Jodi Walsh is a true mixed medium artist, who combines ceramics, stainless steel and wood to create beautiful objects, including folding clay and hand-built ceramics. “My first introduction into art happened outdoors when I was five or six years old in Canada,” says Jodi. “It was fall and I went outside and designed a complete […]
Distinctive and Playful Paintings That Bring Joy to All
Bruce Marion’s first introduction to art was through his father, a creative man who had studied art under the GI Bill and attended two art schools. Delighted his son had decided to explore his creativity at such a ripe age, he wholeheartedly supported Bruce digging into this newfound passion. “He started me out in art […]
Now that you’ve met our beloved office and cafe teams, it’s time to meet the fellas of the Celebration of Fine Art! Doug Morrow, Fred Kirts, Jake Potje and Kenny Davis have been a part of the Celebration of Fine Art for a combined 52 years, and manage everything from setting up the big white […]
Most people recognize the Celebration of Fine Art as being the show where art lovers and artists connect. But for the husband and wife artist duo Joe Axton and Mari Giddings, it didn’t take a show to bring them together, just simply their shared love of art. “On our first date together I went looking […]
Sheri Meldrum remembers the first piece of art that she fell in love with. It was a landscape painting her grandmother had in her living room. As a child, Sheri would stare at the painting and imagine one day visiting such a place. It was then she realized the power art had to spark a […]
Utilizing an Ultra-Contemporary Glass Blowing Technique
Most children discover art through crayons and watercolors, but for Anthony Barbano, it was the loom in the second grade. From then on his artistic inclinations only increased –– in junior high he was introduced to ceramics, which he continued focusing on through his high school years. A BFA with an emphasis on ceramics followed […]
Bryce Pettit grew up in awe of the wonders of nature and to this day maintains a deep connection with the natural world. From a young age, he spent copious amounts of time outdoors and became captivated not only by his surroundings but also the wildlife he’d encounter exploring different landscapes. The pull he felt […]
Art has been one of Sandi Ciaramitaro’s great passions in life –– a fervor fueled by her extensive background in design, which has always existed at the heart of her career. While many of her years was spent as an autobody designer, she eventually pivoted to embrace her knack for creating fine art, including oil […]
Last week we introduced you to our wonderful office team! This week we’re excited to highlight the cafe team, including Kathleen “Kathy” Thorpe, Amy Connolly and Samantha McLain. These gals never miss a beat, serving up everything from hot cocoa to your favorite cabernet –– all from the center of our big white tent! If […]
Trevor Swanson comes from a family of artists. His great grandfather was a painter, and after it skipped a generation, both his father and uncle were professional painters as well. And while today Trevor is a renowned artist who works with oil on canvas, board and metal, he joined the tradition innocently enough by picking […]
Introducing the Celebration of Fine Art’s Office Team
Quite often we talk about the diverse and eclectic group of artists at the Celebration of Fine Art (there are 100 of them, after all!). But there are a number of people who work behind the scenes to make sure the show runs smoothly. If you’ve ever wondered more about the people behind the tent […]
Artists are keen observers of the world around them, taking in shapes and colors and imagining how they could turn them into works of art. Priscilla Nelson is no exception. As an avid people-watcher, she discovered art as a child. In the beginning, she drew with pencils. As she got older, her supportive parents would […]
Troy Moody is a designer and craftsman of unique glass art. He cut his first piece of glass more than two decades ago and while he’s applied the time-tested techniques used by others in this storied profession for more than a thousand years, he has come into a fresh style that is uniquely his own. […]
Stephanie Revennaugh became captivated with horses at an early age. She recalls reading children’s books with horses and ponies, developing the dream to ride and spending hours sketching their form. Eventually she took up showing jumpers and even managed a dressage barn. There was no question Stephanie’s life’s work would center on her passion for […]
Every artist at the Celebration of Fine Art has a completely unique style. And glass artist Mark Lewanski is no exception. In his first year with the show, Mark stands out for his one-of-a-kind woven glass vessels and wall sculptures. His pieces are breathtaking, vibrant and have the power to immediately draw a viewer in […]
Keith Bond is a celebrated landscape artist known for field studies painted en plein air. He finds inspiration in nature, especially in remote landscapes untouched by humans. Keith, who is less interested in depicting a landscape scene down to the exact leaves on the ground, utilizes juicy brushstrokes to evoke the peace and serenity he […]
If you are the type of person who can’t help but stop and smell the roses, there’s one name you must know: Elizabeth Butler. Elizabeth isn’t simply known for her original oil floral paintings. She’s known for their intense and extravagant beauty, and her ability to illustrate abundance and drama through the use of rich […]
The Valley of the Sun is home to warm sunshine, beautiful landscapes and a vibrant arts and culture scene. After your visit to the Celebration of Fine Art, fill your itinerary with the best museums the Valley has to offer.
Jodi Walsh is a creator of beautiful objects, including folding clay and hand-built ceramics. Inspired by the endless possibilities of fashion and design, Jodi’s work is also deeply influenced by her extensive travels.
Trevor Swanson began his professional career as a painter at the young age of 20, and within a few short years his works were being sought after for renowned art shows, museums and private collections.
Diana is a sought after jeweler who embraces bold, graphic designs. Forget the old traditions of jewelry making –– fans describe her earrings, necklaces and bracelets as fun, feminine, colorful and adventurous.
Meet the painter of storytelling historical portraits
Kenneth Ferguson tells stories through historical portraits. He likes to work with material culture, and rather than painting a still life, he puts the material back onto the person and showcases what they would have looked like wearing those items in their time.
Celebrating the natural simplicity and beauty of wood artistry
Joe Deru’s introduction to art started at a young age, thanks to his mother who was an art teacher. After spending more than three decades as an educator himself, Joe parlayed his passion for wood artistry into a spot as the Celebration of Fine Art’s resident woodworker.
Today, Thane Gorek is recognized for taking everyday objects and enlarging their scale significantly. The effect is twofold: he draws the viewer’s attention to overlooked subjects and transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Elizabeth Hake is renowned for her contemporary but simple sterling silver jewelry, accented with gold and inspired by found pieces. The jewelry is both architectural and simple, deconstructed so as not to get caught in any certain trend or time period.
Mimi is an an award-winning textile artist. Her abstract, one-of-a-kind works of art are created with her own hand-dyed, cotton fabrics plus exotic textiles from all over the globe. She finds inspiration everywhere, from the lines of a crooked telephone pole to the stones on a beach.
Tyson is a proficient oil painter and portrait artist, although his primary love is creating sculptures. Across all his mediums, he captures serene moments and strikes a balance between aesthetic and meaningful, and beautiful and uplifting.
Gabriela’s career in art began in the fashion industry. She parlayed her creativity into working with glass, before switching to making jewelry. For 15 years, she sculpted wood and stone with her husband. Then she decided it was time to paint.
Capturing nature and natural phenomena through a new technique
Visitors of the Celebration of Fine Art are drawn to the light and pigmentation of Hannah’s work. But as awestruck as patrons feel seeing her art, she feels the same way of other artists’ work at the show.
In 2017, the Celebration of Fine Art invited contemporary glass artist Caleb Siegler to join the show. Caleb said his process of creating blown glass and fabricated steel artwork has changed drastically in the last year.