Scottsdale Arts Opens Two New Exhibitions in February

In February, Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation will open two new exhibitions — “Unintended Consequences” (pictured above) and “con∙text” — examining human actions and how they affect the world and the people inhabiting it.

“Unintended Consequences” features the combined talents of artists Carolyn Lavender, Monica Aissa Martinez and Mary Shindell. The exhibition blends the artists’ passions to tell the story of how human actions can and do affect the fragile ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. The temporary wall painting installation creates a visual narrative that examines the unintended consequences of human activity on Arizona’s people, wildlife and plants in the past and the present.

“In my mind, one of our jobs as artists is to present ideas and give people something to observe and have conversations about,” said artist Monica Aissa Martinez. “Each time I work with Carolyn and Mary, I have learned something more and become a different person. I am learning so much in the process of this project — both as an artist but also about the world.”

Shindell, Lavender and Martinez have a history together that spans decades, yet this is the first time the three women have fully collaborated on an artistic project. All three artists have a deep understanding and admiration of fauna and flora — Shindell grew up in a family of farmers, Lavender’s rescue cat Feisty makes an appearance in the exhibition and Martinez’s work is driven by the sciences of microbiology.

In the ArtReach Space, Visions students will create their first collaborative installation. “con∙text” includes text to communicate the artists’ stance on finding unity. Visions is a program for advanced high school visual art students from around the Valley which involves working with professional artists and engaging with exhibitions at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).

Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation brought back teaching artist Kristin Bauer to guide the students’ thought processes on text, installation and performance art.

“I’m really excited to be working with Kristin Bauer again! She led a similar workshop for Visions students back in 2019, which involved creating these same kind of what Kristin calls ‘text interventions,’” said Brittany Arnold, community & engagement manager for Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. “At the time, they were able to temporarily install text on the walls of our facilities, and the students absolutely loved making a statement by leaving a mark with their art. I’m delighted to be able to give them exhibition space to further explore that idea.”

This collaborative installation takes its inspiration from the exhibition “Language in Times of Miscommunication,” opening at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) on March 4 and featuring artworks that incorporate various forms of language to address the complexities of social reality since 2016.

Both Learning & Innovation exhibitions will be on view inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. “Unintended Consequences” opens Friday, Feb. 17, with a free reception to celebrate this artistic collaboration. “con∙text” will open two weeks earlier on Friday, Feb. 3. Visitors will also be able to see the exhibitions for themselves in the Center Space and ArtReach Space from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays through May 26. The center is closed on Mondays.

Find more information, or to learn more about the exhibitions, click here.

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