ON THE EVE OF ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY, A PHOENIX POINT OF PRIDE
BURNS EVER BRIGHTER DESPITE A FEW MISCONCEPTIONS
(Phoenix, AZ; May 16, 2013) “Having been in existence for almost three decades, a few misconceptions are bound to arise,” says Jocelyn Hanson, Executive Director of the Shemer Art Center and Museum. “For instance, some confusion exists as to our locale; are we in Scottsdale or Phoenix?”
Convenient to Phoenix and Scottsdale?
Located approximately five minutes from Scottsdale’s downtown arts district and easily accessed from North Scottsdale, the 1920’s Santa Fe mission-style buildings and expansive garden are located in Phoenix’s historic Arcadia neighborhood. Hanson points out that the center is only 15 minutes from the Phoenix Museum and the Heard Museum in central Phoenix.
Underwritten by the City of Phoenix?
While the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department helps to maintain the buildings and grounds, the support is by no means carte blanche. “We are meeting the financial challenge boldly with an array of income-generating features and activities ranging from classes and workshops for adults and children to offering the facility as an unusual and creative meeting place to an expanded gift shop,” explains Hanson. “Since we don’t charge admission, sponsorships and memberships also help us financially.”
The Director goes on to point out that the institution’s very existence is due to the generosity of Martha Shemer, who purchased and donated the three-acre lot and historic home to the City of Phoenix. In 1984, the City dedicated the facility as the Shemer Art Center and Museum.
Focusing on crafts rather than fine art?
Another popular misconception that has evolved over the years is a focus on crafts — such as ceramics and weaving — rather than painting and sculpture. “Many of those artists who exhibit and teach here can point to distinguished careers,” stresses Hanson. For instance, both Patricia Sannit,who received her MFA with honors from California College of Arts and is a professor at Phoenix College, and Sandra Blain, Retired Professor of Art, University of Tennessee, teach intensive workshops at the Shemer.
“And, of course, Shemer has always supported and continues to support local artists,” adds the Director
Eagerly anticipating a fourth decade
“We are happy to say that many people — especially young professionals and their children –are taking our Fall in Love with Art slogan seriously,” says Hanson. “Visitors have been delighted with Sundays at Shemer as well as our current show —New Art Arizona — and enthusiasm is building for the Discovering Hidden Treasures exhibit slated to open May 25th.”
One of Shemer’s students sums up the new attitude that is developing. “Shemer is the place to go to exercise your creativity in a relaxed atmosphere that provides excellent instruction,” says Stacey Parker.