New Website

I have to admit its been far too long since my last entry.  After my ‘Marketing for Artists’ class ended at ASU I wanted to continue utilizing this blog as a place to discuss art world endeavors and events happening in Phoenix.  Unfortunately, I failed at my attempt to do this and instead I have a new website: Alexandrabowersart.com where you can find all of my information including my portfolio, contact information, and artist CV.  I will continue to keep this blog up and running so people can access my portfolio from a few different online sources, however, I wont be updating this site and instead would prefer people to use my website address for the most current information regarding my art career.  Thank you for all your support!

New Work

The past three months have been  interesting and exciting for my art career.  In August I finished a private commission for the Breadfruit restaurant.  The piece is by far my biggest undertaking, and greatest accomplishment.  It is a 3 x 5 ft. fully wood burned composition of a Jamaican sea port set in the mid 1800s.  I spent 200 hours working on it and was finally able to deliver it to the restaurant in early September.  Since then I have been developing a new series that was intended for my senior exhibition at ASU.  The work is of indigenous plant specimens that grow only in the Sonoran Desert.  Each composition is rendered to look like a page out of an 18th century encyclopedia.  The purpose of this series is to fuse science and art, which are two areas of study I’m extremely interested in.  Having grown up in Arizona I have always been aware of the intrinsic beauty the desert offers, however I have taken it for granted most of my life.  Collecting the necessary data to produce this series has awakened a new appreciation and respect for the natural environment that surrounds Phoenix.

My senior exhibition group show Fluxus ran from Oct. 24- Nov. 4 at ASU’s Gallery 100.  The opening reception was a great success and it was wonderful to feel all the support from my close friends and family.  I also enjoyed discussing and critiquing the work with a few of my professors.  I’d like to continue developing this series, and to push myself to do so I have  submitted a proposal to the Step Gallery committee at ASU to have a solo show there next semester.  I’ll find out if I got the show by the end of November, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Senior Exhibition Show Installation Shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brush Bar

I am so excited about the newest venture in my life, which is joining the Brush Bar team, located off 3rd avenue and Craftsman Court in Old Town Scottsdale.  The Brush Bar is a place where patrons learn how to paint with instruction, while enjoying a glass of wine or beer.  Its a wonderful place to bring your spouse, best friends, family, or even colleagues.  I first heard about the concept of this place about four months ago, and I knew right away this was a unique opportunity that I wanted to somehow be a part of.  The gracious art gods were looking out for me because not only was I hired to be one of the painting instructors, I was also fortunate enough to be the first featured artist for the place!  I feel really honored to be a part of this wonderful opportunity, and I truly feel the Brush Bar has the right ingredients to not only prosper but grow.  What I am looking forward to the most is seeing people get in touch with their creative side they might not have had contact with in a long time, or were not even aware the had inside of them.  I believe everyone possesses the ability to make art, and I think the Brush Bar is the perfect place to come unleash that beautiful side of oneself.

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New Work

This past semester I had the fortune of taking my first screen printing class.  The process of creating a screen print is a meticulous, time consuming, and physically demanding technique (believe it or not).  I dedicated most of my weekends and evenings to the studio leaving most nights dead tired and cursing myself all the way home.  But, I endured, and thus was able to transform my attitude towards screen printing from utter disdain into appreciation, and then finally love.

I think that all artists should explore other mediums and realms for making art to open one’s eyes to the infinite possibilities of making original work.  At least for me, not only do I create better work by learning new techniques, I have also developed a better appreciation for my medium of choice.  Throughout my 4 years as an art student at ASU I have come to greatly appreciate the variety of studios offered, and the excitement and freshness I feel when I learn a new media.

My first piece of the semester was open ended in terms of the concept.  However, technique wise the piece had to be constructed solely using rubylithe.  That first assignment became a ‘Murphy’s Law’ type situation for myself, but what resulted was my favorite piece of the semester.  To elaborate on the work, which is a depiction of a strong/alpha female with a retro 1960’s twist, I created another piece with the same character only painted on a canvas.  I’ve enjoyed getting back into painting, and its been a nice change of pace from wood burning.  Hope you enjoy 🙂

ABAD ‘Memento’

This First Friday come check out the show ‘Memento’ A Book About Death, located at the Willo North Gallery on 7th Avenue in downtown Phoenix.  The show features postcards from around the world concentrating on the theme of death.  Patricia Sahertian, a phoenix based artist, is the wonderful woman who put the show together.  I was so excited when I saw the international call to work for this particular show.  I am obsessed with the Willo North Gallery, and I think it should be on everyone’s list to visit on a First Friday.  The show runs from 6:00-10 :00 pm, with a special Honor Guard Ceremony starting at 7:00 pm.  I can’t wait to check it out!

My Memento Submissions:

The Breadfruit

Yesterday I was granted the wonderful opportunity to hang 9 of my wood burned pieces at The Breadfruit, a fine dining Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant located in the heart of the arts district in downtown Phoenix!  The restaurant serves some of the most incredible Caribbean food I have ever had, and what is even more special about this place is the upscale Rum Bar that was just opened in January.  The Breadfruit is a great place to meet for drinks with friends, or bring someone special for a romantic night out on the town.  I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to be the featured artist for two months!  So grab some friends, and head over to The Breadfruit for some incredible  food, drinks and good times!

 

Bracelets!

A few months ago I wandered in to Retro Ranch in Phoenix, and found these amazing vintage wooden bracelets.  Once my eyes caught sight of them I immediately began thinking of simplistic designs I could wood burn into each bracelet.  When I started sketching out ideas I knew I didn’t want to repeat the same design on every bracelet, instead I wanted to burn a re-occurring shape into each bracelet.  Because the shape of the bracelet is round, I decided to have a circle be the unifying component.  The back and front sides of each bracelet correspond with one anther, however each side has its own unique composition.  The bracelets are meant to be worn as a set, but they look great as individual works of art as well!

Latest Woodburning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Octopus Woman is one of my latest woodburned pieces and is the first step in a new direction I am heading with my work.  The piece was commissioned by my brother, who specifically asked for me to create a woman entwined with an octopus.  The octopus carries deep personal meaning because it represents my brother’s best friend, and dear friend of my whole family who passed away several years ago.  I had been asked to make this work a long time ago, but I hadn’t really had the time to create it until this winter break.  The opportunity to make this piece came at a perfect time, coinciding with the new year.  The new year symbolically represents a new beginning or fresh start.  And so, I’d like to start breaking away from solely portraiture and begin creating work with more depth and imagery to fill the composition.

Local Flavor

This past weekend was filled with fun festivities celebrating Thanksgiving.  On Saturday I visited more artist studios in Carefree to check out more of the Hidden in the Hills art show.  It was nice to explore other artist’s studios in the valley, and converse with them a little about their work.  One of the first stops of the day was Christopher Heede’s studio.  Heede is an excellent ceramicist who received his BFA at ASU in 1982.  I really enjoyed touring his studio for a few reasons.  One, it was designed by William Bruder who is a phenomenal local architect.  But two, I learned while the construction was taking place Christopher Heede lived in a teepee for an entire year.  His home is tucked away in the desert, so I can imagine living in the teepee was an interesting adventure.    His studio is wonderfully constructed in that it is a full working studio, yet easily navigable to sell his work directly out of it.  I ended up purchasing a small piece that I think will make for a great Christmas gift.

After hanging out in Christopher Heede’s studio for awhile, my mom and I headed to Gerry and Marcia Kmack Glass and Wood Works studio.  Gerry has a fully stocked state of the line woods studio, where he focuses on creating functional art.  He mostly assembles beautiful bread boards, and wine stoppers.  I love that he laces three different woods together to create his bread boards.  Directly across from Gerry is his wife Marcia’s glass studio.  There she makes from scratch all different kinds of glass beads for necklaces and bracelets.  When my mom and I wandered into her studio, she gave us a glass bead demo.  It was incredible watching her skillful hands melt and sculpt strands of glass, and in a matter of minutes creating a beautiful bead.  I asked her on average how many beads she makes per day, depending upon the complexity she can make around 60 a day.

Overall the Hidden in the Hills experience was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed talking with artists who have established themselves within the community, and who work with mediums so different from my own.  The Sonoran arts league seems like it could be a great networking tool.  I was thinking next year it might be fun to have a booth in the Hidden in the Hills show.

Feeling Canned

Do you ever feel like your under so much pressure your going to explode?  Almost like your body is a can, and the only way to release the pressure is by opening it up?  Right now that is exactly how I am feeling.   The end of the semester is fast approaching, and I can already feel my anxiety levels rising in preparation for finals.  Today I had an advising appointment to discuss my few semesters left at ASU, and what classes I will be needing to take in order to meet graduation requirements.  Looks like I only have two semesters to go.  Therefore, I will be receiving by BFA exactly a year from now!  Feels surreal and nerve racking that my college career is almost at an end.

This past weekend I explored the Hidden in the Hills art walk.  Every year for two consecutive weekends the Sonoran Arts league puts the exhibition of local artists work together.   I like going to this event not only to shop for Christmas presents, but also because I get a chance to see what other local artists are producing, and how they are making a living off of their art.  I was able to make it to four different locations this past weekend, and was very impressed by some of the watercolor and oil painters I encountered.  It was also a great opportunity to network, and pass out business cards and the wooden discs I made to help market myself.

I recommend checking out Hidden in the Hills.  Its a great experience, and a wonderful opportunity to meet talented Arizona artists.  Not to mention a great stress reliever!  The event helped open up the can of anxiety I was beginning to build up around myself.