Tara Logsdon’s ‘BEARial Ground’ at Frontal Lobe Gallery presents things to ‘beary’

Tara Logsdon believes values and practices such as slavery, torture, money and gender should be eliminated from society. She’s conveying that belief by using teddy bears at her current BEARial Ground Frontal Lobe Gallery show in Phoenix.

Bearial Ground at Frontal Lobe Gallery

The multimedia artist assembled colorful bears on crucifixes with shovels attached, covered in symbols relating to their ideologies.

Bearial Ground

The result is a thought-provoking exhibit, complete with a meditative center visitors can enter after they’ve made the gallery rounds, to contemplate how they can speak up against negative issues in their own lives.

Bearial Ground at Frontal Lobe Gallery in Phoenix

I love seeing local artists who use innovative methods to promote a positive agenda. Logsdon is an amazingly creative visionary who founded DIE Bearmy, where she “rehabs” forgotten bears from places such as thrift stores and garage sales and turns them into unique new stuffed animals for loving homes. Learn all about her cause here.

Nicki Escudero Tara Logsdon Bearial Ground

Check out BEARial Ground through this Friday, Feburary 20. The third Friday reception goes from 6-10 p.m.

Burst of Butterflies art studio in Chandler has all things crafty

I love personalizing functional items by hand-painting them at pottery studios. Burst of Butterflies recently opened in downtown Chandler, and the space is a charming spot featuring affordable pieces you can make your own however you’d like.

Burst of Butterflies in downtown Chandler

I made salt and pepper shakers ($16 for the set), while my companion made a one-of-a-kind mug. You’ll pay a nominal painting fee, but in January, it’s waived.

Burst of Butterflies in downtown Chandler

The atmosphere was relaxed, the staff was friendly and helpful, and we had a great time painting.

Burst of Butterflies also has canvas painting, ceramics, soapmaking, glass fusing, drawing, jewelry, scrapbooking, quilting, needlepoint, crochet, sewing, metalwork and candlemaking offerings. No matter what type of arts and crafts interest you have, there’s something for everyone.

Burst of Butterflies in downtown Chandler

Burst of Butterflies in downtown Chandler

Burst of Butterflies in downtown Chandler

Burst of Butterflies in downtown Chandler

Learn more about the studio here.

Your Art Party in Phoenix a unique painting party

I am really, REALLY loving public painting parties. It’s great to use your brain when you go out, and it’s neat to have something so cool to take home with you when you’re done.

I’ve hit up The Brush Bar in Scottsdale, and I recently discovered Your Art Party in downtown Phoenix. The space is super-intimate, with a capacity of 14 people, and it’s BYOB, so you can bring as much beer and wine as you want to imbibe while you’re painting.

I had a blast when I went to paint this sunset recently.

Your Art Party in Phoenix, AZ

Everyone in the class was super-friendly and chatty and made you feel like your friends instantly. Our teacher, Mandie, was absolutely hysterical, and the painting was simple enough for everyone in the room, even a pre-teen in our group, to paint successfully.

I’m excited for a private party I’m hosting there next month and think it’s so cool you’re able to fill the space yourself for only $25 a person. Find more information on Your Art Party here.

The Brush Bar in Old Town my new favorite Scottsdale spot

O…M…G. I found my new favorite thing to do in Scottsdale when I’m not eating or drinking yummy food and cocktails – painting at The Brush Bar!

This Old Town Scottsdale painting studio is one of those trendy wine-and-paint places, where an instructor leads attendees through painting an acrylic work of art, as painters may sip vino or their beverage of choice. I went last weekend with my friend Arian who so graciously took me as her guest, and we painted these panda masterpieces.

The Brush Bar painting class in Old Town Scottsdale

The class was about two-and-a-half hours long, and each painter got a canvas and plenty of paint and brushes to work with. A microphoned instructor broke down the painting stroke by stroke, and we were in a family class filled with little kids who were able to deftly recreate the panda because of the excellent instruction.

Painting at The Brush Bar in Old Town Scottsdale

When I walked in and saw what we’d be painting, I had doubts I’d be able to turn out something similar, even though I’ve always loved painting as a hobby. Because the instructor divided the painting into easy-to-replicate shapes, it wasn’t difficult to follow along, and I was thrilled with how my painting turned out.

The instructor played music throughout the class, and it was a lot of fun to paint and chat with my friend in-between the instructions. Even though we were in the family class (only $25 a class, compared to some classes that are $40 each), none of the kids were annoying, since everyone had their own little work station. It was seriously the most fun I’ve had in awhile, and I’d highly recommend a class. Plus, each one includes a complimentary glass of wine — fun!

The Brush Bar offers happy hour classes at a discounted rate, as well as open studio time where you’re free to grab a blank canvas and paint whatever you want. I think it’d be a super-fun date idea, and you can learn more about The Brush Bar here.