Scottsdale Arts Festival 2016

This year was the 46th annual Scottsdale Arts Festival, which brought together a large collection of artists from a variety of media: painters, sculptors, glass blowers, welders, and more all put their work on display for auction and sale on the grounds of city hall.

With over 100 artists represented there at the festival, it was difficult to decide which ones to write about. The event saw many spectacles: Statues made of recycled materials, hyper-reflective metal workings, digital prints, hand-painted landscapes, glasswork, wood carvings, weaving, and so much more. The circuit is easy to walk: It’ll take you an hour to do the complete look if you’re just browsing.

Scottsdale Arts Festival 2016 Glass Weave - Two Second Street -
Glass weaves.

One of the first artists we visited was Mark Lewanski, based in Portland, Michigan. He does these stunning displays of woven glass. His technique? Molds to lay the heated glass on. Set down the first set of strips (vertical) and let them cool before setting the horizontal rows in through weaving. Then, heat the whole thing again to keep it nice and fused into one piece. You can check out his website here: Glass Weavers.


Scottsdale Arts Festival Buffalo Sculpture - Two Second Street -
Award-winning buffalo sculpture.


We also saw many award winners for this year: Buffalo sculptures for metalworking, and scarves woven on a wooden loom for textile. A young boy watched the woman intently as she wove. During one threading, she asked him casually “Did you figure it out yet?” She then gave a breakdown of how the loom worked: The threads are held in place by alternating eyelets, each foot pedal controlling a set. She threads the horizontal thread through the layer, pulls down to put it in place, and pumps the right pedal. Rinse and repeat, replacing the right pedal with the left, and eventually, you have a loom-woven garment. The boy seemed enthralled, and the woman’s description was so simple, yet elegant.


Scottsdale Arts Festival Loom - Two Second Street -
Looming in action.


One booth we visited that I was unable to take a photo of was Carl Zachmann’s work. He makes mechanical art: Custom-made gears based on old blueprints put together in frames to be moving works of industrial art. The look of gears in motion with shades of gray and brown was mesmerizing. Maybe if I saved for a while, I could own one of his wonderful machines. You can visit his website here: Carl Zachman.

It was a wonderful experience, seeing all these artists together in one spot, displaying proudly their works. I wish I had the discipline and skill to construct such wonderful things. I would recommend going to see what sorts of wonderful surprises you can discover!



2 thoughts on “Scottsdale Arts Festival 2016

  1. I love reading your perspective. The glass weaving certainly caught my eye!

    I just posted on my blog about my experience as an artist at arts festivals. One of my favorite parts was setting up my loom so attendees could weave on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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