Home Art Art Galleries Discover Art, Learn From Artists at the 27th Annual Celebration of Fine Art

The 27th Annual Celebration of Fine Art, the West’s premiere art show and working studio festival, is approaching its second week in sunny Scottsdale. Boasting more than 40,000 square feet of working studios, the event features 100 renowned and emerging artists from across the country, and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, March 26th. 

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Bronze sculptor Bryce Pettit, pictured above, will be one of the artists kicking off the Art Discovery Series at the Celebration of Fine Art this Friday

Friday, January 20th, marks the opening of another beloved Celebration of Fine Art tradition –– the Art Discovery Series. Every Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. until the show concludes, the community is invited to explore the inspiration, techniques and stories behind the creation of art. At the Art Discovery Series, guests can enjoy wine, cheese and artistic dialogue at informative panel discussions and demonstrations with Celebration artists.

This Friday, artists Bryce Pettit, a Durango-based wildlife bronze sculptor, and Allison Leigh Smith, known for hyper-realistic oil paintings, kick off the series with “The Art of the Installation.” As finalists of the world renowned ArtPrize competition in 2016, Bryce and Allison will share how the surroundings, lighting and perspective had a significant impact on how the viewer experienced their installation, “The Butterfly Effect,” which comprised 1,234 bronze monarch butterflies.

“It started with a painting of a butterfly I did,” Smith said. “I asked Bryce to create a bronze monarch butterfly that I could pair with the painting. After selling it, I asked him to make a few more butterflies that I could hold on to.”

Pettit and Smith found inspiration in the plight of the monarch butterfly. They discussed how a large scale installation would help them create awareness about how society can help bring the population's numbers back to a healthy and sustainable number.

“The idea started with a single butterfly and grew into the concept of the butterfly effect,” said Pettit. “It’s the scientific principle of small actions having huge effects in the world. It’s an empowering thought and has a lot of symbolism to people.”

At ArtPrize, Pettit and Smith had to consider overall flow and composition of their installation space, including the locations of skylights and lighting shifts throughout the day would create and move shadows. They also considered the visitor’s journey of the space, including where people would stand and where spotlights would be placed.

“It looked like the flock of butterflies came in and connected with the different parts of the room and it created a movement for the room and a place for the viewer’s eyes to see all of it,” said Pettit.

Other upcoming Art Discovery Series topics span color, texture, metal works and a synthesis of Abstraction and Realism. Next up: As the Wood Turns. Woodworkers share the tools of their trade, including how artists develop their vision and transform nature into art. Find the schedule online at www.celebrateart.com.

The Celebration of Fine Art is located on the southwest corner of Hayden Road and the Loop 101 (exit 35). Cost for the 10-week, unlimited pass is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and military members. Children under 12 are free. For show details, visit www.celebrateart.com.