Tag Archives: SMoCA

Bruce Munro

Scottsdale Public Art, SMoCA to host British installation artist

British artist Bruce Munro is taking his talents across the pond this year to delight Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) visitors with light-based art installations as part of a Valley-wide art series called Desert Radiance. An artist with international acclaim, Munro has been lauded across the world and participated in exhibits from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

The first exhibit in the Desert Radiance suite will open at SMoCA on October 3, 2015. Entitled, “Ferryman’s Crossing” (2015), it is part of the artist’s most recent series, Language and Light. In these pieces, Munro embeds significant texts into his compositions through use of long and short dashes of light in Morse code. This immersive artwork is inspired by a passage from Herman Hesse’s novel, “Siddhartha,” in which the protagonist finds spiritual unity through awareness of the present moment. For the exhibit, shimmering rows of reflective CDs are lit by dappled spotlights, evoking sunlight bouncing off the surface of flowing water. The exhibit will be on display through April 24, 2016, with varying admission prices for guests.

In addition, Scottsdale Public Art commissioned Munro to bring “Blooms,” (2015) to the Arizona Canal at Scottsdale Waterfront starting in early November 2015 as part of the Desert Radiance series. Seven circular platforms, each approximately 20 feet in diameter and crafted from 100, multi-colored, 10-foot long fiber-optic fishing rods, will float on the surface of the canal between the Soleri and Marshall Way bridges. The shape of each bloom resembles a blossoming water lily flower, with optical fibers gently illuminated by LED projectors.

The installation will remain on view through March 2016, is free to all visitors and will serve as the featured artwork during Scottsdale Public Art’s Canal Convergence event, held February 25-28, 2016. Canal Convergence is an annual event that celebrates the local landscape’s beauty and commemorates the city’s arts and culture environment, with interactive light-based art to activate the entire Waterfront area of the Arizona Canal.

“We are honored to welcome Bruce Munro’s creative efforts across the Valley,” Scottsdale Cultural Council President and CEO Neale Perl said. The Scottsdale Cultural Council is the management organization vested with the responsibility to oversee Scottsdale’s arts and culture entities: the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art. “As an artist held in such high regard internationally, it’s truly a momentous occasion for Scottsdale Public Art, SMoCA and our city to continue to work with individuals who further the footprint of the arts community in Scottsdale.”

Munro’s installations with Scottsdale Public Art and SMoCA will be in coordination with two additional pieces of his work at the Desert Botanical Garden and the Lisa Sette Gallery. Together, these four cultural institutions have named this collaborative effort with Munro Desert Radiance. Providentially, the joint project also falls during the United Nations’ 2015 International Year of Light, a worldwide effort to raise awareness about how light and its application in the environment promotes sustainable development and provides solutions to global challenges. Munro will explore the medium of light with inspiration from Arizona’s vast and complex landscape.

Munro is best known for creating large and immersive light-based installations inspired by his interest in the shared human experience. He has recorded ideas and images in sketchbooks for over 30 years. His responses and reflections to music, literature, science and the world around him serve as subject matter for his artwork. His diverse portfolio includes temporary and experiential as well as intimate story pieces.

“Between all our organizations, we have more than 3,000 items in our permanent collection from more than 600 artists and have hosted more than 400,000 visitors per year,” Perl said. “With the recent Valley-wide partnership with Munro, we are hopeful to inspire future collaborations with such renowned artists and drive even more arts and culture tourism to the City of Scottsdale.”

sara

Sara Cochran named SMoCA Interim Director and Curator

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) Associate Director, Curator and Educator Dr. Sara Cochran has been appointed the Museum’s interim director and curator. Cochran will begin her new responsibilities on May 18, 2015, taking over from SMoCA Director Dr. Timothy Rodgers, who has announced his resignation. Cochran and Rodgers will work together in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

“Sara Cochran brings extraordinary qualifications to SMoCA, and we are thrilled that she has accepted this new position,” remarked Scottsdale Cultural Council President and CEO Neale Perl. “Sara’s impressive museum experience, years of involvement in the arts community and international perspective make her the ideal choice to lead SMoCA. I know she will do an outstanding job.”

“SMoCA is a young institution with a gifted staff and an amazing record of accomplishments,” said Cochran. “It has been a privilege to work closely with Tim Rodgers and to learn from him during the past year. I am excited to take up the position of interim director and curator, and to work with the staff towards a bright future that continues SMoCA’s tradition of award-winning exhibitions and innovative programming.”

Since joining SMoCA in February 2014, Cochran has led the Museum’s curatorial and education departments, working with Rodgers and the staff on exhibition development, educational programming and the SMoCA docent program. Among her recent projects are the exhibition southwestNET: Postcommodity, which featured two monumental installations by the indigenous arts collective of Raven Chacon, Cristobal Martínez, Kade L. Twist and Nathan Young; and Street Art Moves Inside as part of the May 2 SMoCA Mix benefit, which showcased site-specific murals created by 12 artists, including Lalo Cota, Pablo Luna, Mando Rascon, Thomas “Breeze” Marcus and Angel Diaz.

From 2008 to 2013, Cochran served as curator of modern and contemporary art at the Phoenix Art Museum, where she produced 15 exhibitions, published eight catalogues, organized 42 public programs and acquired more than 200 works of art for the permanent collection. From 2004 to 2008, she worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was involved with four exhibitions: Franz West, To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972–2008 (2009), Dali: Painting and Film(2007), Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images (2006) and David Hockney Portraits (2006). Previously, she worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on the exhibition Premises: Invested Spaces in Visual Arts, Architecture and Design from France: 1958–1998.

Cochran received her doctorate in 2005 from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, writing on the late painting of Francis Picabia. She also holds a master’s and diploma of advanced studies (DEA) in art history from Universite Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) in France. She has taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School, Arizona State University and Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, and has published and lectured in both French and English.

Cochran is currently participating in the 2015 Getty Leadership Institute’s Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders.

SMoCA_3012_Grocery-Bagging-for-Art-Logo_Web-800-x-800

Grocery Bags For Art

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is hosting a fundraising event, Grocery Bagging for Art, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. The fundraiser is part of SMoCA’s Arm Wrestling for Art fundraiser and also collates with SMoCA’s exhibit Stocked: Contemporary Art from the Grocery Aisles.

The event also comes after SMoCA presented the film Ready, Set, Bag!, which was presented by No Festival Required Independent Cinema. The film, which focused on the National Grocers Association Best Bagger Competition, completed the exhibit Stocked: Contemporary Art from the Grocery Aisles. The exhibit features works of art that artists created from items at the grocery store; keeping in mind the habits of our culture, the social effects we encounter during our shopping as well as the environment of the grocery store. In result the exhibit features items like shopping carts, candy wrappers, grocery lists, paper bags and more.

Grocery Bagging for Art will give the public a look inside competitive grocery bagging. They will first receive a lesson and then go head-to-head to win an original piece of artwork. The prize, which was created specifically for this event, is by an artist collective called “Store Buyout.” Second place will receive a bag full of Trader Joes items. There will be other prizes offered as well as a donation to the local food bank.

Tickets are $10 and the money goes to fund the SMoCA Good ‘N Plenty Artist Grant.

SMoCA_3012_Grocery-Bagging-for-Art-Logo_Web-800-x-800

Grocery Bags For Art

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is hosting a fundraising event, Grocery Bagging for Art, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.  The fundraiser is part of SMoCA’s Arm Wrestling for Art fundraiser and also collates with SMoCA’s exhibit Stocked: Contemporary Art from the Grocery Aisles.

The event also comes after SMoCA presented the film Ready, Set, Bag!, which was presented by No Festival Required Independent Cinema. The film, which focused on the National Grocers Association Best Bagger Competition, completed the exhibit Stocked: Contemporary Art from the Grocery Aisles. The exhibit features works of art that artists created from items at the grocery store; keeping in mind the habits of our culture, the social effects we encounter during our shopping as well as the environment of the grocery store. In result the exhibit features items like shopping carts, candy wrappers, grocery lists, paper bags and more.

Grocery Bagging for Art will give the public a look inside competitive grocery bagging. They will first receive a lesson and then go head-to-head to win an original piece of artwork. The prize, which was created specifically for this event, is by an artist collective called “Store Buyout.” Second place will receive a bag full of Trader Joes items. There will be other prizes offered as well as a donation to the local food bank.

Tickets are $10 and the money goes to fund the SMoCA Good ‘N Plenty Artist Grant.

roosevelt row arts district

Scottsdale Cultural Council CEO Resigns

Scottsdale Cultural Council President and CEO William H. Banchs has announced his resignation from the nonprofit organization effective August 31. Banchs plans to return to Miami to pursue new professional opportunities.

“During Bill’s five-and-a-half-year tenure he worked successfully to completely restructure and reorganize the Cultural Council’s governance and management, and to strengthen its development programs,” remarked Ellen Andres-Schneider, chair of the board of trustees.

“This was all done in accordance with a new strategic plan he helped to create. These positive developments took place during an unprecedented recession, which occupied the majority of Bill’s tenure. On behalf of the board of trustees, I want to thank Bill for his persistence and determination in bringing about these positive outcomes, which have helped pave the way toward a bright future for the Cultural Council,” Andres-Schneider added.

“I have been very fortunate to have served one of the most comprehensive cultural organizations in the nation. The artistic experiences I have had at the Scottsdale Cultural Council have been on par with the best I have ever seen or heard anywhere,” noted Bill Banchs. “I particularly wish to thank the City of Scottsdale for its commitment to the arts, the Cultural Council staff for its dedication to such high standards of artistic excellence, and the board of trustees for its active engagement and participation in our efforts to strengthen the organization and broaden its audiences and base of private-sector support.”

Banchs began his position with the Scottsdale Cultural Council in January 2008. He previously served as president of the Miami-based National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for 17 years.

The Cultural Council will appoint an interim CEO and begin a national search for a new president and CEO.

The Scottsdale Cultural Council is contracted by the City of Scottsdale to manage the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art.