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Thought-Provokers: Maricopa

Phoenix has always had an artistic soul. The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community. Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive. Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Maricopa that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Kristal Melody Hoeh

I am currently teaching at a small rural desert K-8 school with 25 students, art history and 2D Design for online high school, and evening adult courses at the local community college. I want to inspire, facilitate, and validate my students’ self-worth, just like Ms. Priscoe did for me as I moved through every one of her elective art courses in high school. Read more>>

Sara Alexander

I desperately waited to be old enough to take the photography class that was offered in my high school. That was back right before digital photography came out and we use Pentax 35mm SLR issued by the school. They supplied our film which was only black and white and taught us everything from rolling the film into canisters, taking interesting images, and developing them. Read more>>

Joelle Blot

I’ve been drawing and creating since I could sit up straight. If I didn’t do something creative every day, I would become a much less manageable child. When I was in 5th grade, I started keeping sketchbooks. I filled up 35 of them from 2010-2017. I haven’t filled up any sketchbooks in recent years because of my switch to digital art, but I don’t draw any less. Read more>>

Barbara Mulleneaux

I mostly paint with a palette knife. I love the textural quality. It is kind of like sculpting with paint! For me, it is just easier. I always say, “if I could get what I wanted from a brush, I’d probably use it.” Most of my subjects are the Sonoran desert where I live, but I try to get out and paint different subjects too. Recent travels have taken me to Utah and New Mexico. Read more>>

Megan Rieker

People from all over the world have told me how the messages and inspiration have affected their lives. It is a humbling experience to be a vessel to help other’s feel their Heavenly Father’s love for them. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been so very kind and supportive of me as well. Read more>>

Jennifer Smith

I grew up in Queens NYC and went to the HS of Art and Design. I had to pick a major for my junior year, and I thought I was going to be a jewelry designer, however, the school did not offer that option, so I picked Theatre. During the spring semester of my junior year, I was put on an internship at Playwrights Horizons on 42nd street, and I was hooked. Read more>>

Dawn Cotton

Creative is who I’ve been my whole life. It’s second nature. I was first introduced to photography in junior high in the yearbook club. At that time I didn’t think anything of it, especially since my focus was on music. I had planned on being a music teacher pretty much my whole life, but in high school, that dream didn’t work out. Read more>>

Eli’Ana Klemm

As a single mom of three children and a mother of ALL CAPES, every day is a grind. I’m a mom, a dad, a doctor, a counselor, a teacher, a cook, a referee and so much more. To my children, I’m their hero in all views of life. After losing my mother at a young age and becoming a mother myself -going through trial and tribulations that life throws at us, I wanted my strength to be felt. I wanted individuals like me to know that LIFE is possible after hardship. Regardless of what someone may experience, giving up isn’t an option. Read more>>

Shelly Hawkins

Dance is unlike other forms of art because of the way it is subject to time. You can’t hang it on a wall and see it whenever you like. Re-staging existing works is a big aspect of keeping dances alive. But it’s also extremely important that we as a society invest in the creation of new work. Hawkinsdance just celebrated its first birthday in October! Read more>>

Blake Shaffer

Art was introduced to me at an early age and has always been a part of who I am. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned that art is in everything and should be appreciated as such. I served six years active duty in the Air Force from 2008-14. While serving, I experienced different cultures and forms of art from several different countries. Read more>>

Eric Schock

I started drawing at the age of 3 all over my parent’s living room walls. We all start somewhere, right? I was heavily influenced by 1980’s movies, cartoons, and comics. They fueled my imagination and my budding interest in art. We moved around a lot due to my father being in the airforce. Read more>>

David Gacey

If I’m being honest, my story has two driving forces. If my artwork were the boat I had to travel in. Death would be the waters that push the boat I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life, and my artwork was what helped me through a lot of tough times. Read more>>

Jonathan Fitzgibbons

Yet I’ve also had a passion for video games during my childhood, and when I was 13 I realized I wanted to pursue game design as a career. I went to an art college and got my Bachelor’s degree in game art and design. I’ve been grateful of the artistic opportunities I have found myself in this past year. Read more>>

Jack VanDerPol

My life has revolved around music since I was a kid. My Dad was musical and all of his side of my family was musica tool. My Dad noticed my interest in the Guitar early on and when I was 6 years old he bought me a little beginner guitar. Read more>>

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