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Thought-Provokers: Peoria

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 Peoria that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Amber Kay Lonski

As a young girl, I loved documenting everything from my pets- to my grandma’s backyard landscape- to my friends. As I got older, I began working in the corporate world and put this passion of mine to the side and never really thought I would get the chance to become a photographer. I thought at the time, it was too late. Read more>>

David Fitzmaurice

We learned so much from one another, and not just about art. It was a good time. Afterward, I just kept at it. Art has been part of my whole life, even after joining the military. Paintings, drawings, and eventually, customizing action figures. One of the best parts of this journey is that I’ve met so many creative people. Read more>>

Micah Bentley

I moved onward to new music projects both as a solo artist and with a band I formed called Wild Earth. Both projects seem to exist in the tension space between sacred and secular and aim to inspire responses of mystery and awe. I also work in a Christian church community called Axiom as the art and music director. Read more>>

Brianna Lynn McBurnett

I hope people see that genuine moment are the most beautiful because they are unexpected and raw. Whether it be an obnoxious laugh or a look between a family that shows how much they truly love each other. That’s what I want to do with my camera. Read more>>

Sadie Salazar

I went on to take advanced photography in high school, and I am currently taking a photo elective in college. I worked a few months for Grand Canyon University’s “College of Humanities and Social Sciences” as the student worker event coordinator where I was able to capture photos of events. Read more>>

Brittany Gentile

I knew I wanted to be a photographer at that moment. Once in high school I took some photo classes and really learned that I loved taking photos of people more than anything, I wanted to tell their stories – or create a story through photos. After high school, I was able to go to college and get my B.A. in Digital Photography. Read more>>

Ash Lemus

My first instrument was a small red drum set, which I received when I was three or so. I played along with Ringo in all the those Beatles films. Five to six years go by, and my interest in playing music sparks up again. The Beatles continued heavily influencing me as well as Devo and Nirvana. Read more>>

Shana Oh

I stumbled into photography when I was finishing up my life sciences degree. I had a free slot to take an elective class and decided to take photography to alleviate the stress from my life sciences degree. After finishing that, I jumped into and finished up an A.S. in Photography Professional Practices at Fresno City College in Fresno, California. I found a photography program at Northern Arizona University and trekked my way over to Flagstaff. Read more>>

Amy Nichols

As I grew older, though, fear of rejection and the realities of making a living kept me from pursuing my dream. That changed on New Year’s Eve, 1996. While studying abroad, my husband and I celebrated Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland. At midnight we watched fireworks over Edinburgh Castle, sang Auld Lang Syne…then promptly found ourselves being crushed in a crowd of 300,000 people. It was terrifying. And life changing. Read more>>

Dennis Cooley

It wasn’t until about 18 years old when I first even paid attention to books written by J.R.R Tolkien and similar authors, but when I did, I fell in love with them all. Epic fantasy was a whole new world that had opened up to me, one I did not know I had always wanted. 14 years later, still loving it all, and never losing the connection I have with those stories, I tried my own hand at writing. Read more>>


I first began painting in watercolor outside a classroom setting as a preteen when my Dad had a friend who he wanted to get back into art as a means of overcoming a loss and took my siblings and I along. With a limited palette, Dad instructed us as we painted en plein air in a local canyon most weekends that summer. From there, I chose painting and commercial art classes in high school, with additional post-secondary classes and additional workshops later on. Read more>>

Kiara Ortega

My story started five years ago. I was inspired by getting my own photos taken by a local photographer for my engagement. I went home that same day after having my photos taken and I bought my first camera the Canon T3i off eBay. Upon getting my first camera, I had no clue how to use it. I had no idea that there was even a manual setting on a camera like this. Read more>>

Danielle Cooley

I always loved art and creative endeavors, so I decided to go to school for graphic design in college and see how it went. If it didn’t work out, I thought I could always pursue my other dream of being a makeup artist. I ended up falling in love with it right away. I went on to do projects on the side and then became the main graphic designer for a church. Read more>>


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