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Thought-Provokers: Tempe

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

Bocar Gueye

I didn’t know anything about America, or it’s ways. I didn’t speak English. Just like any other Foreigner. It was hard at first to adjust. I’m an Actor and a Model. My goal is to be one of the AList actors. I want to make films that are impactful change life for the better. As in the way we eat the way we treat each other and the way we think. Read more>>

Amy Silverman

I worked at Phoenix New Times for a very long time, and have contributed essays to KJZZ (the NPR member station in Phoenix). I also teach memoir writing and journalism. I’m now working primarily as a freelancer for local and national publications. Read more>>

Sean Toles

I loved going through the National Geographic’s my dad had and looking at the beautiful photos the photographers did. Amazing stuff! It wasn’t until high school that I finally got to try out my eye at photography. I joined the photography class and had a wonderful teacher. Read more>>

Craig Cheply

Craig Cheply is both a commercial, (Artist Environs LLC) fine, scenic and muralist artist. His Contemporary Realism paintings are inspired by observations of the certain elements pertaining to the lighting, colors, and textures of the Southwest environment and other travels. Read more>>

Ryan Eckert

Like anyone else in this world, I have experienced my share of “ups” and “downs.” I have had many “highs” and many “lows.” Perhaps my lowest moment was a period of time surrounding my sophomore and junior years of undergraduate study. I was attending Arizona State University, was in a fairly serious relationship at the time, had great grades in school, and was active on a regular basis. Read more>>

Troy Honaker

My story isn’t your typical “I grew up with a camera in my hand” kind of thing that you hear all the time. I originally started as an accountant; actually, I graduated from ASU with a degree in Accounting/Finance. I spent two years working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms only to realize that wasn’t for me. I wanted to do something in the creative field. Read more>>

Patrick Driscoll

I began creating work as a young boy in New Jersey. I was introduced to cameras and skateboarding both at an early age. I grew naturally into documenting my neighborhood friends skating until I moved to Arizona at age 11. My camera afforded me ways to express myself and simultaneously meet people at an early age. I’ve worked as a photographer professionally since freshman year of high school. Read more>>

Kaelee Wilson

It all started with my master bathroom remodel. I had a sample sheet of tiles for my shower walls, and one tile happened to fall off. The tile was just large enough for a glass, so I started using the stray tile as a coaster. I had been on the hunt for a unique set of coasters for quite some time and couldn’t seem to find anything. That stray tile was the start of Lace, Grace & Peonies. Read more>>

Emily Baker

Pain is my biggest fuel for passion; I know it all too well. I learned early in life that creating art is the best and easiest way for me to express myself. Rough experiences seem to come in a never-ending stream for me, but each moment forms my skill or style in some way. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I find I often need to create art to finalize my acceptance of emotions. Read more>>

Hayley Rippy

I have always like to make art of any type, in 2012 I started making photos too seriously and professionally. As a senior, I began as a freelance portrait photographer mainly shooting school portraits, families, fine art/studio. After high school, I got hired at a studio as a photographer/digital editor which lasted less than a year before I quit and made my own business cards. Read more>>

Kathryn Maxwell

I loved art but never planned on being a professional artist though. Once in college though, I found I couldn’t sign up for any art classes unless I was an art major. My desire to create was too strong, so I signed up as a major and completed a degree in art, eventually completing an MFA at the University of Wisconsin. Read more>>


As a Digital Culture major at ASU, I took a class called, “Producing Hip-Hop & Dance Music” which taught me a lot of the fundamentals of making beats. This class really sparked my interest to make my own beats that I could rap on. This really drew me away from getting beats online and relying on remixes. I wanted the ability to create my own sound in order to maximize my creativity. Read more>>

Ellen Murray Meissinger

I have always loved to paint, and draw. From an early age, I knew I wanted to be an artist. In college, I started doing small watercolors every day in one of my sculpture classes and got hooked on the fluid qualities and color effects I could get with the media. Over time the watercolors and paintings on canvas grew to monumental scale. As I exhibited more on a national and international level, my art gave me the opportunity to work on some amazing projects. Read more>>

Kayla Dewees

I fell in love with theatre, a very intimate form of storytelling, at the age of nine. Acting was my segue into everything art, eventually leading me to friends who wanted me to model. I figured photos are just stills of an event. Therefore there’s a scene in every picture just as there is in a play or film. That’s when I decided to pick up the camera myself and put the scenes or stories I had always carried in my mind into a physical reality. Read more>>


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