Stained-glass murals, organically shaped bowls, and prismatic light shades are only some of the work done by Circle 6 Studios’ practicing artists, who share their glass-working expertise and aesthetic range through their art gallery and classes. Students in some workshops express themselves by applying and melting color and then shaping the molten glass into a finished piece. During skill-based workshops, students focus on a single process, diving into one fundamental topic such as learning to apply color to a polished piece.
In its 75-years of life, MacAlpine's has seen a lot: a stock market crash, the Great Depression, a World War. It's watched as Phoenix grew from a small town to a bustling epicenter, and, most recently, it also served as the setting for a music video from a local performer. So it's fitting then, that those looking to own a piece of the past now flock here for more than just a malted milk. Today, the old-timey soda shoppe–-complete with its checkered floor, high-topped counter, and abundance of retro Coca-Cola signs––is also a modern-day vintage clothing and antique store, named, appropriately, MacAlpine's Vintage and Antiques. A perfect setup really, considering nothing beats an afternoon of sifting through A-line skirts and colorful ties, or vintage train sets and furniture, quite like a frosty milkshake or the chance to dance the hand jive in socially-acceptable setting.
A center for the arts in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, the Shemer Art Center and Museum was originally built as a small home in Arcadia in 1919. Over time, it was expanded by various owners who added bedrooms, a kitchen, and a garage until it was finally converted into an art museum.
Recently named one of the 21 Points of Pride that make Phoenix unique, this nonprofit now reaches out to local residents with a bevy of art classes, exhibitions, and programs. Classes in the garage-turned-studio teach students how to paint landscapes on canvas, build ceramic models, and apply printmaking techniques to blank pages, and one-off workshops bring in local artists to share their knowledge of topics such as digital photography and jewelry-making. Regular exhibits display works by Arizona artists and poets, and a sculpture garden creates a tranquil setting for experiencing large-scale art and much-larger-scale negative space on the center's grounds.
Like the opposite of eyelids, the curtains at Scandalesque open to a dream world of garish costumes, pyrotechnics, circus arts, and sensuality. This nexus of fantasy and real life is produced in-house and performed by Scandalesque’s troupe of professional burlesque artists. Leading them, cofounders Lady Fontayne and Pyrrha Sutra, as they're known on stage, strive to curate an atmosphere where outlandishness flashes atop proper technique and artistry. When the troupe isn’t pushing the envelope and toppling mailmen, they’re teaching burlesque, adult-dance, and fitness classes throughout the week.
Step beneath the domed, packed-mud ceiling of a traditional Navajo family dwelling. Weave a Yavapi burden basket. Explore a secluded garden filled with bronze sculptures of women in prayer. By immersing visitors in Native American artifacts and artworks, the Heard Museum's exhibits strive to illuminate the cultural legacy of Arizona’s indigenous peoples. The collections emphasize first-person accounts of Native cultures, not only through artwork, but also in interviews with Native Americans, portraits by Navajo photographers, and monthly lectures. In addition to showcasing historical artifacts, the Heard Museum exhibits contemporary American Indian artwork. Like a ballerina trapped on a carousel, exhibits rotate often, and have included collections of Native American bolo ties, Hopi pottery, and 20th-century paintings depicting Native ceremony. Passing on cultural traditions to future generations, the staff educates children with tours, and brings Native American presentations and curricula to area schools.
Lighting Unlimited is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for its clientele, with each of its four locations beaming with endless design possibilities born of a 5,000-strong stock of light bulbs and ballasts. A hefty catalog puts shoppers in easy reach of 50,000 more such accessories from more than 30 manufacturers, including Philips, Westinghouse, and Sylvania. Tasked with wrangling the multitude of fixtures, the staff of certified lighting specialists helps shoppers pinpoint specific bulbs and design lighting layouts for landscapes using underwater, directional, and putting-green fixtures. Complementing the luminescent selection, they feature an array of parts and accessories, including light sockets, colored gel sheets, and flashlights that have the power to make or break a shadow puppet's career with the flick of a switch.:m]]