Glasses of purple merlot or golden chardonnay stand out against the white tables at Art of Merlot, a BYOB art space where students of all ages explore their creative side and learn to replicate paintings by Van Gogh, Kandinsky, and other artists. The studio provides paint, brushes, aprons, easels, encouragement, and canvases, as well as glasses and corkscrews for wine. Each class is held in a relaxed and fun environment and led by a professional artist that guides students into creating their own masterpieces. Art of Merlot also hosts private, corporate, and bridal events as well as kids camps and birthday parties.
Now in our 7th year, endorsed and presented by the award-winning producer Thunderbird Artists, the Arizona Fine Art EXPO is not just an event, but a destination. A whole day passes in what feels like minutes as our patrons leave inspired, educated and owners of a work of art!
Named the Best Arts Festival in 2010 by the Phoenix New Times, the Scottsdale Arts Festival has showcased the fine arts since 1971. This year, nearly 200 jury-selected artists from around the United States and Canada contribute vibrant paintings, glass and ceramic sculptures, photography, and connect-the-dots sketches framed with macaroni. Throughout the festival, artists engage guests with interactive projects. Tunes from live bands swirl past attentive eardrums while mouths are occupied at gourmet food trucks serving such great festival eats as hot dogs, barbecue, pastries, and more. Throughout the day, pintsize patrons and kids of all ages can skip over to Imagine Nation to participate in artistic activities, such as walking down Kid’s Way and creating a paper hat.
SunDust Art Gallery is truly a family-run operation—Ron Floyd, a retired university art professor and a recognized abstract artist, opened the 5,000-square-foot gallery with the help of his wife Mary Lou Floyd and son Chris Floyd. Opened in 2009, the studio's initial goal was to provide the Southwest's eclectic and often-unnoticed artists a home, and today it has grown to encompass a gallery collection that regularly features many such artists and mediums for which the region is well known, such as sculpture, jewelry, and photography. Throughout his long career as an art professor, Ron learned to teach students how to overcome artistry's intricacies, and he now operates out of SunDust's studios with accessible painting and drawing classes.
It had been a long time since a pie was seen inside the building that once housed Bragg's Pie Factory. That is, until Bragg?s Factory Diner took up residence within the edifice listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its chefs decided to revive the factory?s legacy by whipping up classic comfort food?using only vegetarian and vegan recipes. Pie lovers can now relive the heyday of the city's pastries with fresh, inventive desserts such as pear-mulberry cream tarts, plum tarts with a gingersnap crust, and rosemary-apple pies with crust cutouts shaped like cacti.
In addition to the diner's decadent desserts, the chefs serve up hearty yet healthy breakfast and lunch dishes. Their unique recipes put a modern spin on classic dishes, infusing waffles with a coconut-curry flavor, adding sweet corn to biscuits drizzled in poblano gravy, and remaking the reuben sandwich with portobello mushrooms. The chefs close up shop at 2 p.m., making the mint-colored, mod-meets-country-home diner the perfect spot for a lunch date or fitting in some practice before your evening pie-eating contest.