YabYum Seven: Cody Rex Chamberlain

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All photos courtesy of Cody Rex Chamberlain
Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Cody Rex Chamberlain. I’m a visual artist. I identify as a painter, first and foremost.

How did you get your start?

Some of my earliest memories of are of my parents painting and drawing. They were both creative people, though they didn’t consider it their vocation to be so. I started creating art myself very young. My mother made sure I had the tools to.

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What inspires you?

My inspiration is, in large part, the desert. Being there is a sort of beautiful reality check. The natural process of life and death are starkly exposed to the desert explorer. You’ll see a weathered skull nestled up against a living tree, or the new bloom of a yucca next to a withered juniper.

What do you like about AZ?

Arizona has been a favorite retreat of artists I admire. I remember seeing photographs of Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning hamming it up in Sedona. Ernst said Paris and Sedona were the only places he wanted to live. Arizona lends itself well to surrealism, and I consider myself a surrealist.

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Bird Of Prey
Where can we see you(r) work?

The quickest fix is my Instagram.  There you can see a visual chronicle of the various shows, collections, and articles I’m featured in at a given time.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I’d like to have created a body of work that bears witness to the beauty of the western landscape as I’ve experienced it. What I hope to accomplish is what I’m actively working towards accomplishing.

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Inside The Mesa
What is your mantra?

The earth is forever.


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Rush Valley
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YabYum Seven: Joe Willie Smith

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All photos courtesy of Joe Willie Smith
Who are you and what do you do?

Joe Willie Smith, multimedia artist. I work in whatever medium is necessary to realize an idea. Presently I build ‘Sonic Sculptures’, basically sculpture that are amplified using piezo microphones, some are passive others require performance interaction. I recently completed a large scale, 32 ft, concrete and steel public art sculpture. The sculpture, commissioned by Harrison Properties, is located on the SW corner of Buckeye and 5th St.

How did you get your start?

I’ve been making art continuously since I was a child. My mother got me started weaving pot holders by the hundreds, painted plates, and toilet paper Carnation flowers. She would sell my creations and give me some of the money.

joe willie smith 05What inspires you?

I’m inspired by my surroundings. My work is usually created from the context of place.

What do you like about AZ?

I moved to Arizona in December 1987, from Youngstown, Ohio. Leaving Ohio during a major snow storm, I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, 87 degrees. I was sold, no one mentioned the summers. I still love the southwest and Arizona for the fantastic skies, amazing landscapes and the amazing wealth of creative, talented friends. Arizona and the southwest never cease to inspire me.

joe willie smith 06Where can we see you(r) work? 

My public art can be seen at Matthew Henson Community Gardens, 7th Ave. and Buckeye Rd. and the SW corner of 5th St. and Buckeye Rd. I also perform on my Sonic Sculptures with Datura Ensemble, a improvisational Performance group.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I would like to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

What is your mantra?

My mantra is ‘Where am I’.


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49th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts

tempe festival -1by Nicole Royse

December 1st through December 3rd the Tempe Festival of the Arts brings amazing art, edibles and entertainment to beautiful downtown Tempe in a FREE family friendly event! Highlighting a diverse array of artists working in 16 different visual arts categories including ceramics, jewelry, photography, wearable art, and wood. Since its inception, the Tempe Festival of the Arts has consistently been ranked in the Top 100 Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows in the nation and they are expecting nearly 225,000 visitors this year!

Those heading to Tempe this weekend can explore the festival on Mill Avenue (from 3rd Street to University) daily from 10am to 5:30pm. The street will be lined with about 350 artist booths selected by jury, filled with unique, hand-made artwork. The festival also gives folks the opportunity to meet the artists while shopping an eclectic collection of works.

This year’s featured artist is local mixed-media artist Erin Curry, who was selected by a jurying committee. “Curry’s one-of-a-kind artwork incorporates Nanoliner ink pen drawings on watercolor paper and wood panels, while she is admittedly afraid of needles, they play an imperative role in creating her 3-D shadowbox artwork.”

tempe festival 02Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the event from captivating street performers and entertainment booths set up along the streets to live music. Three different stages will highlight a variety of live music including bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz and rock featuring such artists Bossa Brazil, The Blaise Lantana Band, Walt Richardson, The Hourglass Cats, Desert Dixie, The Brothers Too and other local and regional talent.

Foodies be sure to check out the “Cottage Edibles” section, which includes hand-made gourmet foods, seasonings, cottage crafts and remedies, and festival favorite food. An assortment of fair food and street eats will be on hand including Blue Banjo BBQ, The Crepe Club, Hot Bamboo, Island Noodles — plus food trucks like Hibachibot, The Maine Lobster Lady, Rockabelly, Yellowman Fry Bread, and more.

This year the festival also features two beer and wine gardens where visitors (21 & older) can enjoy beverages on site from local vendors. Visit the Arizona Wine Tasting in Centerpoint Plaza for sampling and purchase of featured Arizona wines, including local award-winning wineries like Burning Tree Cellars, Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Pillsbury Wine Company & Vineyard and others. Or raise a glass and toast with beers and brews from Tempe’s own Pedal Haus, and Four Peaks Brewing Company. Tickets are available on-site for the beer and wine gardens, as well as online in advance.

tempe festival 03The festival offers something for everyone in the family with kid-oriented programming and interactive sponsored exhibits such as Boots in the House, Build-A-Racecar Party, Creative Reuse Arizona, Girls Rock! (a musical petting zoo), Phoenix Youth Circus, Practical Art, and more. Did we mention that Kids Block, a hands-on exhibit will be featuring artwork from over 400 students throughout the valley, Chalk-a-Lot Street where kids and professionals use chalk to create original murals. Visitors can also stop by the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery (located at the Brickyard on Mill) that includes an intriguing gallery space and open storage combination handled by the Ceramics Research Center with a diverse collection of 3,500 ceramic pieces at any one time.

Get out and explore the 49th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts this weekend enjoy art, music, and get your holiday shopping done early! For complete details about this weekend’s Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts visit them online here and don’t forget to share your photos throughout the festival!


All images courtesy and copyright of Tempe Festival of the Arts.

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6th Street Market Returns to Downtown Tempe

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All images are courtesy and copyright of Downtown Tempe Authority and 6th Street Market.

by Nicole Royse

TEMPE, AZ — The 6th Street Market, a seasonal Sunday marketplace featuring locally produced, handmade goods, takes place every Sunday through April 22, 2018.

This wonderful, local, and multifaceted marketplace is situated in the heart of downtown Tempe at the beautiful 6th Street Park, running from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM each week.

Featuring an eclectic mix of 30+ makers, food booths, live music, interactive art projects and much more, some local brands featured include indie darlings Iconic Cocktail, Hardcore Handmade, and All the Tiny Pieces, as well as numerous area designers, studios and makers of all kinds.

6th street market 01“We’re beyond excited to re-launch the 6th Street Market this season with such a powerhouse of strong, talented and accomplished creatives,” said the Downtown Tempe Authority’s Director of Placemaking and market coordinator Julie Kent. She went on to say, “The market offers the opportunity for the community to celebrate, embrace, and support local creativity while creating a true sense of place in our Downtown.”

The Downtown Tempe Authority (DTA) are an “award-winning, private non-profit organization that works in partnership with the City of Tempe to increase the value of Downtown Tempe through enhanced management, safety, marketing and promotional services on behalf of DTA members and other downtown stakeholders.”

6th street market 02The DTA has created a fantastic event for the community with 6th Street Market.  They support the budding arts community, providing artists with an opportunity to showcase and sell their work, while encouraging a thriving and diverse community of artists and makers in Downtown Tempe and the surrounding areas.

6th Street Market also plans to host special events throughout the season. Recently showcasing a fantastic event coordinated by Local Lily partnering with Stella the Airstream, a mobile photo booth outfitted inside a vintage Airstream trailer was raising money for a worthy cause: Tempe-based pet rescue Lost Our Home.

Get out this Sunday and explore downtown Tempe while checking out the 6th Street Market. Great local vendors to meet, unique local goods to buy, and engagement with the community!


For more info, visit the 6th Street Market online. For more info about the DTA visit their website.

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YabYum Seven: Joey Morgan

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Joey Morgan pictured with “Bolt of Blue”
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Joey Morgan and I am a digital mixed media artist born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. (Actually a fourth generation Phoenician — quite rare!)

How did you get your start?

I started creating mixed media pieces with patina metal and metallic paper about five years ago. While on vacation in Mexico, I started photographing patterns in the sand and have been fascinated with texture I discover in nature ever since. For the last four years I have been digitally combining photos of patina color and nature’s texture into intriguing abstracts. The final composite image is printed on metal.

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“Stone Maze”
What inspires you?

Chemistry inspires me. I love creating patina color! When sheets of copper and brass are ‘stewed’ overnight in chemical solutions or pre-made patina dyes, it’s very exciting to wake up to random patterns of vivid, saturated colors. Nature inspires me. Looking at plants, petrified wood, canyon walls, sand and tree bark stimulates my creativity. I see the intricacies and immediately start thinking of how I can use the texture or pattern in a new piece of art.

What do you like about AZ?

What I like about Arizona is its diverse landscape. From the open, vast deserts, to lush forests, amazing canyons, beautiful lakes, rivers and creeks, not to mention the plethora of hiking trails. Always something to do outdoors!

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“Whispering Rainbow”
Where can we see you(r) work?

You can see my work at Art Mixed Up; at The Ted Denton Gallery in Carefree, AZ, the Iluminate Apartments in downtown Phoenix, and The Edgewater Condos on Tempe Town Lake and Circle Spotlight Oct. 2017; page 75.

What would you like o accomplish before you die?

Before I die, I would like travel to as many natural places as possible to photograph texture for my artwork. I would also like to see my work in hotels, commercial buildings / businesses, in more private homes here in the US and in other countries.

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Tie Dye Crevice
What is your mantra?

My mantra is to be in the moment. Enjoy the now.


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Lava Flow

YabYum Seven: Holly Anderson

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Photo by Angela Adams. Images below courtesy of Holly Anderson.
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Holly Anderson. I have been creating my entire life but it wasn’t until seven years ago that I became a full time, world-collected artist creating large scale, heavily textured mixed media paintings. Painting with acrylics, watercolor, ink, and prefering to use nontraditional tools, I have been fortunate to work with architects, designers, hotels and resorts on large projects as well as creating art for movie sets via Paramount Pictures.

I run my business Anderson Modern online and through my studio in downtown Phoenix. I am a collaborator and have a few side projects, one being Halcyon Fine Art which involves spirit, science & energy. All of the art revolves around water, the universe, and electro-magnetic media with co-creator Jessica Speer.

I also have a side project called Green Girls Life which is a line of eco-art created with all recycled materials or items that would have ended up in a landfill. Each eco piece carries an important message and is my way of educating others through art how to better take care of our environment and how our waste affects domestic and marine life.

When I am not creating art I focus on eco-activism, animal rescue and volunteer with multiple organizations that work with the homeless. You can find me in the most random places picking up trash, beautifying neighborhoods, distributing water and goods to those who live on the streets or bottle feeding kittens in the ICU at the Arizona Humane Society.

I also enjoy playing hand drums, the ukulele, didgeridoo and singing. I love the outdoors, traveling, and archery.

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Autumn Sky
How did you get your start?

I could not work because I was on narcotics and I kept making too many mistakes. For the last 17 years I’ve battled a very debilitating muscular skeletal disease and just had back to back surgeries including a spinal fusion. I did not know what to do, I’d always had a desk job and I could no longer sit at a desk anymore.

Everyone told me I would have to be on narcotics the rest of my life but one day I decided to stop taking them because they don’t fix anything, they changed my personality so much I didn’t even know who I was anymore so I quit cold turkey and wasn’t sure how to deal with the pain.

I had inherited a bunch of art supplies from my grandmother who was a professional artist and art teacher. Plus, I didn’t have any capital to start a business and wasn’t reliable or stable enough to get a “real job” so I started experimenting with paint. Painting helped me get through the pain and was a great distraction. I had no idea what art rules were, what I was doing, what complimentary colors were but I painted and I loved what I had created.

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What inspires you?

Water, nature & the opportunity to educate others about environmental issues through my art.

What do you like about AZ?

I moved to Arizona from Portland, Oregon hoping for a better life with more mobility and less humidity and I love waking up to a beautiful blue sky and seeing the tops of palm trees. I’ve really enjoy all the places I’ve hiked, I never imagined Arizona could be so beautiful.

holly anderson 02Where can we see you(r) work?

By appointment at my studio, 701 N 15th Ave in downtown Phoenix or my work can be seen at the Vali Homes in Central Phoenix which is a modern eco villa. It is one of the most sustainable homes in North America.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Oh gosh, there are so many things I would like to do. I honestly don’t have an answer as each day I focus on the present, the right here, right now. I strive to be the best human I can be every day and no matter what, always practice compassion.

What is your mantra?

I have two: JUST BE and PUSH THROUGH


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Tidewater Glaciers
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Water and Light

YabYum Seven: Kris Kollasch

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All photos courtesy of Kris Kollasch
Who are you and what do you do?

I am Kristine Kollasch, a full time artist making a living creating for over 20 years. I have a business, Fine Art & Creative Environments, LLC established in 1997 after leaving an 11 year career at Habitat, Inc., a Tempe based design firm. There I built architectural and topographical scale models, and managed a department creating all things 3D, primarily for marketing centers for new housing developments. Since then, my business has focused on fine art, murals & themed environments, as well as public art.

My fine art ranges from playful and whimsical to highly finessed abstracts. I work in acrylics, mixed media, ceramic and steel. I don’t like to limit my possibilities. Not only am I a full time artist, but I am also involved in the Phoenix community through Valley Leadership and other non profits I believe in.

I also actively participate in the art scene through curating First Studio’s Gallery in the historic first TV Studio in Phoenix. I work directly with youth through Free Arts of Arizona, helping kids in shelters and group homes heal through artistic expression. I also support GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network on a variety of levels.

A long time Phoenix resident, I was born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Colorado, settling in the Valley of the Sun over 30 years ago. I live with my life partner and quite a menagerie of critters in our home in Central Phoenix where my art studio also exists. In my spare time…hmmm, what’s that? I do like to hang out with friends, enjoy live music, sing & dance and play when ever possible.

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“From the Fire Grows”, 48″ x 36″
How did you get your start?

I got my start through my 11 years working at Habitat, Inc. I have a degree in Art Education, but got involved in a very creative design firm fresh out of college. There I was given the experience and guidance to learn the skills needed to start my own business. But before that I had parents who believed in me and my art, and teachers who did too…and the talents I have from somewhere deeper than my own doing. That’s really where I got my start.

What inspires you?

What inspires me? Everything! Nature, love, war, color, the sky, the wind, the rain and sun.

What do you like about AZ?

I do love Arizona! I love the potential it holds and what it has given me and I think there is a lot of opportunity in this state that is constantly growing. Politically AZ’s always (since I’ve been here) been a bit crazy, which stirs opposition and expression. It’s still the wild west, where a person can carry a gun and once you’re out of the city, heck even sometimes in the city, horses are a common creature. I like the diversity of climates within the state. And I like the heat. Paint dries real fast most of the time, and I like that.

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“Love and Other Things”, 24″ x 24″
Where can we see you(r) work?

You can see my public art all around town with projects in Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria. Much of my public work is ceramic/ tile based, often with accents of steel. You will also find my work in any Adelante Healthcare, from pediatric interactive works to fine art throughout the lobby spaces.

The majority of my fine art you will find at First Studio in Central Phoenix on 631 N 1st Ave. Usually my work fills the upper gallery space, with other shows rotating through the first level space. You can also see current work on my business FB page or my website.

What would like to accomplish before you die?

Before I die…that’s a tough one. Not planning on it any time soon. I like to make the most of every opportunity, so it’s hard to tell what that might be in this lifetime.

“Wilderness”, 16″ x 16″
What is your mantra?

I have a couple mantra’s… “if it’s not moving, I can paint it”… “there’s not too much we can’t fix”… and “until further notice, celebrate everything!”


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“Complicated Conversations”, 37″ x 24″
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“Love Grows 2″, 24″ x 24”
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“From the Fire Grows 2″, 30″ x 30”
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Pinkspiration process
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“Wild” (detail)

YabYum Seven: Dino Paul

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All photos courtesy of Dino Paul
Who are you and what do you do?

Dino Paul. I split time between Creative Direction/Design and my Fine Art. I work in a variety of mediums and love to explore. My signature work and what I do most often is mixed media. I combine litho print techniques with chemical solvent washes, literally melting ink into paper from tight refined drawings. I then merge these multiple layers digitally into refined prints. Each piece is then embellished with pastels, acrylics and other mediums depending on the look I am trying to achieve.

How did you get your start?

As long as I can remember I have drawn, painted and been exposed to a variety of art disciplines. After spending years refining my melting ink technique I started showing my work to friends family and other artists I know. I got a lot of great feedback so I started sharing my work with the world.

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“We Are All Just People”
What inspires you?

People and Hats. My appreciation for the human spirit has become a focal point of my work for the last few years. Who we are, what we do, our beliefs, interests and the diverse paths of life we take are all embodied in my work. The idea of straddling the line between individuality and conformity always crosses my mind. All types of other artists, photographers and writers also inspire me.

What do you like about AZ?

Fall, Winter, Spring. I like the uniqueness of the landscape. And food, great restaurants.

Where can we see you(r) work?

I don’t have any shows currently so Facebook, Instagram and my website.

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“Master Hatters Meet”
What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I don’t think much about future accomplishments of even death. I have had a great opportunity to see so much, meet some amazing people and accomplish more than I was expected to. Of course we would all like a little more icing.

What is your mantra?

To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.


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“Pink Chapeau”
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“Head in The Clouds”
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“Fruits of Our Labors”

YabYum Seven: Swapna Das

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All photos courtesy of Swapna Das
Who are you and what do you do?

I am Swapna Das, a visual artist living in Phoenix, Arizona for the past six years. I was born and raised in New Delhi, India.

How did you get your start?

Ever since my childhood, the innate creativity came naturally to me and I have always had an ever-growing desire to explore my talent. My high school art teacher encouraged me to study Art and earn a Bachelors in Fine Art (BFA) degree. I realized that art is not merely about the tools used in its making, but also a medium of expression. Doing my MFA from Arizona State University also fostered my passion and opened me up to the infinite number of creative minds and possible artistic avenues.

swapna das 09What inspires you?

My work reflects the values of Indian narrative art and has always been a mirror image of my internal and external environment. I get inspired by the current social and political environment and how it affects my personal life. I derive my inspiration from the works of Julie Heffernan, William Kantridge, Aneesh Kapoor and Indian contemporary artists like Jamini Roy, Jogen Chowdhury, Vivan Sundaram and many more.

What do you like about AZ?

Arizona has been my home for the last six years. I like the warm and sunny weather which reminds me of my birth place and at the same time I love the winters in Arizona as I have never been a fan of bulky winter coats. I love the dramatic beautiful silhouette in the sky during sunrise and sunset and the desert landscape of pastel colors. Phoenix has transformed into an art hub of various opportunities for upcoming artists, art communities, culture and creative practice. I see the city has great potential for the future art world.

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“Ordeal” | charcoal on paper | 30″ x 22″ | 2015
Where can we see you(r) work?


What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My goal is to showcase a unique blend of eastern and western culture through my artwork based on my personal and professional experience in life. I learnt that art is not merely for artist and art appreciators but can also play a role in creating harmony and peace in society. Before I die, my dream is to open an Art school for under privileged kids because my mission as an artist is to grow beyond my niche and establish my identity; and touch human lives.

swapna das 1What is your mantra?

My spiritual practice of Buddhism is my mantra which helps me to experience the deeper understanding about my work. The spiritual practice has made me believe in my life’s greater purpose and to pursue a path which can bring happiness into lives of every human being who becomes a part of it, directly or indirectly.


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“Instinct” | charcoal on paper | 22″ x 30″ | 2015

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YabYum Seven: Andrea Zakrzewski

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Andrea Zakrzewski poses with her piece, “Overwhelming Love”
Who are you and what do you do?

Andrea Zakrzewski: Fine artist who specializes in impressionist floral paintings, I design clothing that features my artwork and I am a freelance Journalist.

How did you get your start?

I have been painting since I was a child with my mother Andrea de Kerpely-Zak. My first teacher was Ted Degrazia who gave me private instruction.

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“African Daisies Blowing in the Wind”
What inspires you?

My mother Andrea de Kerpely-Zak is well known floral artist and most of my inspiration stems from her. I also love all the impressionists like Monet and Van Gogh. I also like to spread joy with my art and spread positive healing vibes to others.

What do you like about AZ?

My favorite things about Arizona are the amazing views of nature, the sky, mountains, and flowers. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. Arizona is a great place to live because there is such an amazing arts community and we do have culture.

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“Life is a Gift”
Where can we see you(r) work?

My work is featured at Gallery Andrea located at 7019 E. Main Street Scottsdale, AZ 85251 and open Monday -Saturday 11 – 5 PM or online at artandrea.com.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I am happy with everything that God has blessed me with. I will continue to use my skills as an artist and freelance journalist to support the arts. If I could have the opportunity to get our works in some museums and have a segment like Samantha Brown on the Travel channel that would be some extra icing to the cake!

What is your mantra?

Everyday is a Blessing and Celebration of Life…


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“Beautiful Journey”