Thursday, October 29, 2015

Las Favoritas de Frida

This weekend is the opening of Frida Kahlo - Her Photos, at the Heard Museum. Phoenix is one of only a few major U.S. cities to host this exhibit. The show just arrived from Mexico, and when it wraps up here in February, it will go on to New Zealand! 

The Phoenix Fridas are very proud to have this show come to our beloved city. It shows that Phoenix is literally"on the map" when it comes to arts and culture. We were already looking forward to the event when Janet Cantley, museum curator, called us and invited us to be a part of a second exhibit to go with the Frida show, called 

Las Favoritas de Frida: Selections from the Heard Collection

Opening October 31, 2015
On display through September 28, 2016

This show is a companion to the main exhibit, and it is comprised of artifacts from the Heard collection that were of the same time and area of Frida's life. Each Frida was invited to choose a piece and have it showcased as inspiration!

In addition, Maya made a documentary on our group!

Here is Carmen, checking out the goods!

And Veronica!

Here is the piece I chose - ceramics of course! I love ceramics!

And we're also going to be a part of a special celebration!

Stay tuned, we'll have more pictures to come!

Phoenix Fridas at Dia de los Muertos Festival!

Dia de los Muertos season is here! Carmen and her husband, Zarco, play a big role in the festivities here in Phoenix. They organize events all over the state, and this one was extra special! Here are some pictures - some of the Fridas served as facepainters!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Readings about Frida!

Every year, when we - The Phoenix Fridas - start getting ready to celebrate Frida's Bday, it is always important to me to reflect back in the year that has gone by and see what I have learned from Frida.

This year I had the pleasure of reading two amazing books about Frida.  The first one was Kate Braverman's "The Incantation of Frida K." - very deep reading and nearly hallucinatory account of Frida.  This book was a birthday gift from my friend Beth S.  It took me a while to get into it but then I couldn't put it down.  One of my favorite quotes is when Frida tells her sister Cristina "Go to hell!" So Frida-ish!

Then on a trip to the Madison Art Museum in Wisconsin this June, I found another amazing book:  Frida Kahlo - the Giséle Freund Photographs.   I had to buy it immediately!  So many wonderful and candid moments with Frida.  Some of these photographs I had never seen before.    Frida looks relaxed and having so much fun in Giséle's photos.  She gives such an intimate and fun portrait of our heroine.    It is great to see her having fun instead of being always stoic and suffering all the time.

So if you are up to reading about Frida, check out these two books.  You will be glad you did!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Our newest Frida: Monica Gisel!

Photo by Kelly White-Peterson.

How did you get started with art?
I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. As a kid I remember giving away my drawings as an appreciation gift to my pediatrician, my babysitter, and all the people around me.   My first portrait was for my first boy friend I had; I was 14. My parents always encouraged me to peruse a carrier as an Artist which I refused from the bottom of my heart. I thought I wanted to be an actress.  My mother used to take me and my sisters to the theater all the time and I loved seeing the beautiful scenarios, the lights, the images; The magic.  I never thought that what I really enjoyed, more than the ballet or the plays were the images. I always neglected to be an Artist. When my family and I moved to Tijuana, Mexico in 1989, I joined the Art class at "La Casa de la Cultura" because I couldn't find anything else. I was a part of the class for almost 3 years.  There I found myself.  My Art teacher started to invite me to art exhibits; since then, I can say that I officially became an Artist. My art Teacher Carlos Castro influenced my life and my art work. I not only learned from him all I know about technique and colorimetry, but he taught me respect for my work and to myself as an artist.

What are your favorite themes and mediums?

I love working with color pencil; I don't do it a lot because it takes a lot of time but I really enjoy the process and the outcome.   My second favorite medium is acrylic.  I like it because it dries fast, therefore that allows me to work diligently especially because I like to overlay coats and coats of paint to create 3D images, other effects and textures.  My themes are always about women and their every day situations in life, society and personally.

What have been some of your most emotional pieces that you are very proud of?
I always fall in love with the last piece I create and then I create a new one and I forget about the others, but I still have my very first painting I created. I was 19 years old when my Art Teacher invited me to my first out of school art exhibit. I remember he was so proud of my work, so I still have it. 

Why were you excited to join the Fridas?
I have known most of the Phoenix Fridas for so long, and I have a lot of respect for their work and their commitment to serve the community. Being part of the group excites me because I believe in them and their vision.  I am especially excited because like true women I'm sure that we will empower each other. 

What do you hope to bring to the group?
I will collaborate in the best way to support the group's vision and mission. I am a very positive, committed, loyal and passionate artist and I love teamwork. All in all, I'm always willing to learn and to bring new ideas to the table. I have the feeling that my participation in the group will be a great experience for me and for every one involved.
"Autoretrato" 2013 Acrylic on Canvas

What are some of your favorite Phoenix places to see art, eat and explore?
Arizona is emerging; that is what I love about it.  There is a lot to see all over the state and that makes me happy. I get back to my studio very inspired every time I go out for an art exhibit. I have been going every first Friday since about a year ago. I explore most of the galleries in Down Town and the Grand Avenue.   I always end my First Friday tours at trade Fair Cafe where I meet with my daughter, my son and their friends at around 10:30pm. There we enjoy a coffee, tea or ice cream. I don't really have a favorite place to eat, but my favorite food is Vietnamese food and my favorite chilaquiles are at Otro Cafe and the dish that takes me home is "caldo de res"  from Ranch Market. My favorite drink is camomile tea.

Monica's bio:  

Monica-Gisel formally initiated her career as a visual artist in 1989 in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. Since then, she had art exhibitions in Mexico  as well as inThe United States. She had collaborated as an illustrator with magazines, independent writers and other organizations. She had lead 4 community Murals with emphasis on crime, alcohol and drug prevention in the cities of Scottsdale and Avondale. Monica is always involved with her community and is always committed to share with children, adolescents and their families the importance of art, culture and traditions. Under the supervision of Scottsdale Prevention Institute and in collaboration with the City of Scottsdale, Boys and Girls Club, and Scottsdale Police Department Monica have had the opportunity to put together events and cultural celebrations in which prevention, community and art was involved. Since 2002 Monica had created and developed workshops as an Artist in Residence for different institutions and organizations such as Chicano Art Museum, First Things First, Childs Play, and The Arizona Latino Cultural Center. Currently Monica is pursuing a bachelors degree on Community Development  at  "Universidad AD de Mexico", teaches art classes and is planning her fist solo Art Exhibit in the United States.

Glorious Frida: Finding Inspiration


Glorious Frida here getting ready for another one of our Annual Frida Birthday Celebrations. This year we will be back at Burton Barr Library in downtown Phoenix! Click on the link for information on submitting your artwork

Today I am working on new jewelry and gathering some inspiration for new work to create. I would like to share with you a write up description of one of my mixed media pieces from last year and leave you this question...Where do you find your inspiration?

“This mixed media piece is inspired by my life experience. My parents brought me and my siblings to the United States when I was eight years old. I used the monarch butterfly wings to be a symbol of migration. The wire represents the border and obstacles. In the background the serapes (Mexican shawls) represent my birth place. In addition to the serapes in the background I placed a bit of the sky to be representative of freedom. I embroidered my dress with a beaded flower design and adorned my hair with handmade polymer clay roses.”

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

El Amor de Frida coming this summer!

We have exciting news! The Phoenix Fridas are returning to the Burton Barr Library for another Frida birthday party and art show, July 3-26, 2015! 

Here is our press release below and once again, we are inviting the public to submit pieces for consideration in the show! 

Stay tuned - more details on the open call for artists coming May 1st! Check back here for the update!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Make a Frida Kahlo Resin Pendant

Hi! Kathy here! 

This is a project I made a while back, but it's timeless! Frida and resin are always a great match! This pendant is gorgeous because the back is open, so all you see is the clear resin. It makes everything look like it's floating. 

Watch my video to see how to make it! Here is the link in case you can't see the video below! 

And here are some other necklaces I made using the same technique!