By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Laura Tully, deputy director of The Launch Pad, 302 Grove Ave., 928-227-0758, TheLaunchPadTeenCenter.Org. The Launch Pad is the beneficiary of Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery’s annual charity art sale fundraiser, which runs Nov. 23-Dec. 26, 134 S. Montezuma St., 928-776-7717, ArtsPrescott.Com.] What is The Launch Pad and where did it come from? The Launch Pad is a nonprofit teen center that serves kids in the Quad City Area. Courtney Osterfelt started The Launch Pad about five years ago. It came out of the WEB program, Women’s Empowerment Breakthrough, which is a three-day retreat for teenage girls that she started 15 years ago. So, she was doing this weekend every year and the girls kept saying, “Why can’t we do this every weekend?”; “Can’t we have some place where all of us can go all the time?”; and, “Can my brother come?” So, Courtney saw the need for youth involvement in the community. Courtney was my professor at Prescott College and led an independent study with five of us in 2013. We spent the entire semester surveying youth and adults in the community to gauge the need for a teen center and how well it would be received. The next fall, Launch Pad opened. We were renting space out of a tiny little church building,
By Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery staff Well-known in the community as “The Co-op,” Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery has been in business on Whiskey Row since 1994. Serving the needs of the local art community, Arts Prescott was formed as a platform to showcase their work, present demonstrations, and feature guest artists. As a cooperative, Arts Prescott is owned and operated by its members. In addition to providing a meet-and-greet guest artist reception every month on Prescott’s 4th Friday Art walk, gallery members decided to reach out to local artists within the community by inviting them to be guest consignment artists. In this way, Arts Prescott showcases more artists every month while customers of Arts Prescott enjoy a broader range of art to choose from. New homeowners and visitors alike continually stop in Arts Prescott, “because we love coming here.” Now, there’s more to explore at Arts Prescott! Please come by and support our new arrivals! Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ***** Visit Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery at 134 S. Montezuma St., “in the heart of Whiskey Row,” 928-776-7717, ArtsPrescott.Com, ArtsPrescott@Gmail.Com, Facebook.Com/ArtsPrescott.
By Robert Blood Regardless of your political and philosophical views, it’s hard to be against recycling (or, at least, unpopular; just ask Slavoj Žižek). Still, it’s easier to support such efforts than to actively take part in them. Enter Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery. Launching March 23 with an artists’ reception during the 4th Friday Art Walk, “The 3 Rs Show: Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent!” features works by local artists who chose to use at least 50 percent recycled materials in their artistic creations. The exhibition showcases reusable materials and/or methods and includes co-op members and more than seven additional local Arizona artists. So, come see the fruits of these artists’ labors in their attempt to “take on a whole different mission than just using the blue bins each week.” The show runs through April 25, just past Earth Day, April 22. ***** Visit “The 3 Rs Show: Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent!” at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery, 134 S. Montezuma St., 928-776-7717, ArtsPrescott.Com. The artists’ reception and opening is 5-7 p.m. March 23 during the 4th Friday Art Walk. Robert Blood is a Mayer-ish-based freelance writer and ne’er-do-well who’s working on his last book, which, incidentally, will be his first. Contact him at BloodyBobby5@Gmail.Com
By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Jody Miller, member of Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery, 134 S. Montezuma St., 928-776-7717, ArtsPrescott.Com, whose annual charity show opens with an artists’ reception on Nov. 24 and runs through Christmas.] What is the Arts Prescott Cooperative’s annual charity show and how did it get started? The gallery, itself, opened in 1994 and, ever since, there’s been a charity fundraiser show from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It’s kind of the gallery’s way of giving back to the community that’s supported it over the years. … The process goes like this: A couple of months before the holidays, members of the gallery do a sales pitch at the general meeting of a charity they think is deserving of support. The members get a month to think it over, then come back and vote. This year, it’s the charity that I pitched, Bethany’s Gait. In past years, there’ve been a lot of different groups. Last year it was Skyview School, which I think was the first time we supported a school. The year of the big fire, we did a fundraiser for the town of Yarnell. We’ve done groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Yavapai Food Bank, and Hungry Kids. We try to do a different one every year and cover areas of the community we feel
By James Dungeon Search for Prescott’s Beth Neely on Amazon and you’ll net two children’s books: “Don’t Call Me Pig! A Javelina Story” and “Lizards for Lunch: A Roadrunner’s Tale.” Originally published in 1999, they were written by Conrad J. Storad and illustrated by Neely and her then-husband, Don Rantz. (Kept scrolling? No, she wasn’t on “Survivor: Vanuatu” or the “Enchanted” soundtrack. Amazon is a fickle oracle.) The books were hits. “Don’t Call Me Pig!” won several awards and, years later, was chosen for a statewide program that put special editions in some 93,000 Arizona first-graders’ hands. That credit alone could’ve opened up doors, but Neely never leveraged it into more illustration gigs. “When you read a children’s book looking at all the pictures, reading it aloud to kids, it’s such a wonderful experience,” Neely said. “I thought it would be like that to make one, but it wasn’t. … I don’t know if I’d ever do another one.” After decades as an illustrator, Neely started Spirit of Delight, a line of handmade greetings cards, in 2011. Most feature watercolors of whimsical animals. You can find them at Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery and Jay’s Bird Barn. “I’m not going to get rich making cards for a living, but that’s not my goal,” Neely said. “I’m really happy with what I’m doing right now.” It’s a graceful explanation, but not the
By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Prescott-based artist Anne Legge. See Legge’s art as part of “Les Femmes de Montage” show and auction Saturday and Sunday, July 11 & 12 at the Hassayampa Inn’s Marina Room, 122 E. Gurley St., 928-778-9394. The show benefits the Yavapai Humane Society. See Legge’s artwork at AHLArt.Com and Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery, 134 S. Montezuma St., 928-776-7717.] How did you get started creating art? Everyone in my family is an artist. I started private lessons when I was 9-years-old. I moved to New Orleans my senior year of high school and so I was surrounded by music and culture and art. After graduating, I went to college in Oregon at Pacific University. After graduation, I went right back to New Orleans and continued painting and enjoying the culture. I worked in an art gallery there for a year and a half. After that, I went to L.A. to work in animation, which I did for about 16 years. I’m still currently working in animation on a freelance basis. I started working with fine arts and woodworking about 13 years ago. I love working with wood as a medium, finding something that will capture the natural beauty of the wood. How’s your art changed during the past 13 years? When I first started