A five-foot whirlwind of energy, local street photographer, actress, member of the Prescott Center for the Arts Visual Arts Committee, and chair for PCA’s 2021 Youth Scholarship Competition, Arlene Minuskin is excited about things opening up after a quiet season last year.
Minuskin excitedly explains how she started dancing and acrobatics at age four. She pauses for a moment as she looks back at age 13, then her eyes light up and she passionately shares her first experience of live theatre, a production of Finian’s Rainbow. That moment changed her life as she sat in the audience and fell in love with the stage.
Shortly afterward she began to perform in community theatre productions and has never stopped. Locally she has performed in many plays at PCA, at Yavapai College, in Reader’s Theatre, in multiple local films, and at Prescott College, to name just a few! “I feel privileged to be part of the art and theatre community,” she says, expressing a clear passion for both.
“Theatre teaches kids so much. It teaches them discipline, teamwork, and dependability. I encourage parents to let their kids get out there and audition, because theatre is such a good experience.”
Shortly after Minuskin and her husband moved here, they were strolling downtown when they saw an old church that wasn’t a church. “I went in and saw they had a theatre and an art gallery,” she explains as she describes her first encounter with PCA, “It was the first time in my life I could fully focus on my art. I thought; ‘I can do this!’ PCA was waiting for me for all these years.”
She got involved with the PCA gallery, run completely by volunteers, and its Visual Arts Committee, which plans the exhibits. She explains, “We invite the artists and they give back by sharing a small amount of their time helping run the gallery for a few hours once a month.”
Studying the work of photographers from the 1930s through the ‘60s, Minuskin found some of their photographs were raw, often black and white, sometimes printed on low-quality paper, but still she found them to be very powerful and drew inspiration from them.
Artists in genres like pop art, surrealism, cubism, and graffiti artists have influenced her work as well.
“There are many languages spoken throughout the world,” Minuskin says. “We cannot speak or understand most of them. However, a photograph is universal. It records special moments, tells stories, and can entertain. I describe myself as a ‘street photographer,’ always searching for that momentary second that will not be seen in the same form ever again. I am particularly attracted to the works of photojournalists and their powerful images.”
Some of Minuskin’s work is currently for sale in the PCA Art Gallery and Gift Shop.