Within one square mile in downtown Scottsdale, you will find over 100 hundred art galleries showcasing works of art by more than 3,000 artists. Like Santa Fe, Scottsdale is an American art mecca for creativity with many artists living and working here, popular adult art classes and workshops being available year round and a wide variety of art galleries to visit and peruse. A stroll through the Scottsdale Art District should be on every art lovers "bucket list." Located predominately on two streets, Main Street and Marshall Way, one can meander in and out of the galleries in the Scottsdale Art District guided by helpful, sidewalk decal markers. Fine art, contemporary art, Southwest and Native American art, as well as, sculpture, bronzes, prints, photographs and collectable posters can be found here.
A popular weekly tradition for the last forty years, Scottsdale's ArtWalk sponsored by the Scottsdale Gallery Association, occurs year round, every Thursday night from 7pm - 9pm. Locals and tourists alike come to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere where they can view art, meet and talk to artists, people watch or just socialize with gallery owners and friends. Live musical entertainment and food trucks are part of the festive atmosphere at various times during the year.
On my last trip to Scottsdale, I visited this art hotspot. Most of the gallery proprietors were friendly and loved sharing information about the art genres they offered for sale. Stephen Schorr, owner and artist-in-residence at Schorr Gallery, was one of the most cordial. I spent almost an hour in his eclectic gallery being entertained and enlightened. I learned Mr. Schorr, born in Rhode Island, had attended the the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design while in high school, was a Northwestern University business graduate and had turned down acceptance to Suffolk University's law school to open an art gallery in New York at the age of 23. IBM, Xerox, Chase Manhattan and Chemical Banks, as well as, members of the Persian Gulf Royal family and Bert Reynolds were some of his clients. Subsequently, he moved to Scottsdale to focus on persuing his two passions, painting and jewelry design. Here, he opened Schorr Gallery and Romanov Fine Jewelry, a high-end jewelry collection where he sells his "over the top pieces" to Hollywood celebrities and wealthy clients who wander into the gallery.
The picture in this blog post features Mr. Schorr and me in front of his latest painting, Portrait of a Woman VI, one in a series of compositions depicting a mysterious, female acquaintance of the artist. Mr. Schorr has been referred to as, "the Mattise or Picasso of America." This canvas does show the influence of these two reknown artists on his painting style. He tried hard to get me to take this portrait home, but I resisted.
Creativity is a facinating phenomenon. Visiting art galleries is one way to learn about this human oddity. I never tire of viewing and criticizing works of art, an anomaly I find peculiar, given I can't even draw a compelling "stick figure!"
Enjoy the, slightly long, Scottsdale ArtWalk video and when in Scottsdale, take the time to visit Scottsdale's Art District. You won't be disappointed!!