Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Upcoming Show at Gallery 801

Press Release
Contact: Steven Derks, Gallery 801
Phone: 520-370-1610
Contact: Carolyn Anne Anderson

January 6, 2009

Art Thrives in Bad Economies
Local artists use current downturn to revive Tucson art scene

“Art is what will get us through this economic crisis” says veteran Tucson sculptor and painter Steven Derks. Derks is the owner of Gallery 801 located on Main and University near the heart of the Tucson downtown arts district. While some Tucson galleries have recently closed their doors, Derks has committed to taking a positive attitude about art and the economy. “When you look throughout history times of struggle are the times that produce the best art and the most influential movements. Artists always have to deal with job insecurities and unstable markets; the good ones know how to weather it, and sometimes outer hardship inspires artists to take greater risks, to step out of their comfort zone.”

Taking a proactive approach to the economic down turn, Derks put out a call to the local arts community to get together a group of artists who wanted to work together to create a show that artistically responded to recent events. What came out of the meeting was a core group of artists interested in enlivening the Tucson art scene. Calling themselves the “Tucson Revivalist Artists Collective” these artists have put together a body of work that will open at Gallery 801 Feb 7 and show from January 31- Feb 28, 2009.

The group includes Derks, painters Bryan Crow and Carolyn Anne Anderson. Crow says, “Art has the ability to transform, it helps us to cope. Almost every artist I know has a transformation story and their art played a role in that. When things get rough people crave escape- that’s where art can play a positive role.” He continues, “Art is a way of working through feelings. People are in a lot of fear right now; art has a way of identifying that and helping someone not feel so isolated”.

Even more than just reflecting what is going on in the world around us, the artists in Revivalist Collective want to put forward that art can have a role in transforming it. Anderson says “art has the ability to contribute to the collective imagination in a positive and dynamic way. Each artist in the group has a spiritual connection with their art and a commitment to the bigger picture. We wanted to put together a show with a group of artists that want to use are art to help energize the Tucson art scene” Derks adds, “In the beginning it was about brainstorming creative marketing techniques, keeping a positive outlook, but as it grew we realized there is a larger opportunity, because if the Tucson art scene picks up, everyone in the community will benefit.”

The group has centered around three core ideas: supporting fellow artists, reviving the Tucson arts scene, and using art to benefit local organizations that work to foster arts revival. As part of the commitment to serving the community they are making the show a benefit for local Tucson charity Beads of Courage. Artists have committed pieces to a silent auction for the charity. An organization representative will be at the opening and will offer glass blown bead making demonstrations to the public.

Beads of Courage is a Tucson based charity through which seriously ill children use art to support their recovery. Using colorful beads as meaningful symbols that represent milestones of their medical treatment, children participating in Beads of Courage collect and string together works of art as part of a positive coping strategy.

Executive director of Beads of Courage Jean Baruch said “When they contacted us it seemed like a perfect fit! We’re an arts centered charity and they are artists looking to support the community.” Anderson continues “its interesting that when you put it out there to the universe, everything falls together perfectly, synchronicity, opportunities, it all comes into place...” This organization hopes to keep that momentum going for artists and others throughout Tucson after the show has ended. Anderson adds, “It’s important to look at our economy as an opportunity, not a set back, art has the ability to remind us how to look inward for ideas and resources, to create our own reality, and to be in the now, the present, something good for all of us to practice in an ever changing world.”

Check out Tucson Revivalist Art Collective show January 31- February 28 at Gallery 801, 801 North Main. Opening February 7 from 12-5 pm, Artist Lectures and Demonstrations February 8 & 21 at 2 pm for more info on schedule and contributing artists check online at .
For more info on Beads of Courage visit .
For information on each of the artists mentioned above please see their individual websites:
Steven Derks
Bryan Crow
Carolyn Anne Anderson

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