Art has the indescribable power to take us on an adventure without having to move a muscle. Lucky for locals, Chandler and the East Valley are home to gifted artists and impressive art collections that showcase talent in a variety of mediums.
Capturing Chandler One Drawing at a Time
Freelance artist Michael L. Feather is an urban sketcher, which means he creates works of art by drawing on-location locally or during his travels.
“What I love about this style is the quick nature of it, the capturing of what is around me,” he explains. “Documenting beauty, recording it moment by moment, and then sharing it with others brings me joy.”
Feather re-discovered his love for art while working from home at the height of the pandemic. “I needed to break out of the box I was in,” he says. “Art gave me a wonderful outlet for all that pent-up creativity.”
Since then, Feather has been busy honing his colorful craft locally and abroad. Last summer, he participated in the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage walking across northern Spain, drawing daily for 33 days. He also documents life in Chandler and Gilbert, capturing the beauty in familiar locations and sharing them on social media (@13colorsart).
“Chandler is truly amazing, and I look forward to getting to know its nooks and crannies one drawing at a time.”
Shining in Multiple Mediums
Artist Jason Stillman works with a variety of mediums and enjoys the challenges that come with each.
“I have worked with ceramic sculpture, bronze, castings, steel art fabrication, as well as painting and various 2-D artworks,” he says. “I would say being able to work successfully in many mediums was a key to my survival as a working artist in the early days.”
Stillman’s recent projects include a life-sized Arabian horse in polished stainless steel and his Evolution of Flora series, with trees created out of stainless steel. When it comes to painting, his most recent works have included producing collage paintings where, instead of paint, pieces of magazines and other decorative paper are used to produce the images.
While the East Valley is home, Stillman’s work can be seen globally.
“I have been lucky and grateful over the years to be commissioned to produce these works for various clients around the country and a number of others in countries around the world,” says the Arizona native and Arizona State University grad, who has degrees in studio art and mechanical engineering,
SRP Curates One-of-a-Kind Fine Art Collection
When you think of fine art collections, your local utility company likely doesn’t come to mind. But Salt River Project (SRP) boasts an impressive collection of art where each piece tells the story of water and power.
When SRP began a remodel of its Tempe administrative building, they enlisted the help of James Burns, executive director of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, and ASU interns to catalog the collection. With 177 pieces, the impressive collection features work by famed artists Eric Orr, Ansel Adams, and Michelle Stewart. Arizona-based artists Anne Coe and Lisa Albuquerque are also included in the collection, in addition to a variety of Latino and Native American artists.
"We have some huge names in the art world right now, and we had the foresight to commission art from them when they were rising stars," says SRP senior community outreach representative Ileen Snoddy.
The team is first working to inventory all the pieces at SRP’s Information Services Building to have it all appraised. Next, they’ll assess the art collection and curate an exhibit in the changing gallery space in the Heritage Center located at SRP’s administration building.
"With such one-of-a-kind pieces, we realized we had to do something more with the collection,” Snoddy says.
She adds that SRP will share the art collection with the community beginning in 2024.