Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance presents Winter Festival of the Arts featuring artists, performers, local food vendors and TUBACHRISTMAS, Dec. 7 & 8
Nov. 20, 2013 — His work has appeared on “Better Off Ted,” “The Mentalist” and “The Apprentice,” and Warner
Brothers now owns 20 pieces in their set collection.
Randy O’Brien’s ceramics have gained fame with their brilliant color and unusual texture – decorative glazes curling up at the surface. This winter, the award-winning artist will showcase his artwork with jewelers, photographers, painters, sculptors and more at Festival of the Arts.
Presented by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the free festival takes place Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oro Valley Marketplace, southwest corner of Oracle Road and Tangerine Road. The event provides a way to shop locally, while supporting artists and offering handmade holiday gifts.
“I started as a functional potter, doing bowls and cups,” O’Brien said. After setting up a studio in Alaska, he went back to school for a degree in ceramic art.
“I did a lot of experimentation with special effect glazes,” he said. In a month-long coating process, he applies six different layers that shrink and crack during the firing step, and colorants used in high concentration bring out vibrant colors.
“I was looking at minerals and lichens when I was trying to come up with this surface,” he explained the inspiration for the organic-like pieces.
O’Brien’s permanent collections can be viewed at Wichita Center for the Arts, Arizona Cancer Center and the Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska. He has also participated in festivals across the nation, from international juried fine exhibitions in
San Francisco to invitational shows in New York City. This will be his second time participating at Festival of the Arts.
“I enjoy the direct contact with people at festivals, and I get a much clearer impression of how people react to my work,” he said, an experience he did not receive when he sold work solely through galleries. “At festivals, people see my work with fresh eyes.”
Festival of the Arts
With more than 100 artists and exhibits, 100 tuba players, 10 performances, 35 feet of Christmas tree and 100 children benefitting from giving, Festival of the Arts brings holiday spirit to people each winter, one hundred times over.
The festival has quickly become one of the largest regional art events in Southern Arizona. In just a few years, it has garnered national and local attention, voted Best Annual Event in Southern Arizona (2011) by the Tucson Foothills Magazine. Held twice annually, this two-day festival features artists in all mediums, live music, silent auction, food vendors and family activities.
Each year, TUBACHRISTMAS comes to Oro Valley, bringing a stage full of tuba players. The performance at Festival of the Arts will be one of many throughout the weekend, featuring blues, dance, country, folk and more.
The GAP Ministries Festival of Trees will give a Holiday of Hope to children in the custody of Child Protective Services. Individuals and businesses can purchase a custom designed tree to benefit more than 140 children living in their 14 residential group homes, delivered completely decorated the following week.
A Tree Lighting Ceremony, on Friday, Dec. 6, will brighten the evening with a 35-foot Christmas tree towering over the Marketplace. The celebration, co-hosted by the Town of Oro Valley, will feature live entertainment, activities for children, free refreshments, the lighting of the Oro Valley holiday tree and a special appearance by Santa.
Saturday, Dec. 7
10 a.m. IRHS Theatre – performing arts, theatre
11 a.m. Encore Show Choir (IRHS) – choral, choir
12 p.m. Jim Howell Band – rock, blues, country, soul
1 p.m. The Tri-Tones – string quartet
2 p.m. TUBACHRISTMAS
3 p.m. Kids Unlimited – dance
Sunday, Dec. 8
11 a.m. Shirley & Jim O’Brien – strolling accordions
12p.m. Desert Melodies – vocal
12:30 p.m. Bunny Kirby – guitar, vocal
1 p.m. Johnny Cashew – acoustic country
1:30 p.m. Amber Norgaard – folk rock
2 p.m. Dan’s West Dance Productions – dance performance
3 p.m. T.E.A.M. – vocal (Gospel)
2013 Winter Festival of the Arts
Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Valley Marketplace, southwest corner of Oracle and Tangerine Roads
TO MEDIA: Photos
The Oro Valley Marketplace is built on a 115-acre site at Oracle and Tangerine roads in Oro Valley. It is the first Arizona retail destination integrated with a restored riparian habitat and boasts a trail system feeding into the revered Catalina Mountains. Opened in 2008, the Marketplace features 800,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and dining destinations. Find out more online www.orovalleymarketplace.com.
About the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance
The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to ensure that, through engagement in arts and culture, our communities produce strong, inspired citizens. SAACA enlists artists, businesses, governments, and individuals to expand artistic and cultural opportunities in their respective communities. To enhance access to the arts and to promote cultural awareness in the communities it serves, SAACA presents large-scale festivals, events and other programs. The Alliance also promotes educational opportunities in the arts and culture for both the young and the old.
The Southern Arizona
Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) grew out of the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council (GOVAC), an organization established in 1997 to provide artistic and cultural opportunities for residents of northwest Tucson. GOVAC eventually became one of the largest arts organizations in the region. In 2009, owing to its success, the group expanded its mission to include creation of partnerships with business, governments, and communities throughout Southern Arizona that would encourage innovative, creative cultural expression in the arts for years to come.
For more information about programs and events produced by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, go to www.saaca.org.