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spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity celebrates the imaginative spark in all of us! The free, annual event showcases Arizona artists and performers, and invites you to enjoy live music, performances, hands-on experiences, live art-making, installations, demonstrations and more.

 

While you're here, explore Mesa Arts Center's campus and all it has to offer. Stop by The Store, the artist cooperative gallery on the north end of campus, visit Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum and see the latest exhibitions, and try your hand at painting or ceramics in the Arts Studios' sampler workshops.

 

What festival is complete without food? Enjoy a variety of foods, a beer and wine garden and more. Admission and parking are free! 

 

The Narrative Nest
By Cyndi Coon
Visitors will be invited to explore a treetop space installed in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum’s Courtyard and explore storytelling, turned upside down, in The Narrative Nest. Outside the large scale nests, participants are invited to share their stories written on leaves or drawn on pigeon grams. Collaborating artists include Cyndi Coon (curator), Brett Eichmann (3-D Artist), Sarah Spencer (2-D Artist), Natalie Andrews (Lead Actor), Miguel Cardona (Graffiti Artist) and Nick Rascona (Graffiti Artist).

 

We are all Musical
By Evan Tobias
Visitors will be invited to build and experiment with electric instruments, perform in a drum circle, create music with contemporary apps and controllers, sing and move in a musical garden for young children and families, interact musically with the MAC campus itself, and (in the evening) make Hip Hop. Collaborators include Samuel Pena, Michael Ferraro, Melita Belgrave, Dean Bacalzo, Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division, The Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education (CITME), AZBeatLab, AZ Rhythm Connection, Arizona Society for General Music, Oh My Ears and Shining Soul. #WeAreAllMusical

 

Homage to Yayoi Kusama
By Kyllan Maney
The center of Mesa Arts Center’s campus will be transformed with Kusama-style “camouflage,” created by Kyllan Maney. The camouflage pattern designed by Maney has been inspired by a combination of southwestern cactus cross-sections and colorful Arizona sunsets. Many features of Mesa Arts Center’s campus will be activated by this pattern, including 20-foot palm trees and a large stepped platform area. The installation will also feature large hanging orbs. Several interactive opportunities—modeled after interactive elements featured in Kusama’s work—are offered with the installation. There will be a selfie “camouflage” zone, in which visitors will don a patterned shirt that enables them to blend into the installation, much as Kusama frequently photographed herself and others in clothing matching her environments. Visitors can apply fuzzy colorful pom poms to the bottoms of the tall palm trees—an activity inspired by the white rooms which Kusama invited visitors to complete with stick-on colored dots. Festival goers will also be able to create patterned orbs that that they can add to the installation.
Artists and Collaborators: Kyllan Maney and patterned shirts designed by Martha Pena.

 

Community Clay Collage
By Jesse Armstrong and the Mesa Arts Center Ceramics Studio
spark! attendees can learn ceramic techniques from MAC’s ceramic teaching artists, and will be invited to make items such as flowers, prickly pear cactus pads, expressive faces and favorite dogs. Work created by both artists and participants will be composed onto a large sculpture which will evolve and grow throughout the two-day event. Guest artists include Jesse Armstrong, Larron Lerdall, Sandy Blain, Jenneva Kayser, Diane Watkins, Darshana Patel, Rob Kolhouse and more.

 

Dress is Structure
By Polly O’Dette and the Mesa Arts Center Jewelry and Metals Studios
Statuesque metal dress forms created by Mesa Arts Center jewelry and metals studios will stand along MAC’s main thoroughfare, inviting festival attendees to step inside the pieces, take pictures with them and continue to contribute to them over the course of the two-day event.

 

Pipe Organ Cactus
By Michael Krzyzaniak
Pipe Organ Cactus is an interactive musical sculpture where the arms of the cactus sculpture are actual, working organ pipes that play music autonomously. The pipes also have sensors embedded within them so that the music played by the sculpture responds to the number and location of people in its vicinity.

 

The Bucket List Project
By Creative Catalysts
This installation, shaped by and for the community, will invite attendees to share their bucket list wishes for Mesa and beyond. Visitors will adorn colorfully painted galvanized steel buckets with their ambitions and dreams, and then the buckets will be hung from the Pergola on the north end of MAC’s campus. Lead artists include Chris Russell, Gretchen Bickert and Jennifer Gastelum.

 

Live Painting
Lead artist: Agustin Vargas
Artists will live-paint the activities, momentum and spirit of the spark! event on panels during the two days of the festival. The festival attendees are also welcome to contribute and add their own touch of creativity to the piece. Collaborating artists include Chia Ortegon, Ludmila Demich and Ewa Kobacka-Bugala.

[nueBOX] Performance Environment
[nueBOX] will showcase artists in the fields of composition, dance, animation, performance art, and sculpture, through interactive, collaborative, and experimental art works. See the schedule for performance times. www.nuebox.org/spark

 

Roda-Viva
Jenny Gerena (choreographer), Chazmier Tyler (musician) and Rossitza Todorova (visual artist) were commissioned by [nueBOX] to create a new collaborative work that explores metaphors of transformation by unifying form, dance and sound.


This is me, trying to remain vertical
By Julie Akerly & Matthew Mosher
This interactive audiovisual installation draws awareness to the natural reflexes that occur in the body while standing.


Duality: neither (Here) nor >>>There
By Anthony Obr & Juan “Coel” Rodriguez
This project explores intentionality as it relates to both empathy and the negotiating, reflective state of self. The audience is invited to witness the performance but are also given the opportunity to create the performance space throughout the day.


Uncertainty Index
By Casey Farina & Jen Urso
Housing, census and weather data will be used to create two simulated moving landscapes.


Move and Explore: Roda-Viva Workshop
Allyson Yoder will be designing interactive and engaging activities centralized around a pliable sculpture in the center of the [nueBOX] area designed by Rossitza Todorova.

 

To Sleep to Dream
By Earfilms*
Experience an immersive, audio-only theatrical experience with Earfilms To Sleep to Dream in the Piper Theater. *Please note: This is a ticketed event but free 10-minute demos will also be offered. See schedule for details.

 

ACTIVITIES
Visit The Store
The Store, Mesa Arts Center’s Artists’ Cooperative Gallery is open and will feature artist demonstrations throughout the festival. See schedule for list of demos and times.

 

Visit Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum is open throughout the festival and features five galleries of contemporary art exhibitions. The Museum always offers free admission.

 

Art Studios Samplers
Festival goers will be able to try their hand at studio art classes with affordable ($5-10) one-hour workshops led by Mesa Arts Center teaching artists. Workshops include: Flame worked Beads, Nature’s Design Drawing Demo, Watercolor, Scientific Glassblowing, Improv, Ink & Watercolor Botanical Drawing, Enameling on Metal, and Acrylics. Registration is available now. See schedule for detailed list. Register at 480-644-6500 or at the Mesa Arts Center Box Office.

 

 

 

Friday


12pm Jan Sandwich & Friends (jazz)
1:30pm Scott Hallock (singer/songwriter)
3:45pm Dan Puccio Duo (jazz saxophonist)
6pm Devon Bridgewater and Nuance (swinging jazz)
8:15pm The Swing Set Project (swing dance music)

 

Saturday


12pm Courtney Cotter King (singer/songwriter)
1:30pm Freddie Duran Tres (adobe rock)
3:45pm Noemy Esparza (singer/songwriter)
6pm Los Waukis (sounds of the Andes)
8:15pm Guitarras Latinas (best of latin American music)

ART STUDIO SAMPLERS

 

Try your hand as one of many classes offered in Mesa Arts Center’s state-of-the-art performing and visual arts studios! Call 480-644-6500 to register now!

 

Friday
12pm Nature’s Design and Drawing Demo, $5  -  Signup
2pm Watercolor, $10 -  Signup
7pm Scientific Glassblowing, $10 -  Signup

 

Saturday
1pm Ink & Watercolor Botanical Drawing, $10 -  SOLD OUT
2pm Improv, $5 -  Signup
2pm Enameling on Metal, $10  -  Signup
3pm Acrylics, $10 -  Signup
3pm Enameling on Metal, $10 -  Signup
4pm Scientific Glassblowing, $10 -  Signup
4pm Enameling on Metal, $10 -  Signup

 

 

 

WE ARE ALL MUSICAL

Explore this immersive musical environment with many different musical elements!

 

Digital Music and Push Playground

Make beats! Produce Music! Play with sound!
All ages. No experience necessary.

Friday Times 

12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm

 

Saturday Times

Noon, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 7:30pm

Ends: Fri. and Sat. @ 7:30pm


DRUM VILLAGE

Come drum with us!
All ages. No experience necessary.

 

Friday Times Saturday Times
12:30pm,1:30pm,3:30pm,4:30pm

 

Saturday Times

12:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 6pm


In Collaboration with: AZ Beat Lab, AZ Rhythm Connection, Samba De Cavalo, Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division, Mienl Percussion, Remo Percussion


Musical Garden

Play! Sing! Move! Create!
Have fun with songs and musical games.
Be musical with the young people in your lives.
For young children and families or caregivers. No experience necessary.

 

Friday & Saturday
12:10 PM - 12:30 PM
1:10 PM - 1:30 PM
2:10 PM - 2:30 PM
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
4:10 PM - 4:30 PM

Ends: Fri. and Sat. @ 4:30 PM


In collaboration with: Arizona Society for General Music (AzSGM), Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division

 

Make Mobile Music

Create and perform music with iPad apps!

All ages. No experience necessary.

Friday & Saturday
12:00 PM - 7:30 PM


In collaboration with: Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education, Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division, AZ Beat Lab, Oh My Ears.

 

Play This Place

What happens when you play these poles, trees, and walls?
Find out during pop up installations throughout the day.
All ages. No experience necessary.

Friday & Saturday
12:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Pop up installations throughout the day.

Ends: Fri. and Sat. @ 8:30 PM


In collaboration with: Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education, Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division, AZ Beat Lab, Oh My Ears


STEAM Space

Make Music with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)!
Build instruments. Code and program music.
Experiment with interactive musical art.
All ages. No experience necessary.

Friday and Saturday Times
12:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Ends: Fri. and Sat. @ 8:30 PM


In collaboration with: Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education, Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division.


The Jam Lounge

Relax. Hang out. Connect & Make Music.
All ages. No experience necessary.
Requires your own mobile device.

Friday and Saturday Times
12:00 PM - 9:00 PM

 

In Collaboration with: Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education (CITME), Arizona State University Music Education and Therapy Division, AZ Beat Lab, Oh My Ears


Make Hip Hop

Make Beats! MC! DJ!
Learn how to make beats, MC, DJ, and put it all together.
Workshops and demonstrations by local Hip Hop trio Shining Soul
All ages. No experience necessary.

Friday & Saturday 
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Beat Making
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM MC’ing
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM DJing
9:00 PM - 9:30 PM Public Sharing
9:30 PM - 10:00 PM Shining Soul Performance

Ends: Fri. and Sat. @ 10:00 PM


In collaboration with: Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education (CITME), Shining Soul

Swing Dance Demos & Mini Lessons
Provided by Steve Conrad

Friday, March 17
8pm - 10pm

 

Latin Dance Demos & Mini Lessons

Provided by aRAZando Dance Co.

Saturday, March 18
8pm - 10pm


[nueBOX] PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE


Experience innovative performances by artists working in the fields of composition, dance, animation, performance art, and sculpture, through interactive, collaborative, and experimental art works.

(Same schedule on both Friday and Saturday)
12:30-1pm Move & Explore: Roda-Viva Workshop
1-2pm Uncertainty Index
1:30-2pm Move & Explore: Roda-Viva Workshop
2-2:30pm This is me, Trying to Remain Vertical
2:30-3pm Duality: neither (Here) nor >>>There
3-3:30pm This is me, Trying to Remain Vertical
3:30-4pm Move and Explore: Roda-Viva Workshop
4-5pm Uncertainty Index
4:30-5pm This is me, Trying to Remain Vertical
5:30-6pm Duality: neither (Here) nor >>>There
6-6:30pm Move and Explore: Roda-Viva Workshop
6-7pm Uncertainty Index
7-7:30pm Roda-Viva! *
7:30-8pm This is me, Trying to Remain Vertical
8-8:30pm Roda-Viva! *
8:30-9pm Duality: neither (Here) nor >>>There
9-9:30pm Roda-Viva! *

TO SLEEP TO DREAM

by EarFilms

Experience this one-of-a-kind theatrical experience in a short, 10-minute demonstration and then come back for the full-length ticketed performance! EarFilms arrives in Mesa to showcase their 3D cinematic audio experience. Your ears become your eyes, as blindfolded audiences are taken on a lifelike, vivid journey into their imagination using an advanced 3D speaker system, live storytelling and and state of the art sound design.

 

Free demos are offered in the Piper Theater both Friday and Saturday. See schedule and description below. 


Friday
12pm, 12:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, 4:30pm

Tickets show times: 7pm

Tickets available here

 

Saturday

12pm, 12:30pm, 5pm, 5:30pm

Tickets show times: 2 and 8pm

Tickets available here

 

‘To Sleep To Dream’, their award-winning debut feature length film, has toured throughout the world and is now at Mesa Arts Center.

 

Each show is followed by a Q&A where audience members can explore and share their individual experiences with each other and the EarFilms team. After the show you'll be invited to 'The Imaginarium’, where you can record, draw or describe their experience of the show and can see interpretations of the worlds and characters from other audience members imaginations from around the globe.

 

"Filmmakers are only ever projecting their own imaginations. EarFilms allows the viewer to use their own. Yes, the attendees are actually blindfolded as they experience cinematic storytelling with 3D sound to create a minds-eye movie of their own.” Source Magazine

 

ARTIST DEMONSTRATIONS in The Store


Visit The Store on the north end of campus to shop local, unique and handmade, and to experience live demonstrations by artists in The Store.

 

Friday

10am Helen Walker, Jewelry
12pm Gillian Harry, Ceramics

2pm Margot Myers, Jewelry
3pm Dale Kesel, Photography
6pm Gillian Harry, Ceramics

 

Saturday
10am Andriene Buggington, Quilting & Jewelry
12pm Kathleen Escobar, Ceramics
2pm Merrit Monoree-Johnson, Glass
6pm Lisa Harnish, Ceramics

 

Soundbite Food Truck
This highly specialized vehicle combines Public Radio and gourmet vending, with recording opportunities provided by KJZZ radio and a menu of food options by Short Leash Hotdogs + Rollover Donuts.

 

Molly’s Tamales

Offering a variety of delicious homemade tamales! 

 

CA Snowie

Enjoy flavored shaved ice to stay cool! 

 

Firehouse Kettle Corn (Saturday Only)

Offering kettle corn, a festival staple! 

 

Paletas Betty

Handmade traditional mexican fresh fruit and cream pop from betty's home state of michoacán, mexico.

 

Atlasta Catering (Mesa Arts Center Concessionaire)

Serving up delicious beverages in the wine and beer garden! 

 

Life of the Party Catering