The mission of the Sonoran Arts League is, ‘To give to our community by promoting art, artists, and art education through leadership and service in the belief that an artistic awareness is essential to the well-being of life and our community.’ One of the many ways that’s being done is through the Veteran Art Program. Veterans and active duty military are welcome to try a number of different art mediums at no cost to them. In addition to the art, it provides a lot comradery for those who served our country.
The program started out as a once a month class and has now become a weekly event with an average of a dozen or more participants. A particular medium or form of art is taught for 4 – 6 weeks, then it’s on to something new. Next up will be several classes on glass art, ceramics will follow after that. It is free, including all materials, for all veterans and active duty personnel. But you don’t have to be a veteran to participate, non-military participants pay only $12 fee. That works out to six dollars an hour for art class, a very good deal indeed.
The League got its start in 1975, when a few artists got together to sell their works in a tamarisk grove in Cave Creek. It has grown into a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with over 750 members. It was named 2018 ‘Business of the Year’ by the Carefree Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce. They not too long ago moved into their Center for the Arts in Stagecoach Village. The center is a combination gallery, workshop space, studio, art event facility, classroom, gift shop and more. Visitors are always welcome.
A gallery, created in conjunction with the Boulders Resort, can be found on the second floor of El Pedregal. The gallery exhibits art from many League members and changes every four months. On the third Saturday of each month, there is an art party at the gallery that also incorporates the musical arts and the culinary arts into the mix. The League is probably best known for its annual ‘Hidden in the Hills’ Artist Studio Tour and Sale that happens every November.
A large part of the league’s focus is on education. Creating a forum where artists can get together allows them to share experiences with each other that is sometimes like a mentoring or fostering relationship. It’s always better to learn from the experience of others as you can focus more on the successes and learn to identify and stay away from things and ideas that can slow your progress.
Of course there are lots of public art classes open to everyone and available in all levels. For more information on the classes, upcoming events, or any aspect of the Sonoran Arts League, Visit the Center for the Arts in Stagecoach Village, The Sonoran Arts League Gallery at El Pedregal, or online www.sonoranartsleague.org.