Scottsdale Public Art’s newest exhibition, “COLORLOVE,” running from Jan. 8 through March 30 at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3948 N. Drinkwater Blvd., celebrates the power of the full rainbow of colors.
Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, hopes the exhibition will encourage viewers to think deeply about color.
“I’ve always been interested in the psychology of color. Which colors make us feel energized or calm?” Raisanen asked. “We are all affected by color through artwork, our clothing and the walls of buildings. I love saturated, intense colors; they just make my brain happy.”
Artist and co-curator of “COLORLOVE” Lex Gjurasic is known for her love of color and her artistic philosophy of “Radical Happiness,” which is, in her words, the “sacred act of choosing joy in the face of oppression and challenges.”
“Colors and how they interact together has always been at the forefront of my creative process,” Gjurasic said. “While others may shy from the vibrational interplay of colors, I embrace that visual enthusiasm and lean into it. I can't imagine a creative process without the patterns and interplay of color. For me, a world without color is a world void of emotion.”
For Gjurasic, there is nothing more joyful than one’s own emotional response to color. An Arizona transplant, originally from the “dreary” Pacific Northwest, Gjurasic now finds solace in the intense psychedelic neon colors of the desert that she sees in her mind’s eye when she closes her eyes after staring directly at the sun. Gjurasic invites viewers into her vision of the world through the eyes of artists living and working in the arid desert. She presents two artworks in the exhibition: “Wet Grass 1” and “Enjoy Yourself, Take Only What You Need.”
John David Yanke, another artist featured in “COLORLOVE,” is a painter and sculptor who exhibits his work locally and nationwide. His artwork “As Things Go” is informed by the intensely hued imagery of his sculptures that use manipulated bed springs, which also refer to compositions in music.
“I remember my past through color because it triggers emotions I’ve lost, either intentionally or out of some imagined fright — fear coddling memory,” Yanke said. “My soul seems to digest and express those last sentences better through layered forms, shapes and colors.”
After creative careers with Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, mural painting and remodeling homes, Yanke now teaches upper-level drawing and painting and is an academic counselor for an Arizona high school.
In addition to the exhibition itself, there will be an opening reception to meet the artists 4-5:30 p.m. Jan. 11, 2024, at the Civic Center Public Gallery.
Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation has also organized two creative workshops in association with this exhibition. All Things Color! invites participants to create a desert landscape painting with Arizona-based artist Jackson Kloog 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22, and at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, guests can join local artists in the hands-on Natural Pigment Workshop, which allows participants to play with dirt and process it into watercolor paint.
Both workshops are free, but RSVP is required. They will be presented at Scottsdale Civic Center Library. Learn more about the exhibition, workshops and reception at ScottsdalePublicArt.org/events.