Thursday Evening Speakers Series Debuts April 2

Intriguing stories are at the heart of the American West, and are the lifeblood of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. To bring them to life, beginning April 2, museum visitors will be treated to five weekly presentations by masterful storytellers and noted experts on a variety of Western topics.

The Thursday evening series, designed to entertain and inform, will take place (unless otherwise noted) in the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Theater/Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. They are free with museum admission and to members.

The first, Kicking Up Their Heels: Women Artists of the American West (April 2), will spotlight the painters, architects, photographers and other extraordinary women working in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Utah and the Northwest Coast. Betsy Fahlman, Professor of Art History at Arizona State University and a specialist in the art of the American West, is the featured speaker.

On April 9, the museum is honored to present noted artist Charles Fritz, whose 100-painting exhibition Inspirational Journey: The Story of Lewis and Clark, Featuring the Artwork of Charles Fritz is currently on view at the museum. Fritz retraced the famous expedition’s route from St. Louis to Oregon twice, visiting the sites of noteworthy events in the expedition’s journals, and painting field studies there.

Fritz’s presentation will focus on the humor, events, personalities and fun facts of the early 1800s. In addition, he will discuss his artistic process and approach to composition, and sign copies of the exhibition book “Charles Fritz: 100 Paintings Illustrating the Journals of Lewis and Clark.”

On April 16, Scottsdale Community Historian Joan Fudala will take audience members on a photo-rich journey from 1888 to the present. She will discuss how Scottsdale–a former farming and ranching settlement–evolved into a world-renowned destination for arts, crafts, fashion, performances, literature and architecture, blending the best of the Old and New West.

On April 23, Pueblo pottery expert Charles King will spotlight the lives and the art of Maria Martinez, Margaret Tafoya and Tony Da. The three artists defined the art of Pueblo pottery throughout the 20th century and continue to impact today’s young artists.

On April 30, Christiana Moss, AIA, of Studio MA will take museum visitors on a walking tour of Western Spirit. The Phoenix and Clifton, New Jersey-based architectural firm designed the 43,000-square-foot, two-story main building, which is as visually dazzling as the art and artifacts that lie inside. It was designed and built with conservation and sustainability in mind, meeting the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standard.

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