Discover the beauty of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert this spring at the i.d.e.a. Museum in downtown Mesa. “Sonoran Safari” lets visitors explore the artistic landscape of the world’s 11th largest desert through art and hands-on activities geared at exploring and understanding the natural landscape that surrounds us.
“At the Sonoran Safari exhibition, you will experience a collection of contemporary artists who have created unique works of art inspired by the Sonoran Desert. Visitors can engage and learn more about this unique desert through hands-on activities and art-making projects designed for both children and adults,” said Brian S. Asdell, an exhibits technician at the i.d.e.a. Museum and the artistic curator of Sonoran Safari.
The exhibition, opening Feb. 9, features 25 Arizona and national artists, as well as an artist from the Czech Republic. Artworks include digital photography, bronze and steel sculptures, ceramics, paintings, mixed media and more.
Hands-on activities in the exhibition aim to engage the entire family; among them:
- Investigating the inside of a cactus in the Interactive Saguaro activity.
- Exploring the wildlife research camp site – inside the black-light room – focused on the desert at night.
- Learning about differences and similarities of the deserts around the world.
- Writing desert poetry (inspired by Arizona artist Ed Mell).
- Creating “reflection” paintings, animal footprints and desert sky art.
The exhibition – which goes through May 27 – is sponsored by The Grainger Foundation, a private and independent foundation; the i.d.e.a. Museum Board of Directors Inc.; the city of Mesa and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which receives support from the state of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Other related financial contributions come from the Gila River Indian Community, which supports the museum’s Access for All fund, which helps pay for programs such as school visits and free days. The Steele Foundation also continues to provide funding for the Artful Tales Experience, an art and literacy program designed for children ages 3 to 5.
Featured artists from Arizona are: Margarethe Brummerman, Tucson; Daniel Buckley, Tucson; Jake Case, Peoria; Linda Harrison-Parsons, Scottsdale; Kathy Falla Howard, Scottsdale; Mark Klett, Tempe; Margit Kagerer, Carefree; William Lesch, Tucson; Monica Aissa Martinez, Phoenix; Ed Mell, Phoenix; Deborah O’Rourke, Green Valley; Peggy Orbon, Phoenix; Paul Orzech, Tucson; Christy Puetz, Phoenix; Mark Rossi, Tucson; Mary Shindell, Phoenix; and Jeff Zischke, Scottsdale.
Admission is $9 for ages 1 and up; free for museum members and younger than 1. For more museum activities, visit ideaMuseum.org.