Life, Gallery and Studio Musings, 19: Cattle Tracks Arts Compound
We found Cattle Tracks Arts Compound while looking for a potter who makes functional pottery. Sculptural and other types of pottery can be found in the Phoenix area but handmade mugs are hard to find. At least for me. Guess what? Mary VanDusen, one of two potters in the compound, was from Ann Arbor Michigan. She was a tennis professional and teacher. Her husband a U of MI professor. They moved west for her to play/teach tennis and for him to paint. It is such a small world. We had a nice chat about clay, making pots, and life.
I was there to buy a mug. I bought two.
All of a sudden, I am being introduced to other artists. Tim Chapman, creates other worldly paintings. Mark McDowell, lives on the property and is one of the founders. He grabs me and gives me a tour. Mark creates pencil drawings that are amazing. Many of them are more than life size. He is also a musician and jack of all trades. He told me that he raised his kids on the property. I didn’t learn what they are interested in but I bet they have interesting focuses.
Mark impressed on me what this non-profit brings to Scottsdale. Their mission is: To recognize and celebrate Scottsdale’s authentic cultural heritage by providing opportunities for artists, craftsmen and students, visual and performing, individually and collectively, to encourage and enhance their art forms and to further the preservation of Scottsdale’s genuine past as a unique arts community in a desert environment.
I spent several minutes with Brent Bond, a printmaker and furniture artist. His creates relief styled original prints.
What I loved about it is the community of artists. They have their separate studios with the ability to create but then talk about their work, their ideas, and wrestle concepts with other artists across a variety of mediums. One thing that Mark mentioned that I believe is very wise: a successful Scottsdale Chef will be opening a restaurant in their gallery space. This will allow people to dine on the property and check out the different studios. Fine Food and Fine Art. A win-win.
As I begin to think about new ceramic work, I can’t help but think of this artist compound. I believe that the synergy of sharing space helps them continue creating during Covid.
Take care, c2.