Sonoran Arts League launches summer art academy

Meet the Team Catherine Ross, Robert Grebe, Julie Harmon, Rita Treat, Anne Hibbetts. Not pictured: Marcia Lang, Valerie Hildebrand. (Special to the Independent/Sonoran Arts League.)

Meet the Team: Catherine Ross, Robert Grebe, Julie Harmon, Rita Treat, Anne Hibbetts. Not pictured: Marcia Lang, Valerie Hildebrand. (Special to the Independent/Sonoran Arts League.)

With over a year’s experience with art classes at the Gallery @ El Pedregal and their own newly expanded office space, the Sonoran Arts League is ready to launch a full-fledged “Art Classes for All Ages” program.

Summer 2016 marks the official start of the Sonoran Arts League Summer Foothills Art Academy.

The Sonoran Arts League Summer Foothills Art Academy is open to all ages, kindergarten to adults, and will be offered through Education & Community Services, a department of the Cave Creek Unified School District.

Since 2008, members of the Sonoran Arts League have taught the ECS Foothills Art Academy, garnering rave reviews for the multi-generational art classes. This year, the Sonoran Arts League will take the lead, structuring the classes and recruiting teachers as part of a new Sonoran Arts League program, ArtReach, which celebrates and supports the power of art to enrich life.

“Artists of the Sonoran Arts League have been wonderful to work with through the years,” stated Elaine Vallario, ECS Enrichment Coordinator, in a press release. “Our partnership has given flight to various summer workshops where teens and adults have worked side by side as their creativity is nurtured and encouraged.”

The Sonoran Arts League has worked hard to put together a team to organize and run the Summer Foothills Art Academy.

The screening procedure is rigorous. Artists must show more than competency in their work; they must be able to share their techniques with others.

“Teaching is more difficult than merely showing what you do,” stated Catherine Ross, Foothills Art Academy coordinator in the release. “You have to be able to break down your technique into small meaningful segments.”

For the younger set, grades kindergarten through sixth grade, the art classes are STEAM oriented. STEAM represents science, technology, engineering, art and math. For example, the “Desert Spring” class combines elements of plant life with math (sizes and shapes) into the creation of beautiful fields of flowers.

There is also a 3D art class where students will be working with paper, foam board, wire and clay as they learn the mechanics of 3D art.

For grades seventh through adult, classes cover a wide range of wonderful art making experiences, including weaving, jewelry making, 3D art, ceramics, photography, and even pop up books.

Classes for kindergarten through sixth grade will be held at Desert Sun Academy, 27880 N. 64th Street in Scottsdale. The classes for seventh grade through adults will be held at Cactus Shadows High School, 5802 E. Dove Valley Road, in Scottsdale.

“Through this partnership of ECS and Sonoran Arts League, we’ve laid a strong foundation for even more opportunities to unfold for all ages in our community,” stated Ms. Vallario in the release. “Please join us this summer!”

The weeklong classes take place 9 a.m.-noon June 13 through July 1.

Class information and registration is online through Education & Community Services at For additional class details, go to or contact Pat Bell-Demers of the Sonoran Arts League at 480-575-6624.

For questions regarding registration, contact Elaine Vallario at Education & Community Services, 480-575-2072.

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