Thursday evening lecture series debuts April 2 at Museum of the West

“Kicking Up Their Heels: Women Artists of the American West” is the first in a series of weekly lectures that begin April 2 at Scottsdale's Museum of the West.

“Kicking Up Their Heels: Women Artists of the American West” is the first in a series of weekly lectures that begin April 2 at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

Intriguing stories are at the heart of the American West and the essence of Western spirit, according to Tricia Loscher, chief curator of Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

To bring them to life, she has programmed a series of five evening presentations by masterful storytellers and noted experts on a variety of Western topics.

“Kicking Up Their Heels: Women Artists of the American West” on 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, Ph.D., Arizona State University professor of art history, is the featured speaker.

On April 9, the museum will 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.

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.”

In addition to the 6:30 p.m. event, Mr. Fritz’s presentation also will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Thursday; 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 10; and 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 11.

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.

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 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.

Speakers series events start at 6:30 p.m. and are free with museum admission.

The museum opened in January in Scottsdale’s historic arts district at 3830 N. Marshall Way.

Visit or call 480-686-9539.

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