Scottsdale Independent

Scottsdale artist Joan Baron featured in November studio tour

(Courtesy of Baron Studio)

South Scottsdale resident Joan Baron, one of 174 featured artists in Hidden in the Hills Artist Studio Tour, takes making dinner from scratch to a whole new level.

The avid gardener and ceramic artist hand-builds bowls, plates and serving dishes from colored clays, before firing them to insure durability and safety. Using fruits and vegetables from her own yard and garden, Ms. Baron fills her dishes with homemade meals.

Ms. Baron incorporates the themes of food justice and accessibility to her work, and is involved with educating people of all ages about the value and availability of growing their own food and realizing the abundance that is possible, according to a press release. The ultimate goal through her involvement with organizations like Slow Food International and Slow Food Phoenix is to focus on getting nutritious, vitamin-rich foods from local farmers to school cafeterias.

Her latest work will be available to the public during Hidden in the Hills, Arizona’s largest and longest-running artist studio tour and sale. The free, self-guided tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the last two weekends of November: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 24-26.

A signature event for the non-profit organization, the Sonoran Arts League, Hidden in the Hills features 174 artists at 44 studio locations throughout the Desert Foothills communities of Cave Creek, Carefree and north Scottsdale.

(Courtesy of Baron Studio)

Ms. Baron will be a guest at Marless Fellows’ Studio, No. 23 during the tour. Now in its 21st year, the popular art tour offers season collectors and art enthusiasts a rare chance to observe artists at work in their private studios. Each studio has one or more guest artists who will demonstrate their art creation, while displaying and selling original works, the press release stated.

“An appreciation of what the Earth brings to us provides a strong influence to my artwork,” said Ms. Baron in a prepared statement. “I use clay to explore and bring attention to the critical issues of our time.”

Her gardens serve as her laboratories where she grows many varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Providing habitat and food for bees and butterflies is an important part of her permaculture gardening, the press release stated. Studying the various orientation needs of the plants and running out of space, she extended her growing into the alleyway behind her home.

“Rather than seeing trash out there, I wanted to see something beautiful,” she said in the prepared statement.

In addition to serving bowls and planters, the versatile artist creates large-scale commissioned tile and mosaic art works and mixed-media public art installations.

“Clay is simply a magical conduit to access and express our individual experiences and stories,” she noted.

For details, call 480-575-6624 or visit www.HiddenintheHills.org.