FOUND:RE Phoenix “Urban Primitives” Art Installation Poolside

Opens soon! First Friday, January 7th, 2022, 6 to 9 pm

“See—Hear—Sing—Fly” Urban Primitives Series
Re-invented satellite dishes—discarded after their previous lives facilitating the transmission of stories and images—become masks that come to tell us new stories. Breathing, pulsing with LED lights, these “urban primitive” masks convey the deep essence of nature’s power of transformation through artifacts of our technology. #urbanprimitive
L to R~ “Patina Princess, Curiosidad, Luna-Corona, Mariposa Azul”

©2022 Joan Waters all rights reserved

FOUND:RE Phoenix | FOUND:RE Contemporary
1100 North Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85004 Tel. 602.875.8011

Center City Award sculptures for Phoenix Community Alliance

The new sculptures designed and created for the Phoenix Community Alliance Center City Awards 2020 ©Joan Waters

Since 1993, Phoenix Community Alliance has honored men and women from the public, private, and non-profit sectors who have made outstanding contributions to advance the quality of life and further the renaissance of Central Phoenix.

Earlier in the year, Artlink announced a Call for Artists to reimagine and design the Center City Awards. From the designs submitted by three finalists (Elijah Bourke and Bobbie Zokaites), my proposal was chosen to be created and presented to this year’s honorees. The sculptures are welded steel with patinas, 20 x 6 x 6 inches.

The Center City Award sculpture takes its inspiration from the Palo Verde tree, a Sonoran desert native. Its bright green bark which allows photosynthesis is echoed in the vibrant green patinas on steel. Though we may think of a tree’s canopy as its predominant feature, the vast network of roots underground are what support the tree’s health and growth.
The award sculpture celebrates the energy, time and commitment to networking and developing the root connections to create and sustain our vibrant city.
The three sides of the sculpture’s base represent PCA’s core — activate — advocate — build.
The central green leaf is hand plasma-cut with branching lines that suggest the veins of leaves, the roots of the tree, and the sophisticated Hohokam canal system upon which our city is built.
The window is vision for the future and a better life.
The purple-hued leaf suggests the process of building. Its undulating edge traces the challenges of that process, acknowledging the ebb and flow of progress and pauses, and the patience to work with that process. The welded spiral petroglyph building block acknowledges the desert people and knowledge who have come before us.
On the back of the sculpture, leaf shapes are cut out of the panel to create a shadow screen. Intense heat from the torch makes rich ambers, violets and blues ‘bloom’ in the steel.
Within the base is an interactive element. Like a rain stick, it makes a soft sound when shaken. This celebrates rain, so important for life in the desert. The honorees are the rainmakers for our community.

It was an honor to be selected to design and create the new Center City Award sculpture. My hope is that the artistry and symbolism will make receiving the award even more meaningful and special, and will convey deep appreciation from our entire community.

The two awards —Center City Newcomer and Center City Champion— will be presented Thursday, December 17th at the PCA Annual Member Meeting, 11:30 am – 1:00pm.

Holiday Pop Up Art Galleries—2019


Holiday popup
The annual tradition returns with guest artists Judith Amiel-Bendheim, Sandra Luehrsen, and Troy Moody. Plus, creative bites by Love, Mindy.

Celebrate  our community’s creative spirit with me and guest artists Judith Amiel-Bendheim, Sandra Luehrsen, and Troy Moody as I open my Tempe studio again this year to host festive pop-up galleries mounted by these local art makers—Friday, Nov. 15th through Sunday, Nov. 17th. Join us for a toast at the fun (and busy!) Preview Party  Friday evening, from 5 to 9 pm, with creative bites by culinary artist Love, Mindy.

We look forward to informally meeting people and sharing our newly created one-of-a-kind artworks. Discover exciting original and unique hand-made functional ceramics and jewelry, ceramic sculpture, art glass assemblage, welded steel sculpture and gifts. Works by these artists can be found in homes and notable corporate and museum collections around Arizona and the United States. Magazines, creative journals, television, and online videos have featured their art. Love, Mindy will also bring her stylish upcycled vintage fabric aprons and bags, perfect for gift giving. Find lots of free parking and wheelchair accessibility at the studio. We are located just one-half mile from the Light Rail. Follow us on Instagram @AzOpenStudio

Judith Amiel-Bendheim

Judith 3 dishes
© 2019 Judith Amiel-Bendheim

Judith Amiel-Bendheim was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel where she worked as a clinical pharmacist over 25 years. After moving to Arizona about 10 years ago she changed her direction to working full time in ceramics and jewelry. She specializes in “carving bowls,” suitable for daily dining use due to their smooth, sealed interiors, but which also display a deftly textured exterior, carved with the signature 3D patterns making the pieces pop. Judith was recently selected as “Best Ceramics 2019” by Phoenix Magazine, Editor’s Choice. Her work can be found in stores including Phoenix Art Museum Store, Objects, Practical Arts, Phoenix-General, Noons and more. See Judith’s art at or or @ceramicsbyjudith

Sandra Luehrsen

Luehrsen Forest of Leaves sm
“Forest of Leaves”  © 2019 Sandra Luehrsen

Sandra Luehrsen left the green Midwest to live in the wild khaki colored desert. She says, “I wanted a new beginning. The exotic desert flora fascinated me from the start. Inspired by desert plants, the colors of the land and sky, and a greener past, I use clay sculpture and mixed media prints to create my art. I build trees of life, gardens, skies, and purely sculptural vessels. Some sprout flowers, cacti, planets, and stars.” The Auckland Institute and Museum in New Zealand, the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, the West Valley Art Museum, the Cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Peoria, Chandler and Prescott Valley, the Kamm Teapot Foundation, and many notable private and corporate collections hold Luehrsen’s work. See more of Sandra’s art at or or @sandyluehrsen


Troy Moody

TroyMoody_final image_6x6_300dpi
Art Glass Assemblage © 2019 Troy Moody

Troy Moody has been creating innovative art glass for more than two decades. His Public Art portfolio includes more than 85,000 square feet of award-winning Terrazzo designs for the Phoenix Convention Center and the Maricopa County Superior Court Tower. Other notable projects include work for Scottsdale Public Art, the City of Glendale, Ascension Lutheran of Paradise Valley, the Phoenix Church of the Beatitudes, the Salvation Army’s Southwest Headquarters and countless luxury homes. In addition to his site-specific work, Troy produces mixed-media and kiln-formed art glass on an intimate scale exhibited and collected nationwide. See more of Troy’s art at or or @troymoody


Joan Waters

“Leaf Skeleton at Dusk” © 2019 Joan Waters

Joan Waters, recently honored as one of the Phoenix New Times’ 100 Creatives, is widely known for her energetic contemporary sculptures. Waters says, “I love the dynamic, reflective qualities of metal and the challenge of turning flat, hard, industrial material into organic forms that seem to shift and move as the reflect light.” In addition to her sculpture, beautiful color rich small-scale drawings, paintings, and steel framed wall tile will fill her pop-up gallery. She will also show handmade ceramic tile tables and sculpture perfect for outdoor living spaces. She believes, “Living with art around us reminds us of the spirit and joy of life. Art can be an inspiration to us as we go about our daily routines.” Born in England, Waters studied the core disciplines of drawing and painting at MICA—Maryland Institute, College of Art. Childhood travels helped her cultivate the habit of looking at the world from different perspectives. See more of Waters’ art at or or @joanwatersart

Follow our updates on Instagram @AzOpenStudio

A special thank you to Sandra Luehrsen for writing, compiling and editing this copy about each of the artists.

New Class! Painting with Music at DBG

“Bird-song-jazz”  Gouache on paper  ©Joan Waters 2018

Saturday, April 6th, 1 – 5 pm at Desert Botanical Garden

Join me for an afternoon experimenting with using music to tap into our inner worlds and express them in paint and color. We’ll experience rhythms and sounds of different types of music and explore color, texture and mark-making in a free-flowing, no-rules series of experiments in painting with opaque watercolor (gouache). Everyone will go home with a set of materials (including a gouache paint set and pad of quality bristol paper) to continue their practice. All levels welcome; bring your beginner’s mind and a spirit of fun.

Participants should bring any favorite paintbrushes for water media.

Reserve your space— register now at

The class fee includes a full day of admission to the Garden. Come early and be inspired!


Holiday Open Studio 2018

Join me as I celebrate my 12th year at my Tempe studio.

2141 E. Cedar Street, #1, Tempe, AZ 85281  (.5 mi. from Light Rail)

Discover lots of new artwork in a relaxed, festive atmosphere for holiday gift shopping and exploring with friends. New ceramic + steel works, cards, garden totems, and unique functional and gift items. Plus there’s still time to co-create a special custom piece for the holidays. Light refreshments, open to the public, wheelchair accessible.
Thursday thru Saturday, Dec. 6th – 8th, 10am – 4 pm
and Sunday, Dec. 9th, noon – 4 pm
email:        phone: 602-565-1358

“wayfinding” Solo Show at Olney Gallery Feb 2018

Please join us—First Friday Artists Reception Feb. 2nd 6–9 pm
Exhibition dates: Jan 26–Feb 22.   Gallery is open: Mon–Fri 9 am–4 pm

“Steel Branches: Yin/Yang” and “Syncopation” ©Joan Waters 2018 all rights reserved

Olney Gallery installation view ©Joan Waters 2018 all rights reserved

“Tree” ©Joan Waters 2018 all rights reserved

Olney Gallery installation view ©Joan Waters 2018 all rights reserved
New acrylic paintings and steel sculptures embrace the unknown as an essential part of their process. To move beyond the limitations of words and what we ‘think we know’ asks us to rely on direct observation and experience. John Keats called this “negative capability— to be capable of “being in uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”

Returning to her roots in painting and drawing, Waters’ Portal series of paintings are inspired by the mysterious patterns of tar lines used to patch cracks in the road. Finding similar patterns in glazed ceramics, aerial city maps, leaf veins and coiled garden hose fuels her curiosity about the universality of these patterns. Colored glazes are layered over calligraphic brush strokes to build depth and movement. Steel sculptures echo the calligraphic mark making in cutout steel shapes and hammered rod with patinas.

“Working across different mediums allows me freedom to break the ‘rules’ and cross-pollinate ideas. Seeing change as evidence of aliveness, I seek to create a visual language out of what is unfamiliar, and use imagination to convey a sense of exuberance and vitality which challenges viewers to reconnect with their own sources of positive energy and magic in the world.”
“Not all those who wander are lost.” J. R. R. Tolkein

“FOUND OBJECTS of the mind” Solo Show at Chartreuse – October


Preview reception Friday, Sept. 29, 6-10 pm
First Friday reception Friday, Oct. 6, 6-10 pm
Third Friday reception Friday, Oct. 20, 6-10 pm
Special Saturdays letterpress printing.
Exhibition open for viewing during the week, please call 480-544-2162 to confirm hours.

Nature is not only more complex than we think.
It is more complex than we can think.
—Frank Egler
I’m continually intrigued by nature’s infinite variety and complexity of form and color, and the possibility that many of her secrets have not yet been ‘discovered’ by humans. In a spirit of exploration, I work with welded steel, glazed ceramic, and burned and salvaged wood, in an open-ended process that is rooted in painting, drawing and observation. Not “found objects” in the usual sense—castoffs with a past life—these studio-made objects are results of this creative inquiry and look to the future. As these elements accumulate around my studio, I look to my imagination and subconscious to ‘find’ them and make them into finished sculptural objects. —Joan Waters
A limited edition letterpress and linocut poster, a collaboration of the artist and Hazel & Violet, will be available to celebrate this exhibition.

Visit for more info.


Dog Days of Summer Open Studio 2017

PC_OS_2017dogdays_FRONT©2017 Joan Waters. 
As anyone who has visited my studio has probably observed, there are a lot of “pieces” and works in progress throughout the space. Not too long ago, I decided to commit to finishing everything that is in the studio. This includes welded steel sculptures, as well as many new pieces that include steel and ceramic elements, reclaimed wood, barn wood, and paintings.

This work will be part of upcoming shows in the fall and into next year (Solo at Chartreuse Contemporary in October, Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour in November, Trinity Cathedral in February 2018). There are many of these newly completed works to preview at the open studio, in addition to colorful new ceramic tables, trellises and birds for garden spaces.

I’m pleased to be celebrating the 10th year of my welding studio, and hope you’ll be able to join me. The space is air conditioned, and there will be light refreshments. Friendly dogs are welcome (on leash). The event is free and open to the public, wheelchair accessible, with lots of easy parking. Located one-half mile from the Martin Rd light rail stop.

Please support the Summer Food Drive!
This year we will again host the Summer Food Drive, because food banks are often in high demand and low supply this time of year. Guests who bring a donation of 3 or more of any of the following: peanut butter/ canned meat, chicken, or fish/ canned fruit/canned veggies for United Food Bank, will receive a 10% discount on their art purchase. Or, a donation by check will take advantage of the food bank’s buying power: every $1 donated feeds 4 meals.


Prepare for more light…!

Pen & ink, colored pencils on paper ©2016 Joan Waters. 
December 21st~Today is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year. The solstice (from the Latin ‘solstitium’ meaning ‘sun-stopping’) occurs at 3:44 am MST in Phoenix, Arizona, (use this link to find the local time of the solstice in your location, plus lots of other interesting information about solstices and equinoxes).

The daylight hours will lengthen from this point until the March Equinox, when day and night are nearly equal in length. Lights, feasting and festivals around the world celebrate this turning of the sun, the return of the light. As we mark this time of year, we celebrate connections with each other and with our Earth. Prepare for light, growth, and unexpected gifts which may surprise. (Incidentally, in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Summer Solstice.)


the single-lens reflex

We experience the world through our five senses—taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight.

This sculpture asks us to examine what happens when we limit our perception to only one sensory lens—the visual. This is essentially what cameras do when they record patterns of light with a mechanical or digital ‘eye.’

When we interpret and accept the camera’s images as reality, do we sometimes trust these superficial surrogates more than direct experience?

As we find ourselves mindlessly caught up in converting our days into a stream of mediated images, do we lose track of the main event: to be fully alive?

“the single-lens reflex” installed August 26, 2016 at Pima Community College East, part of the Sculpture on Campus juried exhibition (“ultimate reality show” on far left)   copyright 2016 Joan Waters, all rights reserved.

The public is invited to the opening reception on October 20, 2-4 pm. As we walk around the campus we will visit each sculpture, and each artist will give a brief introduction to their work. PCC East is located at 8181 E. Irvington Rd, Tucson, AZ 85709-4000.

Special thanks to Mike Stack, Department Chair, Arts & Humanities, for the energy and vision behind the Sculpture on Campus exhibition which began in 2005. Thanks to Mike, the campus community is actively engaged in selecting, viewing, writing about and appreciating the wide range of sculptures that are installed on concrete pads located around the campus. Many classes use the sculptures as departure points for their learning and discussions. It’s a great example of building a community that appreciates and is enriched by art. I know I’ve had the idea for my latest piece for several years, and this opportunity gave me the impetus to finally build the work.

install_Mike Stack_082616
Mike Stack, Department Chair, in a photographic duel with the sculpture.  “The Mothers: Las Madres” Project by Valarie James with Antonia Gallegos, Deborah McCullough & Cesar Lopez in the background

Spirit of Water

“Hybrids”—Acrylic Paintings + Patinas on Steel

Exhibition at Hava Java Coffee—May through June 2016
32nd St and Camelback, Phoenix, Az

“Spirit of Water: Rushing / Rain / Pool”  ©Joan Waters, all rights reserved

Each composition in this exhibition is comprised of an acrylic painting (on wood or canvas), combined with a steel panel that is welded and colored with patinas. By juxtaposing these two mediums that are not often seen together, a synergy and dialog is created between the two different surfaces. The panels are close in size and on the same plane, to invite the viewer’s perception past the surface, into the layers of color and texture in each piece.

spring lake
“Spirit of Water: Spring Lake”  ©Joan Waters, all rights reserved

The perception of surface and depth in each pair of panels seems to suggest a layering of experience, and an awareness of different types of consciousness. The works begin to suggest how we are able to perceive the world around us on many different levels simultaneously. The accompanying text from the Tao Te Ching suggests looking at, into, or through the many forms of water, as a way of contemplating and exploring our internal worlds.

“Spirit of Water: Dew / Pond 1 / Pond 2”  ©Joan Waters, all rights reserved

The synergistic process of creating these works incorporates elements of randomness. Being open to chance makes these compositions come alive.  The painting and the steel are created separately. On the “painting” side, layers of thick acrylic paint and medium are scraped, textured, and thinly layered like glazes. On the steel side, the steel panels have welded marks and some have plasma cut openings. They are then ground and patinas are applied with heat, layered and worked with air tools. Final layers of satin lacquer seal the steel from oxidation (rust).
I’ll make several paintings and steel panels individually, then lay them out and decide which belong together. The combinations that seem to work the best are often the ones I least expect.

This is my fourth exhibition at Hava Java over the years. I’ve selected this series to accompany coffee and contemplation.

The quotations are from Tao Te Ching, translation by Man-Ho Kwok, Marin Palmer, Jay Ramsay,  Element Books, 1993.



New projects

Comm_FireDance_installFireDance No. 3, welded steel with patinas, heat coloring, enamel and clear powder coating
37 x 48 x 8 in., private residence, ©Joan Waters 2016

Comm_OnTheReef_finalOn the Reef, welded steel with patinas and clear powder coating, private commission, ©Joan Waters 2016

Comm_DesertSeasons_room smComm_DesertSeasons_smDesert Seasons, welded steel with patinas and clear powder coating, 44 x 96 x 4 in., corporate law office, ©Joan Waters 2016

Primero Ovo

JoanWaters_PrimeroOvo_8x6_300use© Joan Waters 2016, all rights reserved
This embellished egg was part of the Arc Degree 360 project sponsored by the David Wright House to benefit Artlink Phoenix. The ‪#‎ArcDegree360‬ eggs will be part of an art show and silent auction at the Artlink Phoenix Art d’Core Gala in Hance Park on March 10, 2016.(The list of names of the participating artists hasn’t been released yet.)

The mythical Phoenix is unique among birds. Born not from an egg, it instead rises from the ashes of fire and destruction to come into this world. Fiery, colorful and creative, this image of new life springing forth against the odds of the harsh desert environment has fueled the collective imagination of our young city that bears the same name.

As the community matures and grows deeper roots to sustain future growth, however, it undergoes a huge transformation. The firebird can no longer sustain itself on fire, rage and destruction, and it experiences a seismic shift of consciousness in order to survive and flourish.

Primero Ovo (First Egg) represents this massive transfiguration for the Phoenix. This will be the first time the Phoenix uses the egg as the vehicle to regenerate.

The nest, which supports and protects the egg, is patiently constructed of smaller twigs and branches. These are the elements—the cultural traditions, social institutions and community groups—which create the vision and support the future growth of our magnificent Phoenix.




ultimate reality show—Shemer Art Center


ultimate reality show installed at Shemer Art Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Special thanks to Hector Ortega, who has several works exhibited on the Shemer grounds, for his time and efforts pouring the slab and applying his hammer-drilling expertise, and Shonna James, Interim Executive Director, for coordinating the final installation. The sculpture is part of the recently installed Arizona Sculpture Showcase, juried by Mary Bates Neubauer, and will be on-site for two years.


Hector Ortega watches as the Craters and Freighters crew unloads the sculpture


Enjoy a stroll around the grounds, and the many new works recently added to the outdoor sculpture exhibition.

That Special Time of Year (again!)

It’s that special time of year again,
when we make special things to give as gifts…
…to show the people in our lives we care about them,
…to show them we appreciate what makes them unique and special
…and to bring them joy and happiness.

holiday scan paper dogs sm

As artists, we know how good it feels to make something unique with our hands, and then give it to someone we love. It’s a special feeling to know the object cannot be found at the mall, and it is imbued with creativity and imagination and love from its inception….somehow it means more, even if it is as modest as a hand-made card.

I feel fortunate to host the Holiday Pop-Up Galleries at my studio again this year with artists Sandy Blain, Esmeralda DeLaney and Sandra Luehrsen, all esteemed local artists who do amazing work. Beginning Friday evening, November 13th (lucky), and continuing through the weekend, we have each created our own pop-up gallery, offering our latest creations, both large and small…unique works of art, hand-made, reasonably priced, from local artists.

The studio will be festive (and tidy!) and there will be refreshments and time to mingle with the artists and other art lovers. I hope you’ll visit us—it’s this coming one weekend only. We’re looking forward to sharing our latest original works, plus, there’s still time if you are thinking about a special commission for a holiday gift. Parking is easy, the studio is wheelchair accessible, and all are welcome, so bring a friend or six.

Friday night is the preview party, 5 to 9 pm. Saturday we’re open 9 am til 5 pm, and Sunday 10 am til 4 pm.

Visit the website for more details and directions

Tell your friends—Like us on Facebook Holiday Pop-Up Art Galleries

ISC Conference in Phoenix—Big Clay Day

The International Sculpture Center is having its 25th Conference here in Phoenix this week. On Wednesday I participated in a special opportunity to work at Mission Clay. It was a small group of us. Bryan Vansell gave a tour, which I missed because I got there late. Then we drew numbers, and each of us was given a huge section of leather hard clay pipe to work on. There was an array of tools to carve, mark, drill, saw, and a wide selection of underglazes. We worked in the factory, next to all the noisy equipment, each of us immersed in our own little world.

Break for lunch and BBQ, generously hosted by Mission Clay. We sat outside on long tables, surrounded by all sizes of pipe—stacked high—and shared the meal with the people who work there; it was totally great.  Then we were back to work, trying to finish up before the whistle blew. Many thanks to Bryan Vansell, Pat Siler, John Toki and others for their generous support and guidance. Thanks to Ree Kaneko for the photos. The pipe next to mine is the work of Anne Chase Martin of St. Louis.ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_2 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_1 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_7 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_8 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_12 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_11 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_10 ISC2015_MissionClay_ree_9

ArtPrize 2012

"ultimate reality show"
“ultimate reality show”, ©Joan Waters 2012

“ultimate reality show” at the Grand Rapids Public Museum during ArtPrize 2012

66″h x 48″w x 20″d, welded steel with patinas

About the work:  An over-sized welded steel television set creates a viewfinder and invites the public to observe daily life—the “ultimate reality show.” One of the questions the sculpture asks us to consider is how our perceptions of life are created or altered by viewing two-dimensional images on TV and all the other electronic screens we rely on.

Link to sculpture

ArtPrize is the world’s largest art competition. The top prize is determined solely by public vote. In 2012, its 4th year, 1517 artist entries will be on display at 161 venues throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan. The sculpture I submitted was selected by the Grand Rapids Public Museum to be installed outside their main entrance. ArtPrize dates are September 19 – October 7, 2012.

In the news…

Dog Days of Summer~ Open Studio July 27 and 28

© 2012 Joan Waters

Friday, July 27, 11 am–6pm and
Saturday, July 28,  9am–4pm

2141 E. Cedar St, #1, Tempe, Az 85281

Preview new work, including outdoor hummingbird flight sculptures, clay tile tables, garden totems and more in this working welding studio—with air conditioning.

Refreshments • free and open to the public • wheelchair accessible • dogs welcome!

Music for a Naked Picnic

New sculpture at the MN Collection

Music for a Naked Picnic
Powdercoated steel, © Joan Waters 2012

Music for a Naked Picnic was recently installed at the MN Collection. The 70″h x 24″w x 24″d sculpture hangs outside the entry, and is suitable for indoor or outdoor placement. Check back on this blog to view images of other new works soon.

The MN Collection is located in the Scottsdale Design District next to Costello Childs Contemporary. 2724 North 68th Street, Suite 2, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Open Studio April 28th

Rufous, Anna's, Costa's—three sculptures inspired by hummingbird flight, © 2012 Joan Waters

Saturday, April 28, 2012, 9am–5pm
2141 E. Cedar St, #1, Tempe, Az 85281

New works in the studio, featuring powdercoated red sculptures and hybrid paintings, handmade tile tables, unique gifts and art for garden spaces.

Plus, meet guest artist Jodi Pinkert, exhibiting her mixed media series “Clay Tapestries.”

Refreshments • free and open to the public • wheelchair accessible • dogs welcome!

Fine Art in the Garden

Saturday, March 17th, 9 am-4 pm, Shemer Art Center

This is the 47th year of the Fine Art in the Garden exhibition and sale, hosted by this group of 20 artists. As members leave, new artists are invited to join the group. The first year they exhibit as a guest, and are then invited to become a permanent part of the group. This is my first year exhibiting at this show.

5005 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85018. Free and open to the public.


Petcasso Auction Benefits Arizona Humane Society

Saturday, March 17 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Birdie sculpture
"Birdie", sculpture by Misty Mulleneaux, embellished by Joan Waters

“Birdie” is a lucky puppy who was found on a golf course and rescued. His best friend is a little green bird who follows him everywhere, riding on his tail. Birdie will be part of the 2012 Petcasso Auction at the Compassion with Fashion gala event. Metal sculpture by artist Misty Mulleneaux, embellished by Joan Waters.

Tickets and more info at:

Open Studio Sneak Peek/Wed.

Steel Tapestries
Steel Tapestries ©Joan Waters 2012

Sneak Peek of new work to be shown at Saturday, Feb. 11th Open Studio~Strips of hammered, welded steel are layered onto oxidized panels, to be hung singly or in groups. The blue colors are created by the heat of the welding process. Since I’m using my “Steel Tapestry” theme as inspiration for a guest artist project with Seton Catholic High School students, I felt inspired to revisit this theme from a series of 2006 sculptures. To me, the most recent sculptures seem to embody more color and spontaneity from the welding and fabrication process.

Holiday Open Studio & Book Signing

Saturday, December 10, 9am–5pm
2141 E. Cedar St, #1, Tempe, Az 85281

Meet special guest Andrea Chilcote, author of Erik’s Hope: The Leash that Led Me to Freedom, from 11 am– 2 pm. Andrea will introduce her book at 11:30 am. Proceeds from book sales benefit the DOVES® program for victims of elder abuse.

Artist Lynda Fullerton offers her latest handcrafted jewelry incorporating gemstones, beads, pearls and crystals with forged metal and wire.

In the studio, new creations~sculptures, calendars, steel tiles, cards, garden totems, unique functional and gift items. Hybrid metal/painting series from the Chandler solo show in the front rooms.

Plus, tasty sips and bites. Free and open to the public, wheelchair accessible.

Dec10 Open Studio invitation and map

Undivided Attention

Installation views of new sculptures and paintings at Chandler Center for the Arts. Twelve of the pieces are new “hybrids” which combine an acrylic painting with a welded, patinaed metal panel. The exhibition opens with a reception this Friday, October 7th, from 7-9 pm, and continues through November 19th. Hours are Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm, and Saturday noon-4 pm.

Ironwork Today 3

Ironwork Today 3 cover
Ironwork Today 3, to be released November 2011

Schiffer Publishing will release Ironwork Today 3, Inside & Out this fall. I just received word that my work will be included in this edition by Jeffrey B. Snyder. A wide range of iron artwork, created by 82 of today’s artist-blacksmiths, will be highlighted. Over 450 color photos, 256 pp.

My work was also published in the first Ironwork Today, and Ironwork Today: Dynamic Details, both by Dona Z. Meilach.

Artist Statement for Women’s Room

The “Scarification Series” sculptures and paintings grew out of my interest in African art and ritual scarification, where the skin is pierced to create patterns of raised scars on the body to signify rites of passage. Each work embodies a powerful physical presence and spirit which evolves over time from the process of manual labor and working the material intuitively.

I am challenged by the ambiguity of metal—turning flat, hard, industrial material into organic forms that seem to shift and move as they reflect light. Layers of colored patinas bring the aesthetics of painting to sculpture. The layers of shifting dark and light shapes, texture and color evoke a sense of mystery, inviting the viewer to explore the work.

The process of developing a piece of art is analogous to the process of ritual scarification, and the process of life itself—in spite of our original plans, all require sacrifice, pain and loss in order to create something more beautiful, with a more intensely developed character. For me, part of the appeal of the process is the extreme amount of deconstruction—cutting up and taking apart—that is necessary before the work can be re-ordered as a unified organic presence. The tension between the sense of exuberance and growth, and death and decay creates a sense of mystery that invites the viewer to explore these works in depth.

©Joan Waters  All rights reserved

Scarification Series
Scarification Series: Amber, Rose, Indigo, welded steel with patinas 


“Scarification Series: Wood”  acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.


Women’s Room~ Bragg’s Pie Factory

In September, Bragg’s Pie Factory will present
Women’s Room: Art by Phoenix’s Premier Female Artists.

(From the press release) The exhibition, curated by Robrt Pela, features 14 well-known, much-admired visual artists, many of them debuting new work. The artists are Annie Lopez, Shari Bombeck, Janet De Berge Lange, Linda Ingraham, Jenny Ignakowski, Mollie Kellogg, Arlene Meyer, Irma Sanchez, Patricia Sahertian, Diane Sanborn, Cindy Schnackel, Kathy Taylor, Joan Waters, and Katherine Zsolt. Exciting new paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed-media pieces, and installations.

Please join us First Friday, Sept. 2 and Third Friday, Sept. 16,
from 6 – 11 pm
. (and by appointment)
Women's Room invitation

Cool Open Studio

Thanks!Thanks to everyone who made Saturday’s Open Studio a success. It was a hot day in Phoenix, so I had the a/c set low (and even had a couple of complaints that it was too chilly.) I appreciated the good energy, feedback and influx of new ideas that everyone brought to the studio. It was great to see people making new friends and sharing comments, too. Barney had his fill (almost) of attention and offers from many to go home with them. I’m possibly going to do another one in May and June, but will keep you posted. Much appreciated!

Charity Artwork Auctions

Defining best practices to ensure greater profitability and success for both charity and artist

I’ll be writing about charitable events where artwork is donated by artists, and sold in live and silent auctions. What elements make these events successful or disappointing? How can the artist and the charity maximize the benefits? How can artists contribute, without feeling they are being taken advantage of? I invite artists to contribute their ideas of what makes a successful auction, and what are the Best Practices we can educate and encourage charities to follow, if they want to host a successful auction.


Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 24th ~ Feb 16th

Photography Exhibition Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy presents “Best Works of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve” at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts through Feb. 16. Photographer Marianne Skov Jensen, whose work is shown above, has pledged profits from the sale of her images to the Conservancy (contact Marianne directly for price information:

This link takes you to Marianne’s blog (where she posts a photo every day!) and to a link of a video preview of the exhibition:

Under the Leafy Canopy

"Under the Leafy Canopy"

Artistic bus station designs by Joan Waters at Arizona Ave. and Chandler Blvd., in downtown Chandler, Arizona.
TranSystems is the architect, DL Withers is general contractor.

Valley Metro hosts a public reception Wednesday, January 19 at
2 pm to celebrate the new LINK bus rapid transit service connecting Chandler to the Light Rail, the new bus shelters on Arizona Avenue designed by TranSystems, and the two art shelters. The other shelters also feature work by area artists in lighted “Art Boxes.”

Directory Cover Art / 2

"Tidepool Mambo", 27 x 29 x 5, welded steel with patinas, enamel

My second submission for the Hidden in the Hills Directory cover. I used “Tidepool Mambo”, rotated 90 degrees from its normal hanging position. This sculpture incorporates layers of steel with rust, patinas and some spray enamels, introducing some new, vibrant colors. Much as the studio tour invites visitors to explore the art and the area, the layers of steel create a sense of mystery which also invite the viewer in. (This was not selected for this year’s cover.)

Hidden in the Hills Cover Art

"Desert Light Shift", 23 x 20 x 3 in., welded steel with patinas

Each year the Sonoran Arts League has a call for art for the Directory cover.  It’s been a few years since I’ve submitted. This year, I created a sculpture with this in mind—inspired by the mystery and light of the desert near Cave Creek. “Desert Light Shift” is layers of steel, hand cut and shaped, with patinas and heat coloring. (The work was not selected for the cover.)

Under the canopy

Artist bus shelter canopy, under construction

A first glimpse of the steel leaf canopies at the two bus shelters I designed.  Located at the SW and NE corners of Chandler Blvd. and Arizona Avenue, these shelters are part of the new bus rapid transit LINK system connecting riders to the light rail. To come: leaf-stamped concrete, translucent roof material lit by fiber optics, leaf and branch fiberglass shade screens and tall sculptures with dynamic fiber optic lighting. TranSystems is the architect; DL Withers general contractor.