Don’t miss the Phoenix New Times Culture Blog-Jackalope Ranch. The new site features a series titled “100 Creatives” showcasing the valley’s most talented artists and creative minds. Our very own Mitch Fry is listed as #19 and we could not be more proud!
In 2009, Mitch Fry was honored with Phoenix Art Museum’s Contemporary Forum Emerging Artist material grant after he wowed the jurors with his 95″ diameter wooden sphere. To return the favor, Fry recently invited Contemporary Forum members into his studio for an inside look at his work and creative processes. Despite the summer heat, over fifty CF members and friends joined the Fry family and Bonner David Galleries for this eventful evening!
The highlight of the night included an explanation of the ingenuity used to create his collection of spheres, a series entitled “Completing the Circle,” narrated by the artist himself! Although he proclaimed that he was not “a man of many words” Fry capably vocalized the transformation of sustainable materials to striking pieces of fine art. Overall, the night was an amazing success, and between the warmth of the gracious Fry family and the impressive works of art; we all found it very hard to leave Mitch’s studio behind.
It appears as though Mitch Fry has been up to something quite intriguing in his studio. One might ponder the countless projects taking place behind those walls. The large size of the studio itself excites the imagination to the possibility of something spectacular emerging.
With a background in handcrafted furniture Mitch is no stranger to fine woodworking. Eight years ago Fry opened a custom furniture shop, but with the recession offering less opportunity for him to share his craftsmanship, he dedicated himself to his art. Fry’s passion for sustainable building has produced a stunning and unimaginable piece of art.
Emerging from the Studio
The completed work revealed a 900-pound wooden sphere measuring 8-feet in diameter! Constructed bit by bit using precise calculations, Mitch formulated the sphere using a good old calculator, drafting table, and a lot of patience. Each piece of wood was first cut into a small block, then measured and cut again to match the exact specifications of the formula. Fry admits that the challenge of fashioning a perfectly round sphere from linear pieces was inviting at first; but creating a simple form from seemingly simple calculations, turned out to be quite a complex process.
The project won Mitch a grant from The Contemporary Forum, a support organization of the Phoenix Art Museum. Now Fry has the opportunity to create a work to be displayed at the museum in May. A plan to recreate the sphere using the same principles of sustainability is literally in the woodwork, using redwood from renewable lumber forests.
"Completing the Circle I" 96" in diameter
"Completing the Circle I" in progress
We want to congratulate and honor Mitch for creating work that inspires us all to rethink our approach to sustainable art. The sphere is stunning, elegant, simple, and yet extravagantly complex. You truly must experience if first hand.
So where can one witness the magnitude of this work of art?
Mitch Fry will be accepting his award at the Contemporary Forum’s Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on May 12th, 2010 at the Phoenix Art Museum at 7:00 p.m. This event is open to the public and we invite everyone to join. The exhibition will run for about a month and can be viewed in the Rineberg Gallery.
Bonner David Galleries (map) is proud to represent Mitch Fry and will be displaying his work continuously. Please come by the gallery to view more works from the “Completing the Sphere” collection. For more information contact us at 480.941.8500 or email us at email@example.com
Despite the rain, Saturday evening was a true “Night of Stars” at the Phoenix Art Museum Contemporary Forum art auction and dinner. The Bonner David hosted table was glittering with participating artists Quim Bove’ and Max Hammond as well as collector Glynis Bryan who was sparkling with her new purchase of well known artist David Kessler’s latest work on aluminum to add to her already impressive collection.
The evening began with cocktails and a chance to view both silent and live auction items and a chance to mingle with lovers of contemporary art from throughout the Valley. Bonner David collector Bobbie Haas was honored for her numerous contributions to the museum, the latest being a Magritte, positioning her among the major donors to the museum.
Bidding was fast and furious on the nearly 100 pieces during the evening. A bidding war ensued on Max Hammond’s piece “Navigate” which was the first Bonner David painting sold during the evening. Quim Bove’s signature piece “Nova Stream” was one of three items specially displayed in a stellar constellation of its own, available only to bidders wishing to bid to purchase at just below retail price. Finally, Henry Stinson’s pair “Planned Obsolescence” and “The Devil’s in the Details” were sold to a savvy collector by the conclusion of the evening as well.
In total, the auction raised over $190,000 to be used to purchase new contemporary work for PAM’s already distinguished collection. Bonner David is proud to be a partner with Contemporary Forum to showcase distinguished contemporary art for our community.