This Scottsdale Festival Has it All Down to a Fine Art

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Please tell us you don’t think you’re going to just casually drop by the Scottsdale Arts Festival this weekend. With works by 200 jury-selected artists, wine tastings, live entertainment, delicious local cuisine, exhibitions and more … Oh yeah, you’re definitely going to need more of a plan than just showing up.

Lucky for you, we have the breakdown on what you can expect at the festival, taking place March 11-13 at Scottsdale Civic Center Park.


You can guarantee you’re going to see the best of the best, as the 200 featured artists come from states throughout the U.S. and were selected by a jury of art professionals. Expect to see works in all media, including ceramic, glass, jewelry, metals, textiles, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing and mixed media. Take advantage of the up-close-and-personal setting and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the artists. You might just learn something. Personally, we’re looking forward to the colorful and contemporary ceramics by Nicholas Bernard (Scottsdale), pastel landscapes by Marla Baggetta (West Linn, Oregon), textile wall art by Kathryn Stotler (Eureka, Calif.), glass art by Lucy Chamberlain (North Hollywood, Calif.) and oh, just about a couple dozen others. View the full list here.


The jet-set crowd might cringe a bit when they hear the phrase “food truck,” but we assure you, the words don’t have to be synonymous with mystery meat chili dogs and sloppy joes. The food trucks at the festival will be strictly gourmet, so expect nothing but tasty, high-quality fare (even vegetarian dishes) from the Phoenix Street Food Coalition mobile kitchens. We present exhibit A, a list of lunch possibilities at the festival:

  • Beet StrEat – Fresh, wholesome, farm-to-fork foods
  • Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food – Specially grilled chicken and pork BBQ
  • Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express – Cajun-style burritos and tacos
  • Paradise Melts – Gourmet grilled sandwiches
  • Riteway Catering Company – Grilled, roasted and smoked delights
  • Short Leash Hot Dogs – Hand-crafted sausages and hot dogs
  • Sunshine and Spice – Asian taco fusion
  • Sweet Republic – Artisan ice cream
  • Tom’s BBQ – Chicago-style BBQ
  • Whiskey Ranch BBQ & Wood-Fired Pizzas – Wood-fired Tuscan pizza

In other words, plan on eating there. Provided you can decide on just one vendor. Good luck.


Two words: Wine garden. Sample a variety of fine wines from Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Kobrand Wines & Spirits and Trinchero Family Estates during your time at the festival. And there will also be Skinny Girl Margaritas, Pinnacle Vodka, Sweet Tea Vodka, Deschutes and Full Sail craft beers for sale. So whatever your drink of choice, this event has you covered.


All three days will include music by local AZ bands, including The Instant Classics, fronted by fashionista Christine Ray Norris, the Sugar Thieves, the Sara McAllister band and others. We expect you to be busting a move while you’re there. Everyone else will be, too, so it’s cool.


You are not going to want to miss the public art project “Camera Obscura” (aka “Dark Room”), a collaborative installation designed and constructed by Assistant Professors Jason Griffiths and Julie Anand with fourth-year architecture students at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The installation was commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art, and the centerpiece is a device that, functioning much like an early camera, projects images of the surrounding festival into darkened rooms. The experience will thrill you as you step into total darkness and then gradually observe the incoming image taken from the outside festivities as your eyes adjust to the lack of light.


Free parking is available in the public parking garage located to the west of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Wells Fargo Avenue, at the Old Town Parking Corral at East Second Street and Brown Avenue, and the Civic Center Library parking garage located on Drinkwater Boulevard at East Second Street. You can also take advantage of the shuttle service, available along the route of the Downtown Scottsdale Trolley.


Single-day passes are $7 each and two-day passes are $10 each; tickets must be purchased the day of the festival at the entrance. For additional details concerning the festival, visit the event online here. And for more information on the online auction that will also be taking place on March 12 beginning at 10 a.m., visit this page.

Seriously, you need to map out a strategy, or you’re never going to be able to fully enjoy all the visually stunning, creatively delicious, energetically beat-bumping fun going down this weekend. Get busy.

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