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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Lunchbox art to benefit local arts organizations

    Lunchtime has been an organized event since the days of grammar school. And while comparing what kind of sandwich everyone had was the primary concern, the second was what your lunchbox looked like.

    Most retired their lunchboxes after the third grade and moved on to brown-bagging it, but with the Tucson Museum of Art’s upcoming event, Urban Picnic, lunchboxes might be making a comeback. Urban Picnic, which is returning for its eighth year after a two-year hiatus, will hold a silent auction of handmade lunchboxes and other works of art in various mediums by local artists.

    One of the featured artists for the event, Kathleen Wallace, said she works in all mediums of art, steel, ceramic and painting, and is quite busy with the private commissions that she does.

    “”I feed 14 galleries and I am constantly working on projects,”” Wallace said.

    Whatever the project is and whatever medium she is working on, however, Wallace mostly keeps to one underlying goal: to induce motion.

    “”There are things that inspire me but mostly it is just the movement that we live in,”” Wallace said. “”I try and get movement in something that is not moving. I want there to be an insight to my work or inspire some sort of movement and evoke life, and that’s a challenge.””

    With a workload like Wallace has, there is the assumption that she must be spending a lot of time in her studio to complete her projects; however, she is not always solo. Wallace said that a lot of the projects that she does are collaborative, for instance a current project that she is working on with a fellow artist, an illuminated bulb sculpture.

    Being able to collaborate is not only important to Wallace’s personal work but also for Urban Picnic, which she is on the committee for.

    “”There is going to be a lot of painting, blown glass, ceramic; it’s a great venue for local artists to show their work,”” Wallace said.

    And while artists are benefiting from getting their names out there, the proceeds from the auction will be going to Tucson Arts District Partnership, a nonprofit arts organization, and Ballet Tucson, a professional and children’s dance ensemble.

    “”The attempt is to make a community of both visual and performing artists,”” Wallace said. “”It’s kind of a win-win situation.””

    The dancers will be present at the event as well to play the role of the “”Vanna Whites,”” as Wallace put it, of the auction.

    Although Wallace falls into the category of one of the visual artists for the event who will be donating some of her work to auction off, she is also involved in Ballet Tucson because her son is a member of the ensemble.

    “”I kind of fall into the cracks of both,”” Wallace said. “”I’m excited to be a part of something that invokes both artists and dancers.””

    And while members of the Tucson artist community profit from one another through the collaboration, the community of Tucson as a whole is reaping its own benefits from an event like Urban Picnic.

    “”Tucson is very, very rich in culture in both visual and performance art,”” Wallace said. “”We could enrich our culture even more if more people knew what was out there.””

    Urban Picnic will be held Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave. A picnic-style lunch will be provided by Pastiche. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased through Ballet Tucson at 903-1445.

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