All About Art 3

A Little Slice of Arizona History, Shemer Art Center is Here to Stay

Thanks to Martha Evvard Shemer’s generosity, a bit of Arizona’s history was preserved in 1984 when she purchased and donated the property on Camelback Road and Arcadia to the City of Phoenix. In 1919, investors purchased 640 acres of land, built a small home on the property for the foreman and named the area Arcadia. However, excessive expenses and the Depression halted the project, and over the years, two other families acquired the property, each making renovations. Today, many of the home’s original features can still be seen, which adds to the charm and coziness of this historic landmark.

Over the last 30 years, Shemer’s wish to provide a community center for Phoenix residents has been realized as the home transitioned into an arts center offering year-round art classes, workshops, lectures and exhibits. It has been named by USA Today as “One of the 10 Best Museums in Phoenix” and voted one of Phoenix’s “Points of Pride” by residents.

A look at some of the Center’s programs:

New Horizons High School Student Art Exhibition

Since the Center opened, each year high schools in the area submit two pieces of art by talented students to be shown at the Center. These works are done in a variety of mediums and categories. Each is judged and the winners are awarded scholarships. This year’s 72 pieces are incredible works of art, many available for purchase.

Arizona Outdoor Sculpture Showcase

The showcase features local artists’ work displayed in the Center’s garden. These beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations are available for viewing and purchase. Famous artists include Kevin Caron, Jeff Downing, David Knorr, Shelby Larson, Matthew Mosher, Hector Ortega, Charles Sleichter and Joan Waters, just to name a few. Their works cover different styles and mediums, from brightly colored ceramics to beautiful metal sculptures. This exhibit, with pieces changing as the art is sold, will be on display through November 2017.

Fine Art in the Garden

On Saturday, March 12th, from 9a.m. to 4p.m., the Center invites you to enjoy the work of 20 local artists who will make their pieces available for purchase. The art featured will include oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, fused glass, ceramics, jewelry, metal, printmaking, wood, sculptures and quilting. There also will be a raffle, food vendors and live music.

Something for Everyone

Classes are held year-round and are taught by professional artists. Classes offered include drawing, painting, print-making, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media and photography. For children, the Center also offers after-school art classes and Spring Break and Summer camps.

“We want the community to embrace the Center not only for art classes and exhibitions, but also for our gift shop or enjoying the views and ambiance of our sculpture garden,” comments Shonna James, executive director of the Center. “The Shemer Art Center is also available to rent for parking needs, weddings, rehearsal dinners, board and corporate meetings.”

The Shemer Art Center is truly a charming artistic experience. Whether viewing an exhibit, taking an art class or attending a lecture or workshop, each visit will be a memorable one at this slice of history that Martha Evvard Shemer gifted to us all.

For more information on classes and events, please visit