Press Release

July 6, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT: Sydney Ritter | [email protected] | 480-874-4663

“Coming to Terms” shows 11 artworks aimed to evoke 11 responses

“Ganglionic Layers” by Bill Dambrova is among the artworks featured in the “Coming to Terms” exhibition, opening July 21 at the Center Space gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation will exhibit “Coming to Terms” from July 21, 2023, to April 29, 2024, and invite audiences to ask themselves how artwork makes them think and feel. 

The exhibition will remain on display through April 29, 2024, in the Center Space gallery at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd Street, Scottsdale.

The concept of this exhibition is based on research by aesthetics experts Alexander P. Christensen, Eileen R. Cardillo and Anjan Chatterjee, who were interested in defining the scope of aesthetic experiences.

Each specialist on the panel generated a list of terms related to aesthetic experience. The final list comprises these 11 terms: challenged, enlightened, hopeful, swept away, intimately engaged, consoled, disgusted, compassionate, confused, humbled and upset.

Laura Hales, curator of learning and innovation, discovered this research project while working collaboratively with Chatterjee. Hales, along with the assistance from her colleagues at Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation, selected the artwork that will be shown in the exhibition.

“This was a very different way to curate an exhibition because I searched for art that I thought clearly defined one of the 11 terms,” Hales said. “I brought a committee together because I wanted to have more of a consensus about the chosen works. Since we all see art in a different way, there is no right or wrong answer.”

The result is an exhibition featuring artwork by Bill Dambrova, Binh Danh, Tom Eckert, Fausto Fernandez, Jill Friedberg, Carolyn Lavender, John Randall Nelson, Patricia Sannit, Diane Silver, Beth Ames Swartz and Ellen Wagener.

The researchers, artists and curators ask audiences to take some time viewing each artwork and ask themselves the following questions. Which artworks do you have a strong reaction to? Which emotions did you feel most strongly? Did exploring it help you understand something or think of something in a new way? What term would you use to describe your aesthetic experience?

“Viewers will have a chance to choose which of the 11 terms they think best describes each artwork,” Hales said. “I am not going to tell anyone which term I chose for each!”

“Coming to Terms” opens on Friday, July 21, with a reception at 6 p.m. for members of the public to view these artworks and experience many of the different ways art can impact our emotions and cognition. Visitors will also be able to see the exhibition for themselves in the Center Space from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays through Oct. 2. The center is closed on Mondays.

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