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2024 Cactus Collective features work of acclaimed local artists

Cactus Collective at Scottsdale Fashion Square presented by Scottsdale Arts
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

A public art exhibition featuring 10 life-size saguaro cactus sculptures is on display at Scottsdale Fashion Square now through April 1.

The 2024 Cactus Collective, which is presented by Lexus in collaboration with Scottsdale Arts, comprises original works of art using a full-size saguaro sculpture as a blank canvas, according to a press release.

“The captivating Cactus Collective installation is a treat for the loyal shoppers who share our passion for celebrating the arts and giving back to the surrounding community, and it’s a wonderful reason to explore our newly completed luxury enhancements at the shopping center,” said Melanie Sutton, senior marketing manager at Scottsdale Fashion Square.

“The exhibition is also a terrific opportunity for the influx of spring visitors to sample the art, culture, and retail experiences that make visiting Scottsdale such a delightful experience.”

Following the exhibition, each saguaro will be donated to Scottsdale Arts for a live auction during their annual fundraising gala. Each installment of this year’s Cactus Collective is a nod to the theme of the ARTrageous Gala, “Cosmic Crescendo,” which honors the awe-inspiring essence of a rare solar event in anticipation of the full solar eclipse in April 2024.

Proceeds from the auction featuring the Cactus Collective saguaros will support Scottsdale Arts’ work to create diverse, inspired arts experiences and outreach opportunities for the Scottsdale community, the release states.

The 10 uniquely designed saguaro cacti are the work of artists hand-selected by Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Arts in recognition of their unique perspective and exceptional talent.

Applicants submitting proposals represented leading artists, muralists, sculptures, designers, and event design houses.

Cactus Collective at Scottsdale Fashion Square presented by Scottsdale Arts

This year’s Cactus Collective artists include Judith Aram, Oliverio Balcells, Jessica Flax, Amanda Gunnell, Christopher Luper, Paige Poppe, Marija (Maya) Redzic, Paige Reesor, Carolyn Sansone, and Bekah Unsworth.

“This year’s collection is an exciting representation of the artists’ diverse interpretations of the intersection between the desert and the cosmos,” from Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts. “Each work offers distinct perspective and impressive display of artistic talent that we’re looking forward to sharing with the community.”

During an unveiling event, these 10 artists’ cactus sculptures were evaluated by qualified judges.

“Best in Show” was awarded to Bekah Unsworth from Mesa for her “Reclaiming the Night” design, which pays homage to the four female constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union – Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Berenice, and Virgo – by picturing them with joy, power and dignity.

The “People’s Choice” award was presented to Amanda Gunnell from Mesa for “The Morning Star” design, which symbolizes how in the grand symphony of the universe, each individual plays a small yet significant role, contributing their own melody to the eternal song of existence.

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