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Cultural Arts Coalition exhibition at Fletcher Library, ASU West Campus: "How Traditions Inspire Today's Artists". Please attend and enjoy this Ode to the Arts and Our Holly Parsons, Poet Laureate for the Cultural Arts Coalition.

The Choice

We yearn to create

languages of

culture + symbol + ritual

to unite truth

in circles of art

look inward

mindful visionary

your soulful song

lights fires of awareness


is the divine right

of an artist's life


There will be a huge reception for everyone on Fri., Feb 10th beginning around 0900- noon for anyone wishing to participate along with the South Mt. H.S. students and exhibiting artists.

Through the Cultural Arts Coalition comprised of many incredible persons from varied cultural, educational and artistic backgrounds, we promote the value of the arts as a means of communication. These symbolic conversations also provide dialogues addressing social challenges of justice and human rights...

We thank Margaret Rodriguez, Dennis Isabell and CAC colleague Melanie Ohm for all of their administrative direction and support within Fletcher Library, as well as Paul Hillman and Michael Butzine for their installation expertise.

Many of our artists have survived horrific lives in their native countries and now reside in Arizona to tell their stories and enrich our societies...We are honored to create spaces for them to work alongside one another, enhancing opportunities to critically process concepts of civil dialogue focusing on democracy for ALL! The current exhibition installed at ASU West Fletcher Library not only highlights the work of 5 of these individuals, but the arts of the Huicholes and the visual artworks of students from the

Thuong Nguyen highlights his paintings honoring the environment and universal values of humanity. "Each work is a question I ask about existence, destiny, and humanity. Each question leads into another work. The road is endless for the true traveler." Thuong is originally from Vietnam coming to the USA as a child following the fall of Saigon.

Mitra Kamali is a refugee from Iran celebrating the Persian female poets of her country who demand rights for woman and all persons. Her father an Iranian Poet Laureate was under house arrest for 7 years following the fall of the Shah. Mitra and her sisters were out of the country and able to finally buy the release of their mother and father.

The first painting is Parvin E'tesami, Classical Poet, translator, 1906-1941

"Parvin Etesami is one the most influential poets in Persian literature with masculine language. Her divan contains pain and suffering of human race, women rights and gender discrimination. She started to write poems since childhood; her poems were published in well-known literary magazine at young age and mastered Persian and Arabic literature from her father who was an intellectual and a translator."

Oliverio Balcells, an immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, his paintings reflect the sustainabilty of a PreColumbian culture of the Huicholes, living in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico.

This painting of Oliverio is in combination with 2 traditional Huichol yarn artworks...

"These paintings reflect the main idea of the whole collection, that no matter what language you speak, no matter where you were born, no matter what color of skin you are... at the end we are just humans; but we need to get together, learn from each other and work as one for the future of the humanity."

Janet Broyles was a teaching artist and Director at South Mt. Magnet Arts H.S. programming for many years. We are truly grateful for her participation.

"As a young Midwestern schoolgirl, I loved the simple lines, shapes, and colors used in art-making and the items---crayons, watercolor, scissors, pens/pencils, clay, fabric, etc.---used in its creation. My artwork became mix-ups of traditional and basic art elements. Art was pure freedom...!"

Janet's second mixed media artwork: "This piece focused on the chevron-shaped "eyes" pulled from the Phoenix street murals. Pieces were colorized to create harmonic but strange pairs of eyes that follow the viewer. As an only child, I was carefully watched and monitored and that continues to this day with my job choices etc. This piece includes 5 stones from a recent runes casting along with the written wisdom of "putting right action before self-interest". The artwork is layered with digital eyes and glittered shards and is unified with bold primary colors and strings of pearls."

Traditional Huichol yarn paintings and beaded objects are showcased along with the contemporary beaded and mixed media, sculptured deer and jaguar created by Christy Puetz. Christy is a community teaching artist who presents weekly workshops at multiple locations throughout the Phoenix Valley. She is also the program director for Beads of Courage working with children who have cancer and terminal illnesses in hospitals throughout the nation... "My artwork uses a combination of fiber art and sculpture-making techniques. I use these as an unconventional platform to document and express the way I understand the world around me. I use absurdity, beauty, and humor to comment on issues in a way that makes difficult subjects more approachable."

ALL, Amazing artists and humanitarians!

Please come and enjoy the artworks of the South Mt. Magnet Arts H.S. Students on the third floor. Thank you Eric and Jeff and your team of magnet arts teachers for their inspirational work with all of these students.

Photo documentation by judy butzine, MSW, Director of the Cultural Arts Coalition.