The Mighty Wurlitzer of Mesa

The Mighty Wurlitzer is a theatre organ of gigantic proportions, consisting of a console that rises from beneath the stage *queue dramatic music* and is connected to a roomful of pipes, bells, and assorted drums.

The theatre organ dates back to the early 20th century. Created by Robert Hope-Jones, it was originally known as a “unit orchestra” and was picked up by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of New York for distribution. It was used to compose the score of most films during the golden age of silent movies. After silent movies fell out of favor with audiences, some organs remained in their original theaters, but many were given to churches, museums, and other venues. [source]

The Wurlitzer in question sits in an appropriately gigantic room, where hundreds of people sit and enjoy pizza pies in an abundance of choice, listening to above mentioned dramatic music, accompanied by a light show.

The only other time we came across a similar organ, was in Macy’s Philadelphia – another unexpected location for an instrument of this size, but the Wurli-pizza-light show combination, is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

Organ Stop Pizza

Mesa, AZ

February 1st, 2019

First Impressions || Prints @Mesa

Every year, in a tradition established since 2010, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum publishes a limited edition calendar featuring 12 original works on paper by emerging and contemporary artists.

Every five years the Museum organizes a retrospective exhibition that showcases all the prints that have been part of the Mesa Contemporary Arts Annual Print Calendar for the last five years.

First Impressions 2019 was the second retrospective. The works ranged from relief prints to screen prints as well as etchings to lithographs.

Farhana Shifa Ahmed (Chandler, Arizona)
Owls, Photopolymer etching


Brooke Molla (Tucson, Arizona)
Desert Collection
Spoon rubbed woodcut on old topography map


Gretchen Schermerhorn (Silver Spring, Maryland)
Ladies of the Potomac
Woodblock, digital and screen print


Brent Bond (Scottsdale, Arizona)
The Guarding of Eating
Photopolymer relief and letterpress


Charles Barth (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Ready for More, Collagraph


Darshana Patel (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Untitled, Aquatint


Brooke Molla (Tucson, Arizona)
Nature, Relief on Japanese paper


David Manje (Mesa, Arizona)
A Quién Veo
Photo polymer intaglio, chine-collé


Brent Bond (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Bar-ometer
Letterpress with multiblock linocut relief


Mark McDowell (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Untitled, Photopolymer relief with linocut


Marlys Kubicek (Phoenix, Arizona)
In My Humble Opinion
Three-color reduction linocut


Katherine Sheehan (Long Beach, California)
Trickster Coyote and El Segundo Blues
Seven color screen print


David Manje (Mesa, Arizona)
Sea Impecable Con Su Lengua [Be Impeccable with your Tongue]
Photo Polymer Intaglio


Mesa Contemporary Arts (MCA) Museum

Mesa, AZ

February 1st, 2019

Taliesin West || Peeking Inside

Every single detail bears the signature of the landlord. Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school in the Sonoran desert from 1937 until his death in 1959 at the age of 91. Visiting FLW houses is always a pleasure, but walking inside his own home was a real privilege.

Taliesin West (where even coffee is part of the brand, bearing the distinctive stamp of honour)

January 31st, 2019

The incredibly detailed miniature rooms, by Narcissa Niblack Thorne

”The Thorne Miniature Rooms represent a world in minuscule. Created at an exacting scale of one inch to one foot, several of the rooms replicate actual rooms found in the United States and Europe, while the remainder were inspired by the architecture and interior design of their respective periods and countries.

These rooms were conceived, designed, and in large part crafted by Narcissa Niblack Thorne (1882-1966). An Indiana native, Thorne began to collect miniature furniture and household accessories during her travels to England and Asia shortly after the turn of the 20th century.

Beginning in 1930, Thorne commissioned interiors scenes to contain her growing collection of miniature objects. At their tiny scale, some of the rooms even contain period-style rugs Thorne had woven specifically for each space. Thorne and the craftsmen with whom she worked completed nearly 100 rooms. Her hope was that perfectly proportioned rooms in miniature could substitute for costly and space-consuming full-scale period rooms that museums across the country were beginning to acquire. They also reflect the architectural revivals popular amongst wealthy patrons for their homes, and publicized in the shelter magazines of the period.

The original 30 Thorne Miniature Rooms were displayed at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition and they gained national attention when featured in a 1940 LIFE Magazine article. In 1962, Thorne donated 20 of the original 30 rooms to a fledgling Phoenix Art Museum, then celebrating its third anniversary, and the rooms have been on view since that time. Other examples of the Thorne Rooms can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago (68) and in the Knoxville Museum of Art (9).” [source & details]

Phoenix Art Museum

January 30th, 2019