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Scottsdale Arts celebrates color with new exhibition

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Scottsdale Public Art’s newest exhibition, “COLORLOVE,” running Jan. 8 through March 30 at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, celebrates the power of the full rainbow of colors. 

Throughout history, humanity has examined, philosophized, questioned and celebrated the full spectrum of color. Distinct colors can affect our moods in myriad ways: the peacefulness of blue, the intensity of orange, the wisdom of purple and the fresh promise of green.

Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, hopes the exhibition will encourage viewers to think deeply about color.

“I’ve always been interested in the psychology of color. Which colors make us feel energized or calm?” Raisanen asked. “We are all affected by color through artwork, our clothing and the walls of buildings. I love saturated, intense colors; they just make my brain happy.”

Artist and co-curator of “COLORLOVE” Lex Gjurasic is known as much for her love of color as for her artistic philosophy of “Radical Happiness,” which is, in her words, the “sacred act of choosing joy in the face of oppression and challenges.”

“Colors and how they interact together has always been at the forefront of my creative process,” Gjurasic said. “While others may shy from the vibrational interplay of colors, I embrace that visual enthusiasm and lean into it. I can't imagine a creative process without the patterns and interplay of color. For me, a world without color is a world void of emotion.”

For Gjurasic, there is nothing more joyful than one’s own emotional response to color. An Arizona transplant, originally from the “dreary” Pacific Northwest, Gjurasic now finds personal solace in the intense psychedelic neon colors of the desert that she sees in her mind’s eye when she closes her eyes after staring directly at the sun. Gjurasic invites viewers into her vision of the world through the eyes of artists living and working in the arid desert. She presents two artworks in the exhibition: “Wet Grass 1” and “Enjoy Yourself, Take Only What You Need.”

John David Yanke, another artist featured in “COLORLOVE,” is a painter and sculptor who exhibits his work locally and nationwide. His artwork “As Things Go” is informed by the intensely hued imagery of his sculptures that use manipulated bed springs, which also refer to compositions in music.

“I remember my past through color because it triggers emotions I’ve lost, either intentionally or out of some imagined fright — fear coddling memory,” Yanke said. “My soul seems to digest and express those last sentences better through layered forms, shapes and colors.”

After creative careers with Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, mural painting and remodeling homes, Yanke now teaches upper-level drawing and painting and is an academic counselor for an Arizona high school. 

“COLORLOVE” will run from Jan. 8 through March 30 at the Civic Center Public Gallery, inside Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3948 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

In addition to the exhibition itself, there will be an opening reception to meet the artists from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2024, at the Civic Center Public Gallery.

Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation has also organized two creative workshops in association with this exhibition. All Things Color! invites participants to create a fun desert landscape painting with Arizona-based artist Jackson Kloog on Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. On Thursday, March 28 at 4:30 p.m., guests can join local artists in the hands-on Natural Pigment Workshop, whichallows participants to play with dirt and process it into watercolor paint. 

Both workshops are free, but RSVP is required. They will be presented at Scottsdale Civic Center Library. Learn more about the exhibition, workshops and reception at

Scottsdale Arts is a regionally and nationally significant, multidisciplinary arts organization, offering an exceptional variety of programs through its six departments: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art, Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation, Canal Convergence and Civic Center LIVE. Scottsdale Arts creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and outreach opportunities for the community while fostering active engagement with the arts among individuals, businesses, educational institutions and government agencies. The mission of Scottsdale Public Art is to serve as a leader in defining art in the public realm through creative place-making, signature cultural events, exhibitions and installations — contributing to the community’s creative, cultural and economic vitality. Established in 1985, Scottsdale Public Art enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors through more than 150 permanent and temporary public artworks throughout the community.

MEDIA: For interviews, additional information, or photo, please contact: 

Sydney Ritter 
Public Relations Specialist 
Scottsdale Arts 
Phone: 480-874-4663