S.A.L. bringing Out West Art Fest to Stagecoach Village

By Curtis Riggs | February 4, 2009

CAVE CREEK – Sonoran Arts League is adding a Cave Creek arts festival to its annual slate of events at a time when other artist organizations are scaling back the number of events.
The Out West Art Fest will be held at Stagecoach Village, northwest corner of Cave Creek Road and Galloway Drive, the weekend of Feb. 20 – 22. Eighty S.A.L. and other national and local artists will be displaying at the festival.

apples and grapesPeoria oil painter Gerald Ruggiero will be the festival’s featured artist. Out West Art Fest festival chairwoman Michelle Russell said Ruggiero only recently joined the League and was chosen as the featured artist when he was not even aware a featured artist was being sought for the festival.

The festival was scheduled for Cave Creek because of the beauty of the Stagecoach Village and the League’s desire to have a festival in Cave Creek. The Sonoran Festival of Fine Art will be held in downtown Carefree April 3 – 5.

“We are excited about having this at a different time of the year because different visitors will be around,” Russell said. “We will be exposing ourselves to a whole new group of patrons.”

She calls the Stagecoach Village walking mall “perfect for an art show. “It has a great energy and feel to it,” she said.

There will be artist demonstrations, live music and food at the three-day festival in addition to the painters, sculptors, jewelers and glass artists who will displaying their wares. The Valley band Mood Indigo will set the tone for the weekend with their light-jazz offerings.
The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free.

Even though the festival will be held in one of Arizona’s most Western towns, not all of the art will be Western.

“We are excited to showcase a mix of both contemporary and Western artists,” said Russell, who will also be chairwoman of the April festival in downtown Carefree.

“Carefree is known for its arts festivals; Cave Creek has kind of been missing a fine art festival.”

Festival organizers hope the Out West Art Fest grows into an annual event.

Photo: Peoria oil painter Gerald Ruggiero will be the featured artist for the Out West Art Fest at Stagecoach Village Feb. 20 – 22. His painting Apples, Grapes and Our Lady Banks has garnered fans throughout the country.
Courtesy Photo