A cup of wine, a bit of chocolate, and art galore - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

A cup of wine, a bit of chocolate, and art galore

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 9:25 pm | Updated: 11:53 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The crowds returned to Scottsdale's arts district this weekend. But this time, they were not wearing New York Giants and New England Patriots jerseys. Since Friday, Fifth Avenue between Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard has been taken over by the second annual Fifth Avenue Fine Art and Wine Festival.

The event, which is a classy block party of sorts for art aficionados, continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Sponsored by Fountain Hills-based Thunderbird Artists, the festival, with its long row of small white tents, features the fine arts and crafts of about 115 artists from around the United States. The event also offers food and chocolate sampling and live music.

"People can have a wonderful afternoon seeing beautiful art and sampling wine," said Denise Colter, Thunderbird Artists' vice president. "There's something for everyone."

Suzanne Spalding was among a handful of Scottsdale-based artists showing her work.

"It was an honor to be chosen. There are a lot of fine artists here," said Spalding, who was selected as the festival's "featured artist" this weekend.

Spalding, who specializes in glass art, said she's favored this medium for about three decades.

Her eye-catching works in a wash of bright reds, blues, yellows and greens range in price from $28 for a fused glass candleholder to $900 for larger art wall pieces.

Progressing from stained glass and beadwork, Spalding said she fell in love with the fused glass process about 15 years ago.

"I work with warm glass, not molten glass like glass blowers use," said Spalding, who fuses colored pieces of glass to a clear base using a kiln at her home studio. Spalding said it typically takes two days to complete one of her glass works, sometimes more if she's creating a lamp.

Interacting with the event attendees is a great motivator, she said.

"I like to show locally and see how people respond to my work," Spalding said. "I want to brighten up their spaces and their lives and make them feel uplifted."

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