April message from Tess Mosko Scherer

Happy April!

As I prepare for my upcoming trip to China, my focus is, as you might imagine, on leadership.  For 5 weeks I will be facilitating a class on leadership for the World Academy for the Future of Women in a program called Giving Voice to Women through the Arts. I am excited for this amazing opportunity.  In preparation, i find myself reflecting on how I have grown as a leader as I traverse my presidency and prepare for my final year.

In that context, I need to consider AAG’s impact on its members and its role in the greater Arizona art scene.  By many we are viewed as leaders in the Phoenix art world.  However, to others we are obscure and still often unknown.  ‘How do we change that?’, I ask myself.  This question makes me realize that leadership can’t be defined in a bubble. Leadership alone is not enough, one must – or at least is a must for me – question one’s definition of success to measure one against the other. As I think about this, my eyes fall on a framed quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

I have had this framed since High School.  It has been the guiding principle of my adult life, informing my decisions and values.   With Emerson’s words as the measure, AAG is hugely successful in its endeavors.  There are too many reasons for this to mention. Suffice to say, we have a board and band of volunteers with a lot of heart steered by a strong mission to promote the arts through education, exhibition, and outreach.

Success in art-making has its own definitions and interpretations as well.  What is successful today cannot be considered successful in a year or 10 years.  We can’t continuously remake the same piece and think of it as successful.  We can’t continuously repeat the same behavior in- or out-side the studio and expect to grow. The same is true for us as an organization and community.

I invite you to think about your art practice in this context of leadership and success.  Does that pertain to you, and if so, how?  I invite you to consider your role in AAG and AAG’s role or impact in your life. What has changed over the years? What’s lacking? What’s blooming? I’d love to hear from you.  Please email me with your thoughts if you care to share.

Have a wildly creative month.





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2018-2019 Slate of Officers

AAG members will be voting for the 2018-2019 Slate of Officers at the April 17, 2018 meeting.

Board of Directors

President | Tess Mosko Scherer  | info@arizonaartistsguild.net
Director | Douglas A. Hebert | MrDouglasHebert@gmail.com
Director | Alice Pelchat  | chato2589@cox.net
Director  | Mark Woehrle  | fstopmark@hotmail.com
Director | Zach Valent |  z.valent@att.net
Director | Karen Weingartner |  kareninsun@gmail.com
Director | Alicia Plogman  |  aplogman@cox.net
Director      OPEN

President’s Team
President | Tess Mosko Scherer  | info@arizonaartistsguild.net
Secretary | Ann Osgood | aosgood@hotmail.com
Treasurer | Joan McGue  |  jmcgue112@gmail.com

Art VP  | David Bradley | davlbradly@gmail.com
Community Outreach Program  VP’s
David Bradley| davlbradly@gmail.com and Tess Mosko Scherer |  info@ArizonaArtistsGuild.net
Exhibitions  VP  | Dave Knorr  | dave_knorr@hotmail.com
Communications  VP  | Sheryl Jones | sljdab@gmail.com
Membership  VP  | Laura Cohen-Hogan |  creativeproject@icloud.com
Facilities  VP  | Jim Kinne | 720-480-6028
Meeting Logistics  VP  | Ivan Halvorson |  portraitsbyivan@gmail.com

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February Happenings


February is a busy month here at AAG. APAA will host a week-long workshop beginning the 12th. Open Studio on Monday morning and Wednesday night has been suspended for the week. Life Drawing will be held in the small studio.

The monthly Social Media Demystified workshop will be held on Feb 2. Subsequent sessions will be held March 9, April 13, and May 4, 2018. These 3-hour sessions are designed to address real-life scenarios navigating social media. Topics will vary due to the needs of the attendees. Bring your device and marketing ideas. This is an informal way to learn how to market your business and expand your reach through Instagram and Facebook. Due to the hands-on nature of the class, space is limited, so preregistration is required. Direct questions to info@ArizonaArtistsGuild.net.

Additionally, I will be repeating the ‘Selling from the H.E.A.R.T.’ in a two-day workshop on March 2 & 23, 2018, from 10:00 to 1:00 PM. Chock full of invaluable information from my 30+ years as a gallerist, and an artist. From both sides of the fence I can provide real life lessons and teachings designed to help you sell your work, either to the public or to galleries. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns about whether this workshop is for you.

Due to bronchitis, David Bradley postponed his presentation scheduled in January. Don’t miss this moving and enlightening presentation on the art and artists of the Balkans. We don’t necessarily think of this region as an art mecca, and I have been surprised to learn about this vibrant and creative corner of our world. This is one not to be missed. Thankfully, Travis Ivey was flexible in his schedule, filling in for David in January. Travis gave an insightful presentation on his diverse art practice. Competent in plein air, mixed media collage, and as an experimental artist, Travis’ ability and skill in these diverse mediums and expressions is outstanding. After the meeting, several in attendance shared how inspiring it had been. Travis will be offering a workshop in March, Painting from Photographs. This is a great opportunity to pick his brain about his practice and approach to art. Be sure to check him out on our website, his website, or on social media to learn more about him.

There are many opportunities to increase your in­volvement at AAG that don’t require a huge time com­mitment. If you want to be involved, but don’t have much time to devote, perhaps some of these opportu­nities may be right for you. Below is a list with a brief description:

AAA liaison: attend monthly meetings, with a written summary for newsletter.
Director: this is a board position, attend monthly meetings with primary role as providing counsel and information; a stepping stone to deeper in­volvement in leadership at AAG.
Workshop chair: coordinate 3 to 4 workshops per year.
Artstravaganza chair: for 2018-2019: event organizer. The blueprint for the event has been established, so you are not reinventing the wheel.
President for 2019-2020: ok, so this one has a big time commitment.

Gratitude has been on my mind lately-the act of hav­ing gratitude for others and events, but also the act of receiving other’s gratitude. As artists, receiving grati­tude from others is a part of the exchange of making art. Are you able to take in gratitude when it is sent your way?

Have a wildly creative month.


Tess Mosko Scherer
President, Arizona Artists Guild
928-300-7185 | info@ArizonaArtistsGuild.net

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January, 2018

Happy New Year!

Another year begins.  I welcome this year with great enthusiasm, as for me it brings many exciting personal and professional opportunities.  Among them is my upcoming trip to China to facilitate a leadership program, ‘Giving Voice to Women in the Arts’ for the World Academy for the Future of Women.  I am honored to be one of 16 facilitators from across the US, with several from Arizona, spending 5 weeks working with 100 students enrolled in the academy.

My enthusiasm for the New Year does not wane when it comes to AAG.  I am still riding high on the huge success of the Artstravagana in December. In addition to raising funds for our outreach and scholarship programs, we had just shy of 100 people cross the threshold that evening (guests and volunteers combined) with over 40 non-members participating in the event.  Laughter, excitement, and creativity filled the rafters.  A big thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated in making this event so successful.  It was surely a special evening as several participants exclaimed, ‘the best event AAG has ever had’.

Looking forward, AAG has many exciting events coming up from now through May 2018.  Check out the website or flyers at AAG with the details on our upcoming workshops, exhibitions and programs.

This month:  I will be facilitating a workshop based on over thirty years of Art Sales, called Selling from the H.E.A.R.T.  I am in the rare position of having two successful careers in the arts.  The first, I owned and operated a successful gallery for 25 years, after which I launched my career as an artist. I share the lessons and techniques I honed in over thirty years.  Additionally, don’t miss the closing reception and awards ceremony for the Winter Exhibition, January 14, 2018 from 2:00-4:00pm. On January 16, prepare to be inspired by David Bradley’s presentation on socially engaged art and artists of the Balkans.  The war-torn region has fostered artists who are politically and socially engaged with vibrant art practices.  Additionally join the sculptor’s group meeting and critique at Dave Knorr’s studio on January 8.  Although I am not a sculptor, I always learn something from the meetings and enjoy the interactive and engaging conversations with artists engaged in their practices.

In the spirit of the season, this time of year invites introspection and reflection, so I leave you with the following to consider: Is your artistic practice the same entering January 2018 as it was in January 2017?  How has your work changed? What are the lessons gleaned from your studio in 2017?  How have you grown as an artist?

Have a wildly creative month.

Tess Mosko Scherer, president, Arizona Artists Guild
info@ArizonaArtistsGuild.net | 928-300-7185

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Considering your artist myth

Happy November.

I write this in the wake of a very busy month and on the heels of another marathon of exhibitions, shows, holidays, travel, the Artstravaganza, and workshops amid the ordinariness of life.  I am not alone as it seems everyone’s dance cards are full.  Among the myriad of events, I attended two lectures, both equally powerful and inspiring.  Both got me thinking and reflecting on myself as an artist who is actively engaged in my communities and the communities in which I am actively engaged.

Dean Steven Tepper and Sharon Loudon

The first lecture was given by the dynamic duo of Dean Steven Tepper of ASU and author and artist Sharon Loudon.  Sharon has compiled the stories of 80 artists in two books showing how artists extend their practices beyond the studios to be agents of change in their communities. If you have not read her books, I recommend them to anyone who is serious about themselves as an artist.

The conversation touched on the aspect of the artist myths that may influence how we view ourselves and our artistic practice.  Consider the myth of the starving artist.  Or the sellout myth.  Or the tormented artist myth.  Or any of the multitude of misconceptions that artists have been prey to for generations.  What myth or limiting belief are you living by – consciously or otherwise? Once you de-mystify this limiting belief that is most likely holding you back you can change the narrative and your perception of yourself as an artist.  This is very powerful work that you may not even realize the depth of influence these stories have on your expression.

Joanna Grabski and Tess Mosko Scherer

The other lecture was by the new Director of the School of Art at ASU, Joanna Grabski.  Joanna discussed the artistic culture of a city, and that it is the people and projects creating its identity.  As she spoke I thought about the artistic culture at AAG and how we show up as a community in support, collaboration, and celebraton of one another.  Or show up in the face of opportunity such as for exhibition or education.  But opportunity need not end there. By showing up and engaging with your artist peers, unlikely opportunities come alive.  It is these opportunities that create the culture, foster collaboration, and exploration of similar or opposing ideas.  Every gathering of two or more is ripe with opportunity.

I invite you to examine your contributions to AAG’s artistic personality.  Contribution is not necessarily financial or dependent on volunteering your time.  It can be showing up for other member’s exhibitions or events.  It could be friending, following, sharing, and commenting on social media.  Or checking in on a current or past member that you haven’t seen in a while. Perhaps you do some of this, or none of this.  I invite you to look at yourself as an active member in a new way.  Question your motives. Question your actions.  Is what you are doing enough to satisfy your own needs as well as those of AAG?  Is it reciprocal? Proportionate? Generous? Collaborative?

From my perspective, AAG is an extraordinary organization with a strong core value system of social engagement, encouragement, and personal artistic expression.  I am proud and honored to be aligned with a vibrant community such as ours.  As we plant the seedlings for the next 90 years, let’s do so with intention and purpose that moves from a group of individual artist members to one of collaboration within and beyond our borders extending to the city, surrounding communities, and beyond.

In the spirit of the holiday season, on behalf of the board, I wish you happiness, good health, and creative expression during this holiday season.

My best,


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Tips for Dealing with Rejection


I’ve been thinking a lot about rejection lately.  As artists, we work in an industry that is based on judgement.  For many of us, this is a contradiction to our own inner work as eloquently conveyed in the words of Brene Brown, Comparison is the thief of happiness.

Unpacking rejection, I realize, it is a matter of the heart. Being rejected by one you love, or from a show, stem from the same place in your heart.  Although one has a greater impact than the other.  When your heart is tethered to an external source or outcome, heartache is inevitable.  There is grief in not getting something that you wanted.  Facing rejection is a rite of passage of sorts, all artists, all humans, have to traverse its pain.

Every artist that entered the Sky Harbor Show experienced a form of rejection as no single entry was accepted in its entirety.  Even for some who did get in, they experienced a sting of disappointment that the piece they really wanted to get in was not selected.

The Sky Harbor Museum show was a difficult show to jury.  309 pieces were submitted with no theme to unite the work.  The reality is, it isn’t so much that the work was judged against, it was about how your work conveyed in relation to others.  The curators had to consider how it will hang together to create a cohesive exhibition that would not confuse the viewer.  With 8 cases – each case becomes its own micro exhibition.  However, all 8 cases have to unite in some way.  Rejected or selected may have had nothing to do with the quality of your work and more to do with the scale, subject, color, medium, or some other consideration.

Despite all that, being rejected from a show hurts. I’ve assembled 5 tips for dealing with rejection, adapted from author, Amy Morin.

Five tips for Dealing with Rejection:

There are many essays written on Rejection. Essentially the message is the same; that rejection taps into our number one greatest need, the need to belong.  With that comes our greatest fear, of not belonging.  How you deal with it allows you to grow or to stagnate.  Rejection has the propensity to build grit and resiliency or can cause continued pain, insecurity, and even anger.  Below are five tools to help you navigate the terrain of rejection.

  1. Acknowledge your emotions. As Pema Chodron says, lean-in to your emotion, rather than disregard or discard them. This allows you to grow emotionally.
  1. View it as an opportunity for pushing your limits. Don’t be afraid to go for it, even if it may be a long-shot.  If you don’t get rejected you are living way too far inside your comfort zone. Keep putting yourself out there and living on or beyond your edge.
  1. Speak to yourself with compassion. Rather than bashing the juror as well as yourself, give yourself a kinder more affirmative message.  This is a great quote sent to me from Dan Prendergast;  It is not rejection.  It’s just a difference of opinion. – Sharon Loudon
  1. Don’t let the rejection define you. Keep it in perspective.  Don’t let yourself, your work, or value as an artist be defined by one show, one juror.
  1. Learn from rejection. What did you gain? Turn it into an opportunity for self-growth.  With each rejection, get stronger and better.  Rejection can be a great teacher, to move toward something more.

I invite you to look at what you believe to be true for you.  And then remember these wise words:  Sometimes not getting what you want is a stroke of luck – Dalai Lama

And remember, peace begins where expectation ends.



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September 2017

Welcome Back!

I write this from Mystic Connecticut while visiting with my family.  It has been a welcomed reprieve from the Arizona heat.  It’s raining.  I find myself missing the majesty of Arizona monsoons and home.  As I contemplate the weather and the contrasts between the two states, I begin to think about AAG and the storms that had been weathered over 90 years.  By weathering storms we find our strengths and that is what sustained us for 90 years.

This summer I have been honored to work with AAG’s leadership team planning the upcoming year.  What an extraordinary group of people we have volunteering at AAG. I am impressed by the vision, integrity, and dedication of each.  The sharing of ideas and creativity was met with laughter and camaraderie. Although it was a lot of time and energy, we have planned an extraordinary year ahead.  I hope you, reader, will partake in as many of the opportunities we have created.

We will kick this year off with the 90th Anniversary exhibition at Sky Harbor Museum. AAG will host a virtual reception on October 22 at AAG.  It will be our first Virtual Reception with a slide show of the exhibit as Airport Regulations prohibit a reception on site.  If you are traveling between October and May, be sure to add time to visit the show in terminal 4.

Our first meeting of the season is on Tuesday, September 19. It’s a meeting not to be missed, with a robust agenda outlining the plans and giving a financial overview of AAG. Join us for a reception for last years’ Artists of the Month and Year.  We will end the meeting with a presentation by husband and wife, Roy Wasson Valle and Koryn Woodward Wasson.  The energetic and engaging couple have created an interactive program that is sure to inspire and delight.

Lots of exciting news will be shared at the meeting, however, noteworthy, the Statewide Exhibition is back! Our orphan show has found a home at the ArtsHQ in Surprise.  ArtsHQ is a professionally run public gallery that is staffed and operated by experts in the field.  It is a wonderful opportunity and partnership for AAG.

In addition to our programs, workshops, exhibitions, the ARTSTAVAGANZA, and plethora of other activities, the year has been designed to be creative, fun, and inspiring through the sharing of new experiences and ideas.

Save the date – December 8!  The ARTSTRAVAGANZA will have glass blowing, raku ceramics, 3D printing, and alcohol ink projects on different surfaces, along with a buffet dinner and drinks.  I am really excited to have such diverse artistic experiences at AAG!

I am excited about the year and look forward to seeing you at AAG.


Tess Mosko Scherer | President, Arizona Artists Guild
MoskoScherer@ArizonaArtistsGuild.net | 928-300-7185


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Honoring Josie Taglienti






Yesterday I was privileged to honor Josie Taglienti with a Distinguished Member Award for Outstanding Leadership as Chair of Life Drawing.  Josie, an AAG icon, has been around longer than she or I could remember.  Josie was the first person I spoke with at the first AAG meeting I attended.  We squirreled ourselves away in the back studio and talked art, AAG and shared one another’s stories.  Apprehensive of joining the guild, she immediately put me at ease with her gentle nature and warmth.  We have been connected ever since.  I attended life drawing for a long time, chaired the figurative group, and then continued to work closely with Josie when I was treasurer and in my presidency.

Josie set her mind to create a warm environment for life drawing. She wanted attendees to feel at home.  Her Italian heritage dictates that she feed people.  Josie succeeded in nourishing us in body, mind, and spirit.  From the morning spread in the kitchen, to the encouragement she provided, Josie not only succeeded but surpassed her vision.  The artistic growth and expression of ‘the regulars’ is testament to her achievements.

Too many years to count went by in the blink of an eye.  Yesterday, Josie stepped down in a teary farewell.  Finally, we will be able to nourish and encourage her as she makes her way to an easel and joins the group in art making – leaving the stewardship of the group to another (for now it well be Barry Farmer and myself).

With gratitude and a humble heart,


Tess Mosko Scherer
Presidnet, Arizona Aritsts Guild

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As I write this, another AAG year is quickly coming to a close.  I am stunned that it is here so quickly.  The time went by in a blink.  From my perspective, it has been a stellar year.

Distilling our mission down to its core, AAG promotes the visual arts through education, exhibition, and outreach.  Underneath all of that is community.  We are a unique community of artists with common values.  We come together with compassion, creativity, encouragement, and an openness to growing, expressing, and exchanging ideas.  When I speak about AAG people are astounded to hear about what we do, who we are, and how we serve not only one another, but a broader community as well.  There is no other arts organization quite like ours.

I am enthusiastic about the Perennial Picassos, the newest segment of our outreach program that will bloom Sept 20th.  This program will address the changing needs of some of our members and their friends or family members who have lost some or all of their independence due to illness or circumstance, be it temporary or permanently. This program, like the others, has the potential to be cathartic for both the participants and the volunteers who run it.

These past few months I have been thinking about our upcoming anniversary…. 90 years.  It is something to be immensely proud of.  There are few organizations that have been around for as long.  It is something to honor and celebrate, and we will do so in style. Many exciting plans are coming together to make this a celebratory time.  The first is the exhibit at the Sky Harbor Museum (prospectus).  The deadline for entry is  August 10.  We will host a day at the end of July or the beginning of August to assist you with your entry, as it is a mailed-in digital entry.  Stay tuned through eblasts and the website.  If you are not signed up for eblasts you might want to be sure to do so.  This is a great opportunity!  I hope you decide to get involved in planning or participating in some of the other events that will happen throughout the year.  There are many opportunities.  Email me if you have any questions about the exhibit or if you want to volunteer.

This afternoon I attended a memorial service for a dear friend. Lila Bush was 94 and one of the most delightful people I have known, though I only knew her a short while.  We met at a time of her life when her character was fully formed and layered with a patina of a life well lived.

What is remarkable about Lila is that she was remembered for the way she made people feel.  Story after story, the theme remained the same.  I share this not so much to share about this personal loss, I share it to plant a thought that has been rolling around inside me these past few days:  As creatives we master skills to visually give voice to our emotional experiences.  The more honest the expression, the deeper the impact.  The depth of the impact is directly proportionate to the rawness of what is being revealed.  My questions to you is – do you know how your art makes others feel?  And if not, what do you need to do to find out?

All of the art that I love is because of how it makes me feel when I am with it.  That does not diminish or dilute the skills or techniques needed to make it. Quite the contrary, sometimes the awe of the skill is the emotion that is experienced.  Sometimes it is the memory of the person who made it or how it was acquired.  Mostly it is the work itself.

As we bid farewell for the summer, I want to thank you for this opportunity.  I am humbled and grateful to hold this position, and excitedly look to the year ahead.

May the summer treat you kindly and inspire you wildly.


Tess Mosko Scherer, President, Arizona Artists Guild

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the nature of your creativity and role as an artist

Happy Spring!

What a vibrant time of year!   Wildflowers bloom as the landscape awakens from it slumber and the air is abuzz with creative energy and happenings.  Every weekend hosts an arts festival somewhere.  The Canal Convergence in Scottsdale, Spark Festival at Mesa Center for the Arts, Art Detour in downtown Phoenix, Art Expo and the Celebration of Fine Art white tent shows in Scottsdale are just a few that come immediately to mind.

I probably missed more opening than I attended – and I attended a LOT! Congratulations to all of our members and friends of AAG who participated in these events either by organizing or exhibiting. It has been a stellar couple of weeks.

Steven Tepper
photo: Phoenix New Times

In early March, I was fortunate to attend a lecture by Steven Tepper, Dean of Arts and Sciences at ASU.  If you are not familiar with him, you should be.  With sociology degrees from Princeton and Harvard he brings a unique and fresh perspective to the roles of the artist and arts educator. His ideas have become national initiatives, breaking beyond the boundaries of his ASU campus.

Tepper began his talk posing two questions: ‘what is the nature of creativity in our world’ and ‘what is the role of the artist’?  With these questions as the compass, he took us on a historical journey looking at art through the lens of the sociologist.  Essentially, he posed that since the 19th century, art was part of everyday life.  If you wanted to listen to music, you played it. If you wanted to hear Shakespeare, you recited it.  If you wanted pictures of your family or loved ones, you painted them. With industrialization came the gap between us and art as an ‘every-person expression’.  Suddenly, the artist was on a pedestal, the act of making art was idealized and out of reach for the ‘non-artist’.

He shared a lot of data and statistics.  What was interesting to me was that in 1950 there were 250 non-profit arts organization.  Today there is over 100,000. This growth redefined how society viewed art and broadened the gap between society and the artist even more. Today we are poised to see even more change.  As artists we will have to reimagine how we interact with society and how we invite society to interact with our art.

No one can predict what the future will hold.  The present time does not have room for complacency.  That thought takes me full circle to Tepper’s initial questions: ‘what is the nature of creativity in our world’ and ‘what is the role of the artist’?  I would like to reframe those questions to make them a little more personal – ‘what is the nature of your creativity’ and ‘what is your role as an artist’?

Have a wildly creative month,


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