Marc Buckhout/The Foothills Focus

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Carefree gallery offers visitors insight into artistic craft 

MARC BUCKHOUT ~ MANAGING EDITOR~ 12/21/2011

Eddie Sparr looks at bird feeders and sewing machines and sees potential parts for
his next project.
The Cave Creek resident, who displays his work at the East Street Gallery in Carefree, said walking railroad tracks is one of his favorite places to find material. One of his pieces on display, a golfer crouching to read a putt, uses part of a printing press as the spine.
“Sometimes I walk out of my studio saying, I’m going on an arm hunt today,” the welder said. “I tell people what I do is kind of like a Lego set without direction.”
For Robert Hutchinson, who opened Easy Street Gallery earlier this year, Sparr’s creativity and unique works are just the type of art he’s looking to promote.
“I tell people that there are plenty of galleries around where you can get Western art with the cowboys and that sort of thing, but if you want to see some really unique contemporary art we’ve got a bunch of really talented artists in here.”
Hutchinson, an Anthem resident, is a native of Essex, England, who moved to California in 1983 and then to Arizona in 2007.
The abstract acrylic and oil painter, was drawn to open a studio gallery in Carefree because of the pool of talented artists in the area.
“We’ve got six artists that work in here and then we’ve also got the gallery where we have that group as well as other artists on display,” he said.
Hutchinson said that people that visit the gallery, located on Ho Hum Road next to AZ Wine, 100 yards from the Carefree Sundial, are intrigued by the opportunity to watch artists perform their craft.
“For the artists we have 2,000 square feet of space, so it’s a good place to work, but the people love to talk to the artists as well,” he said. “I think people are naturally interested in having a little bit of understanding about what artists are doing. I think it gives them a
greater appreciation and a sense of being able to relate to what we do.”
Hutchinson said that sometimes people get a completely different impression from his works than what he intended.
“That’s okay too,” he said. “As long as they find it meaningful I’m happy.”
Along with having Sparr’s sculptures on display the gallery’s working artists include the likes of Melissa Behr (melissabehr.com), a mixed media artist who combines photographs with spiritual dream-like elements, along with painters Susan Falcon-Hargraves (falcon-hargraves.com), Marty Gibson (martygibson.com), Julia Patterson (juliapattersonart.com) and Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said that he’s still working to get the gallery’s name out in the public eye, but that a variety of different groups have come to visit and the reviews have been unanimously favorable.
“I think we have a very unique mix of artists,” he said.
For Sparr (edsgreenart.com), the move to Cave Creek from Colorado, was at least in part inspired by the artistic community present in Carefree and Cave Creek.
“The Sonoran Arts League has so many fantastic artists,” he said. “Being part of this gallery has been great. It’s a conduit to meet the public and the people who are coming in here are interested in art. This gallery is a unique, growing destination to visit.”

Easy Street Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday. For information go to easystreetartgallery.com or call 480-656-4446.