What pops into your mind when you think of Apache Junction? Trailer parks, retirement communities? Biker bars? If your answer was any of the above, you would be correct. If, however, you answered "art," you would also be correct. Apache Junction is a budding arts community. In fact, it is probably one of Arizona's best kept secrets.
During the fall and Spring, the Arizona's cultural calendar is dotted with art walks, shows and festivals. What is little known, however, is how many of those shows take place in the shadow of the Majestic Superstition Mountains, an area that includes Apache Junction (commonly referred to "AJ") and the adjacent community of Gold Canyon.
The Superstition Mountain Museum, located at 4087 N. Apache Trail, will be hosting four "Artist on the Patio" events between September 2012 and February 2013. These art events feature local artists of all genres selling their original art. The museum also sponsors a juried art show in March 2013 that will feature many local accomplished artists selling their art. A full schedule of museum events can be seen at www.superstitionmountainmuseum.org/.
The Artists of the Superstitions (AOTS), a local art guild that boasts over 60 members who live in the shadow of the Superstitions, will be hosting its annual 2-day Artists Studio Tour, which features local artists displaying and selling their art in their home studios. This year's tour, scheduled for Nov. 3-4, will be featuring more than 70 artists in 32 different studios. AOTS also conducts two art shows for their member artists at the Queen Creek Olive Mill, as well as two additional shows in Gold Canyon. These shows present AOTS members an opportunity to sell their art to the general public. Go to www.artistsofthesuperstitions.com/index.html to see a full schedule of AOTS events.
The Superstition Arts & Cultural Alliance (SACA) will be hosting its annual art show Nov. 11 this year as part of the larger annual Festival of the Superstitions (FOTS), which will be held on the grounds of the Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce. Details of the art show can be seen at sacaaj.com and details about the FOTS can be seen at www.festivalofthesuperstitions.com/.
The Gold Canyon Arts Council will be hosting its annual Gold Canyon Arts Festival on Jan. 26, 2013. This year's festival will be showcasing more than 100 local artists offering their art for sale. Go to www.gcartsfest.com/ for details about this popular event.
In case you lost count, that's 12 major art events in the Apache Junction and Gold Canyon area during the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013 where you can purchase some awesome artwork produced by equally awesome local artists. So next time you hear the name Apache Junction, think of it as an arts center where you can purchase art by some of the Valley's most accomplished artists.
Jeffrey Danford is an Apache Junction artist. His work can be seen at pawprintartists.com. You can reach Jeff at 480-292-0815.