‘Flirting with the Desert’ art exhibit opens at Scottsdale Public Art

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Arizona is known for its sprawling landscapes featuring mountains, cacti and the Grand Canyon. Scottsdale Public Art’s newest exhibition, “Flirting with the Desert,” features Arizona scenery in a new light.

We were joined by Koryn Woodward Wasson, the artist behind the exhibit. Her artwork showcases the state in the bright, bold colors of the state’s flowers.

Wasson explained her “crush” on the Arizona desert and how she constantly thinks about the desert throughout the day. 

“A crush is for me a love that you think about kind of all day long, and so I’m thinking about the desert when I wake up in the morning, when I’m out in my car, when I’m in my backyard, when I’m in my front yard, and I’m always kind of waiting for the next time I get to see the desert,” said Wasson. 

Wasson grew up in the Tempe-Chandler area where there were horses, sheep and property that weren’t elements of the desert. 

Her brother-in-law introduced her to all different kinds of plants, which began a strong passion for the desert and the art itself. 

“I was kinda kept from it. It wasn’t until I became somebody who wanted to have the desert in my own life. My brother-in-law actually introduced me to all of his plants and just showed me each individual thing, and I fell in love with the prickly pear, the barrel cactus, the saguaro and saw the beauty in that,” said Wasson. 

Wasson uses photographs taken by her to help her create different art pieces and see a vision. 

Wasson lost her dad six years ago from skin cancer. She continues her passion in art for her dad and dedicates her artwork to him. 

“I lost my dad in 2018 to skin cancer, and I made a show for him to mark the one-year anniversary of his passing in 2019, and I wrote a collection of 15 stories to go about our time alongside the work I made. Now I just continue to make work about him and for him and the appreciation he gave me,’ said Wasson. 

Koryn Woodward Wasson, artist

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