Concert Week at PVCC: April 29th - May 3rd, 2019

Join us for for four nights of free music performed by our Spring ensemble students. This week at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts, it’s Spring 2019 Concert Week!

Last Week of "Expectations" Photography Exhibit In the CPA Gallery

Photography faculty Kip Sudduth along with students from classes ART 131, 142, 143, 234, and 290 have put together a show emphasizing creative vision in photography. Hanging in the CPA gallery till March 18th, 2019, the theme is organized around this quote:

Photography’s supposed objectivity has dominated the evaluation of its role in the arts for almost a century and a half […] The most important control is, of course, the creative photographer’s vision.

-from History of Photography


Artist Statement

“The artistic quality of photography has been the discussion of countless critics and artists since its discovery in the early part of the 19th century. Visualization is the most important aspect of art-making: past, present and future.

I believe this visualization process encourages the active participation of the viewer as well as the artist. Dynamic photographic design acts as a visual catalyst for overall participatory art satisfaction.

This exhibit reprints my students’s and my overall expectation with the art-making process and that satisfaction.”

Kip Sudduth, PVCC Photography Faculty

A Nostalgic Project for David Bradley's Ceramic Students


This spring professor David Bradley tasked his ceramics students to create sculptures of cherished childhood friends. Taking the form of pets, toys and stuffed animals, the works are on now on display in the PVCC Buxton Library. 




PVCC Student Roxanne Saccketti wins Women's Orchestra of Arizona Composition Competition

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Paradise Valley Community College Honors student Roxanne Saccketti has been selected as the first winner of the Women’s Orchestra of Arizona’s Composition Competition for her string orchestral piece, Second Thoughts, written as a class project for Music Composition (MTC 240) with the guidance of her instructor Dr. Christopher Scinto.  It will be premiered at WOA’s concert The Wright Notes:  Architectural Music at Taliesin West on May 13th, 2018.

Maricopa Community College opportunities have changed her life as she prepares to change the life of others with the gift of music
Roxanne Saccketti, Winner of the Women's Orchestra of Arizona's Composition Competition

Roxanne Saccketti, Winner of the Women's Orchestra of Arizona's Composition Competition

In the Fall of 2015, Roxanne began driving from Prescott, Arizona, where she lives, to study for a Certificate in Electronic Music at the Maricopa Colleges and is simultaneously studying for an Associates Degree at Yavapai College in Prescott.  This semester she is working on her fifth Honors course in the Maricopa Colleges and has been accepted into Rio Salado’s Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Program to become certified to teach K-12 music.  Once certified and employed, she will work to earn her Master’s in Music Education.  Maricopa Community College opportunities have changed her life as she prepares to change the life of others with the gift of music.

Where synthesizer, drums and flute meet

She sings several parts in groups according to whatever is needed (1st Soprano, 2nd Soprano, 1st Alto, 2nd Alto, and Mezzo Soprano), writes in several genres, and records music.  Each week she takes private lessons in percussion and violin.  Her primary instruments are:  synthesizer, drums, and flute.  She began violin lessons in 2016 with Dr. Philip Kuhns at Yavapai College, who also provided guidance with her composition and advised her regarding the necessary bowings.  The other instruments she plays are:  fifes, piccolo, recorder, clarinet, MIDI Wind Controller, rhythm guitar, and piano.  This semester at Paradise Valley she is drumming for Jazz Combo.  At Yavapai College, she has played percussion for Concert Band, sang a solo in Community Chorale, and sang in Master Chorale.  In the Fall of 2018 she plans on continuing with Master Chorale and also playing flute in Symphonic Band.

The versatility of electronic music  

Throughout her life Roxanne has volunteered and performed in music.  In the Prescott area she sings for the Prescott Pops Chorus, sings and plays instruments for several occasions in the community, churches, and was an Acker Musician last year.  Currently she is volunteering with the PUSD middle school orchestras.  She has mentored middle school students in churches in voice, vocal ensembles, special music, violin and flute and has taught flute private lessons to middle school students.  

The music she loves writing best is all groove-based, due to the versatility of electronic music.  At Paradise Valley, Professor Anthony Obr has been challenging Roxanne to grow in her ability to write music technology papers for her Honors projects.  In May of 2018, she will have completed Electronic Music I, II, and III Honors- all by submitting proposals for her Honors contracts.

Building and developing skills as a composer

The Honors Achievement Award Program has enhanced Roxanne’s study of music as she prepares for the future.  All of her instructors have been excellent and have encouraged her by their example- both as instructors and contributors to the community.  Winning WOA’s competition motivates her to continue to build and develop more skills as a composer.

The Wright Notes:  Architectural Music at Taliesin West

May 13th, 2018

Performed inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Taliesin Community Auditorium, an acoustically intimate performance space.

For tickets, click here.  


Illusions of Depth Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 ART113 Color class has once again created illusions of depth on the sidewalks of the PVCC campus. Using strategies of color and composition such as overlapping, diminishing scale, color atmosphere, vertical placement and receding color, the students have created a series of surprising troupe l’oeil images that interrupt viewers’ perception of depth as the encounter the normally mundane concrete sidewalk.

Students in this year’s project are: Phil Anderson, Zoe Cano, Amber Dairymple, Kylie Eckert, Alexandra Kirk, Michael O’Harra, Chase Ortega

The group works from 5:30 to about 8:00 pm to create their image from a previously designed mock-up created in class.

Fall 2017 Jazz Ensembles at PVCC

The Music Department at PVCC is excited to offer several new and unique music-making opportunities focused on JAZZ MUSIC for Fall 2017. Courses are for students of all ages and abilities. Ensemble classes begin September 4th. 


JAZZ COMBO · Monday 4-6pm

BIG BAND · Monday 7-9pm


THE PVCC NONET · Wednesday 7-950pm

LATIN JAZZ COMBO · Thursday 7-850pm

See course descriptions + register at · Search for MUP (Music Performance)

PVCC's Singer-Songwriter Tribute: Meet the Singers

PVCC is proud to present A Musical Tribute to SINGER-SONGWRITERS on Friday, June 2nd at 7:30pm. Performed by the Union32 All-Star Band with dynamic singer-songwriters Ciara Cisneros, Cameron DeGurski, Janae Dunn, Micah Lukas, Alex Mullins, Ally Owens, and Callie Young.

Featuring music from some of greatest singer-songwriters from the 1970s through today, including James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks, Ryan Adams, George Ezra, Vance Joy and much more!

All proceeds from this concert will benefit the Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock to PVCC Pathway Scholarship Fund. Held at the Center for Performing Arts, Admission is $6-$10.  


Ciara Cisneros

Inspired by:

Heart, Kaki King, Pink, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Hosier, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters

I got my first taste of performing as a singer in a 6th grade talent show and have loved it ever since. Two years later I found another passion: playing guitar. I'm currently writing my own music and performing at local venues around the valley. I hope to release my first EP by the end of the year or in early 2018. I am beyond excited to be playing with the faculty musicians. I was very fortunate to perform at PVCC during the Alice Cooper Proof in the Pudding contest and at the Festival of Tales, which both took place last year. Both experiences were fabulous, from the beautiful venue to the amazing people at PVCC. I can't wait to see everyone at this show and all for a GREAT cause!

There is nothing like jamming with other musicians who also love music and then connecting with an audience. It blows my mind every time!


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Cameron DeGurski

Inspired by:

Ryan Adams, Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Emily King, D'Angelo, Bill Withers, Justin Pierre

"I'm not going to play anything I can't pour my heart into." 

Straightforward, honest, and un-apologetically raw, Arizona-native Cameron DeGurski (say it with me - "dee" "grr" "ski") doesn't mind baring his soul behind the microphone. He's a self-proclaimed "purveyor of sounds and feels." 

With a style that incorporates elements of folk, soul, grunge, and even alt-country, a genre-specific definition is hard to come by for DeGurski, something he takes pride in. Listeners can find shades of Ryan Adams, Chris Cornell, David Gray, and Bill Withers peeking through in his performances. One word that everyone can agree on? Emotion. 

"I'd rather play something that exudes emotion, and make an audience feel something, ANYTHING, than regurgitate the tunes you can play in any jukebox, at any bar in town. If you want the jukebox, I'll give you a quarter. If you want to share some energy, and leave feeling a little more human, 'I'm your Huckleberry.'"

 I've been a student at ASU, GCC, and I even did a small stint in culinary school - but I've never felt as involved or as much a part of a community as I do here at PVCC. I truly enjoy coming to class and interacting with the other students and faculty. PVCC has really cultivated something special, and I'm glad to be a part of it.


Janae Dunn

Inspired by:

Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Birdy

Janae Dunn is an independent singer-songwriter, and actress in the valley. She has been singing since she could talk, and begun making up my own little ditties shortly after that, and it all blossomed from there. She creates music about promoting self-love, mending heartbreak, and how to navigate the surprises of this rollar-coaster we all call life. Music is much like therapy in some ways for Janae, for it always works as a vessel to unlocking and understanding the emotions and complexities lying within her heart. She thanks God everyday for the creation of music, its incredible power, and the abilities to do it and pursue it. 

I am all about lyrics to a song first: the metaphors and painting pictures and feelings with words. I am super excited to get to perform with a live band; I always love seeing other passionate artists living out their love for music. It's a perfect example of the beautiful power music has in the world and in bringing people together.


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Alex Mullins

Inspired by:

U2, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, The Killers, Queen, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen

Alex Mullins is a 23-year-old singer/songwriter from Phoenix Arizona. Alex has been playing around Arizona as well as the greater southwest for the past 4 years both solo and with his former band, Alex Mullins and The Royal. After the disbanding of Alex Mullins and The Royal in 2017, Alex resumed his solo career with a folk, funk, soul and pop flare that stays true to his roots from growing up with the ubiquity of Bruce Springsteen, U2 and countless others. He also continues to compose and write for other artists around the country. His debut EP is set to release in the fall of 2017.

It is humbling to play alongside such talented musicians with savant qualities. All the essentials to recording, performing and live sound were instilled in me at PVCC. Performing here is like a small college reunion every time.


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Ally Owens

Inspired by:

Ann Wilson, Joan Jett, Tracey Chapman, Michael Jackson, Guns N Roses, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin

18 year old Ally Owens performs a wide range of music throughout the Valley as a soloist as well as with her band, Second Soulstice. She was the 2013 Prescott Idol winner, 2015 Miss Tempe’s Outstanding Teen and made it to the semi finals of both the 2014 and 2016 Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding Talent Competition as a soloist. Ally also enjoys community service including performing at the St. Vincent de Paul Hearts and Hands monthly event, the Annual Arthritis Walk and Juvenile Arthritis Convention as well as creating a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation called Mocha for Moola - musical event geared to raise funds. She was selected to be a part of the Arizona Ambassadors Choir and this June she will be traveling to Europe performing with the group.

It's always great to work with new musicians and having new learning experiences. I performed at the Festival of Tales at PVCC and it was fun to interact with the kids and help them see how great music is. Performing on the PVCC stage for Proof is in the Pudding was a great experience!


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Callie Young

Inspired by:

Stevie Nicks, Lana Del Rey, Heart

Callie Young is a sixteen-year-old singer/songwriter from Phoenix, Arizona. She plays guitar, ukulele, piano, and has been performing since she was ten. She was a two time finalist in Alice Cooper's Proof is in the Pudding Competition and has been featured on Alice's Taste of Christmas Pudding CD. Callie had the privilege of being able to perform at the 2017 NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center- the biggest music trade show in the nation. She plays all over the valley at concert venues, restaurants, coffee shops, festivals, and so much more! Callie will be recording and EP this summer.

Playing with a band is always such a fun experience. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with my guitar. But having the chance to dance around and use your whole body when you perform is amazing. 


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Student Feature: Taylor Wilson for Women's History Month

The Sustainable Guide to Uterus Ownership | A Lecture by Taylor Wilson

For Spring 2017's Women's History Month, PVCC Fine Arts student Taylor Wilson presented her lecture titled "The Sustainable Guide to Uterus Ownership". Held on March 29th and attended by students of Karen Fehr (health and wellness) and Tatum Voeller (sustainability), Taylor addressed the taboo topic of menstruation. Her lectured called attention to global mistreatment of women and presented sustainable feminine care products such as reusable cloth ads, Thinx brand underwear, and menstrual cups as viable options to pads and tampons. 

Taylor's presentation also brought up a remarkable statistic: "According to flow, the average woman throws away 250-300 pounds of pads and applicators in a lifetime, and considering the average woman menstruates for 38 years, that’s about  62, 415 pounds of garbage!" Taylor discussed the material benefits of switching to sustainable products, "An estimate is that over the course of a lifetime a woman could save $4000 by switching to use of a menstrual cup." 

We got a chance to ask Taylor more about her lecture. She shared with us the motivation for this talk, her experience at PVCC and what she hopes listeners came away with:

What is your major/medium as an art student? 

I work in a way that doesn't restrict me to certain mediums. Really, my process is to work from a concept to whatever medium best represents it. I usually start with some form of interview process where I ask others around me questions related to my topic in order to generate ideas for what will best work.

What motivated you to give this talk? 

I became interested in the topic of menstruation after becoming aware of sustainable menstrual products like the DivaCup, which were a healthier option than what I had been raised to be aware of. In doing research, I discovered many of the stigmas and taboos that women internationally have to deal with that can even prevent them from having access to information about their bodies.

Describe your experience as a PVCC art student.

I have had an amazing experience in PVCC's art program. I came from doing IB Art in high school and needed someplace that would allow me to continue to foster that development and growth with a bit more conceptual rigor than I would find in a basic art class. The classes that I took over the last two years, especially with Adria Pecora, have done that and then some. I've been given to many opportunities to push myself and my work to a place that I would not have been able to achieve on my own, and I am so appreciative of that.

Describe a positive interaction had before, during or after your talk (either with a faculty member or participant).

Many of the questions that I received during my lecture were encouraging in that there were people that were genuinely interested in the new ideas I was presenting, and I received a request to submit an application to teach most of the same information at a local summer camp.

What do yo hope listeners take away from your lecture?

I hope the people that came to hear me speak came away with knowledge that there are more options in the world than just the disposable products we have all been taught to be aware of, and that they are at least willing to try something like a menstrual cup that could save them money and could prevent more non-biodegradable waste from filling landfills and polluting the environment. I also hope that I was able to spread awareness of the need for women in the developing world to have access to information about their bodies and of the taboos that need to be broken in order for them to have a better quality of life.

Taylor Wilson is an interdisciplinary artist currently residing in Phoenix. She is passionate about sharing the art world with the community and using art to foster understanding between others. She has been featured in the Emerging Artist's Exhibition on PVCC's campus in 2017 and received the PVCC Visual Arts Scholarship in 2016. 

Student Feature: David Warner, Visual Arts

We recently sat down with David Warner, PVCC student and visual artist to discuss his work, his experience at PVCC and his creative process. David's colorful, symbolic paintings explore themes of loss and gain, perseverance, and the search for one’s own integrity and truth. He expresses these ideas through a combination of abstract and surreal elements. 



"Taking the Dark to Light"

"Taking the Dark to Light"

When did you know you were an artist?

I started drawing when I was about 3 years old. At the time it was something that I really enjoyed and lost myself in. At one point when I was about 5 or 6 I remember vividly experiencing this physical and spiritual rush of excitement. It was around this point that I realized I loved drawing.  Around the same age I was drawing Biblical stories, scenes from Moby Dick, whales and scenes from movies such as “Jaws”, “Indiana Jones” and others. I was also interested in acting and directing for a long time and that deep passion has stayed with me as I’ve gotten older. 

How did you begin painting?

I first started painting seriously about 4 or 5 years ago. From a very early age I was very invested in drawing with pen and graphite before people started continuously encouraging me to use color in my work (something I was initially resistant to). I first tried oil painting when I was a senior in High School: there one was one night when I decided to bring a canvas and paints home and I painted for about 4 or 5 hours. It was that night that I realized oil painting was my passion. For some reason, the blending, the application and feel of the paint made so much sense to me and I was able to pick up the process very quickly.

"The Plants Never Worry About Blooming"

"The Plants Never Worry About Blooming"

"The Thing That Makes Me Slow Is The Thing that Makes Me Drive"

"The Thing That Makes Me Slow Is The Thing that Makes Me Drive"

Are you attracted to any other visual forms of art?

Yes. Around the same time that I picked up drawing at a young age, movies were another thing that I absolutely loved and obsessed over. To this day, I am a very committed and passionate film-watcher. 

How do you decide what you will paint?

Currently it is something that just comes to me. These days I just sit down in front of the canvas and let it loose. Right now I am invested in bringing several ways of painting something (aesthetically and technically) into a singular painting. Creativity is something that is always there, but on some days I feel it strongly and on other days I struggle to really tap into it. When I first started oil painting around 2012-2013 I would draw and sketch out the idea a few times before I would finally commit it to canvas. For the past year I have been working on a process where I start painting an image that is planned out and I destroy it (usually out of frustration) by painting over it with an abstract field. Once the painting dries, I got to it again and fully flesh out my idea. Sometimes it’ll take a couple of months to fully finish a painting, so I try to have a few going during the same time. My process is always evolving and changing and I try my best to go with it.

"Speaking To You is Like Breathing"

"Speaking To You is Like Breathing"

"Watcher of Thought"

"Watcher of Thought"

What are your influences?

My influences span from movies, music and painting to psychology, spirituality and day-to-day experiences. My earlier influences came from film, but at around the same time I was exposed to painters such as Salvador Dali and Renee Magritte whose work had a tremendous impact on me. For about 3 or 4 years I would hole up in my room and study works by Vincent Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Jean Michel-Basquiat, Henri Matisse, Caravaggio, Pablo Picasso, Milton Avery and Jackson Pollock among many others. Recently, musicians such as Aphex Twin and John Frusciante have profoundly impacted and spurred on the way I express myself. Film directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Mann, John Carpenter and Danny Boyle have always had a special place in my heart. My art professor, Adria Pecora has had a tremendous impact on me during my stay at Paradise Valley Community College. Her versatility, talent and insight as an artist really helped me improve as an artist. She has a way of approaching the creative process and articulating the ideas behind the process that I really admire and look up to.

What is the most difficult aspect of your creative process?

I think that one of the more difficult things about the creative process is not over-thinking it. I have noticed that having expectations for my art is something that does not work for me at this point in my journey. If I approach the canvas with a specific idea that is already mapped out, I struggle to maintain interest. At this point, the creative process has a mind of its own and if I am fortunate enough to organize all of these things in my head without forcing it at the right time, I am truly satisfied. The old cliché “organized chaos” rings true for me. Part of the creative process is relaxing into the frame of mind where thoughts fade and you loosen your grip on control. When you reach that point, the creativity just pours out. So, the difficult part is relaxing and going with it, not against it.

"Past, PRESENT, Future"

"Past, PRESENT, Future"

What is the most rewarding aspect?

Drawing and painting is always something I have done to find a quiet place where everything makes sense to me. As I have gotten older, I have found that the creative process is inseparable from my spirituality and faith. Painting allows me to explore myself spiritually and connect with God. I feel that I can truly explore my thoughts and emotions and express these things through painting and drawing. It's my way of connecting and communicating to other people. At this point in my artistic journey, connecting with other people is the other most rewarding aspect. If I can communicate myself to people and have an emotional reaction and response, I feel that I have done my job as an artist.

"Sea of Frequency"

"Sea of Frequency"

What would you change about your talents if you could?

I still have that voice that comes up and says, “You can do this better, why can’t you do THAT? What is not working in this painting?” I find that that critical voice can really push me to improve as an artist, but I still have to remind myself to appreciate and love what I do paint. I think most artists are like this. I want to find that balance of being objective and improving my craft but also appreciating and loving what I am doing. On a lighter note I would love to be able to play and create music. It is something that I have absolutely no channel to. 

What has been your experience at PVCC?

I have had an absolutely incredible, life-changing experience at this school. For a while I was lost and not sure as to what path to take in my life. All of my classes at this institution have been excellent and I simply enjoy walking the campus and encountering the faculty and fellow students who make this whole experience unique and fulfilling.

"Nostalgic Sadness" 

"Nostalgic Sadness" 

Describe a positive interaction with a PVCC professor.

A couple of years ago I was finally convinced to return to school after years of shrugging it off. I attended SCC and was heading toward a degree in film before I dropped out. I had been lost for about 3 years prior to the decision to return to school. During my first semester at PVCC I attended a life-drawing class taught by Adria Pecora. I was initially terrified and very within myself; I hadn’t been to school in years and I was afraid. Adria from the first week was able to bring out my passion and my desire for learning. She basically opened my mind to all sorts of new possibilities creatively and gave me a support system that to this day I am absolutely grateful for. She has been incredibly helpful and committed to me as a PVCC student. I credit her as being an integral part of my transformation as an artist and as a person. She helped guide me to where I am now. I’ll be attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for my undergraduate degree and she encouraged me to take those steps to achieve that goal. She wrote an amazing letter of recommendation for me and I am very grateful for all of her support. She is an amazing artist, a supportive teacher and a good friend.

"Pain and Pleasure"

"Pain and Pleasure"

Describe the group/community/class environment in your art classes.

I have found that the art classes are THE place to really engage with fellow students. Art is communication. I think the art classes offered at PVCC provide an atmosphere where students can really engage and learn about each other through expression. The whole experience is very enjoyable, supportive and therapeutic. I would highly recommend that even people who are not headed toward a degree in the Art field attend at least one class. There are many opportunities here and the professors are excellent.

You were recently featured in a gallery show at the Center for Performing Arts, how did that feel? 

It felt great to represent my school. Most of my paintings if not all were gathering dust in my room and I was waiting to get them out there for people to see. The only people who were aware of them were my art professors, colleagues, friends and family. To have several of them displayed for a month was a great feeling. I was happy to be in the show alongside other PVCC student artists.

How did you select which pieces to enter?

I kind of knew immediately which pieces I wanted to put in the show, but there was some deliberation between pieces I wasn’t so sure about. I asked my family and friends to choose which pieces they liked best. I didn’t rely absolutely on their opinions, but I did take into account what they had to say. I still struggle sometimes with choosing the pieces for myself rather than relying on critiques and opinions from other people. I do consider art to belong to both the artist and the viewer, so I do take critiques objectively and I try to see how people respond to certain works. Granted, I will never change something in my work because of someone else’s opinion.

What do you hope viewers think or feel when they interact with your work?

As long as a viewer can be intrigued and interested with what I have painted, I am truly happy. I want my art to make people happy. I want people to experience a familiarity to my work that resonates with their own life. I want to connect with people on an emotional level and if I have done that I have done my job as an artist successfully.

"Memories of You"

"Memories of You"