‘Double Vision’-Twin Sisters Rock the Old Town Scottsdale Art District with Mixed Media Photography Gallery



Tilt Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale has the unique distinction of being a contemporary fine art gallery that specializes in photographic arts featuring hand-applied processes. The beautiful and engaging gallery tucked inside the bustling Arts District includes the work of many exceptionally talented local, national and international artists. Twin sisters Melanie and Michelle Craven both hail out of the ASU photography program and they have founded and orchestrated a unique gallery where photographers and mixed media artists shine in a brilliant spotlight to both art fans and collectors from around the globe.

Tilt Gallery assistant director Ellee Bokharachi sat down with Scottsdale.com to talk about the gallery and its valued artists. “Tilt Gallery started as a photography-only and we expanded to mixed media,” Bokharachi says. “We include mixed media because it can also be related to photography. For example, with this juried call we are having this month. It is ‘photography re-imagined.’” From Thursday, January 7-30, Tilt Gallery will present “Photography Re-Imagined V-The Artist’s Hand,” an exhibition juried by Holly Roberts. Nearly 400 art pieces were submitted for consideration from all over the world for this exhibition, alone!

Casebeer, You Will See When the Eggs Are Fried, Mixed-Media on Wooden Panels, 2015

Each work of art featured in “Photography Re-Imagined” will include some sort of photographic component. “We want to keep the connection with photography, but we also want to make it varied, different and bigger,” adds Bokharachi, who is also out of ASU with an art history degree. “It originally started with artist Casebeer and that’s where Melanie and Michelle got really interested in mixed media.”

Bokharachi continues, “We really have a very interesting diversified group of art collectors. There are some people who are focused on photography that just want a collection of photographs and there are some people who are more interested in mixed media, and yet we have others that just buy any piece of art that they like and that they get connected to.” Tilt honors and respects formal qualities in photography and art, but also looks for unique and thought-provoking concepts that expand on the traditional styles and sensibilities of art.

Tilt Gallery also places a keen focus on education. Bokharachi says, “We had artist lectures before, but we want to expand that. Each month we have different exhibitions and we have one day where we have an artists’ reception where they come in and have an opportunity to talk to people. We really believe in that conversation. We want to make Tilt a place of conversation and we welcome that.” Tilt will be planning additional artist lectures in the future.

Jenny Lynn, Silver Glove (From the Extrapolations Series), Silver Gelatin

Sisters Melanie and Michelle have a strong background in photography. They have a body of photography work called “Identical Otherness.” “It’s kind of exploring their identity as twins and seeing their similarities and differences,” explains Bokharachi, “I’m trying to talk them into showing it here at the gallery!”

Although Tilt Gallery typically works with a core group of artists, occasionally the door is opened for new talent. “We don’t accept walk-ins with portfolios, but every once in awhile we post on our website that we’re looking for new artists,” states Bokharachi. “Also, every once in awhile we find someone whose work we really fall in love with!”

Jeff Zaruba, Stockholm Street Sculpture, Archival Pigment Ink Print, 2014

Tilt Gallery director Melanie Craven says, “Michelle and I both got our degree of photography at ASU. After that you leave, you have to ask, ‘Where’s my connection? Where’s my camaraderie? Where am I going to find things to keep going?’ We got a space and we were showing a lot of our own work.” Melanie and Michelle originally had their gallery in Phoenix for eight years in a historic home in the Arts District and it grew to include more photographers. “It was important for me to come to Scottsdale because if you have a gallery, this is where you want to be,” Melanie explains. With her sister Michelle, she continues to press education and incorporating unique uses of photography at Tilt Gallery.

Many of the artists at Tilt Gallery use traditional means of photography. “They use the old cameras and light-sensitive substrates… There’s a whole list of different processes,” Melanie finishes. “We’re helping to keep those traditional processes alive.”

Some of the many artists represented at Tilt Gallery include:

  • Betsy Schneider, Knight Rise, Chromogenic Print, 2010Diana H. Bloomfield
  • Melissa Button
  • Casebeer
  • Brenton Hamilton
  • Jenny Lynn
  • Andrea Modica
  • Jim Morris
  • Jean-Claude Mougin
  • France Scully Osterman
  • Mark Osterman
  • Kris Sanford
  • Jennifer Schlesinger
  • Betsy Schneider
  • Aline Smithson
  • Marilyn Szabo
  • Jeff Zaruba

For a complete list of Tilt’s artists, visit www.tiltgallery.com/artist/

Tilt Gallery is located t 7077 E. Main St., Suite 14. Call (602) 716-5667 or visit www.tiltgallery.com for additional information.

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