Scott Biersack: 2014 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Design (VIDEO)

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Katrina Montgomery
Skateboards are just one of the many places Scott Biersack leaves his mark
You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives, and the results are in. Introducing our 2014 Big Brain finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award announcement and Artopia on April 25, Jackalope Ranch and Chow Bella will introduce the finalists. Up today: Scott Biersack.

Scott Biersack's unbridled enthusiasm for the world is contagious. He says his work is a reflection of himself, and with the gushing positivity inherent in the painted and chalked phrases that adorn the walls of his small apartment in South Phoenix, we are inclined to believe him.


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Tickets on Sale Now for New Times' Artopia at Phoenix's Bentley Projects

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Andrew Pielage
A scene from Artopia 2013.

It's gonna be big.

Artopia, we mean. It's New Times annual arty bash where winners of the Big Brain Awards are announced.

And tickets to this year's party are on sale now.

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New Times' Artopia Party Presale Tickets on Sale Now

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New Times
A scene from Artopia 2013 at Monarch.

The Big Brains are coming.

We'll profile the 15 finalists and their creative endeavors on Jackalope Ranch and Chow Bella in the next few weeks. From that group of up-and-comers, five winners will be announced (and awarded with $500) at Bentley Projects on Friday, April 25, during New Times' Artopia, an evening celebrating art, food, fashion, drinks and music.

And presale tickets to the party are available now.

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Big Brain Update: Artist Thomas Greyeyes

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Viki Eagle
Thomas Greyeyes won a Big Brain Award in 2012.
Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Thomas Greyeyes.

Thomas Greyeyes won a Big Brain Award in 2012 for his art, which explores his Native American identity and how it collides with life in Phoenix. Since winning, he's continued pulling his Navajo culture into his creative endeavors, pursuing activist work, digging into history, and taking his work to a larger audience.


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Big Brain Update: Phoenix Playwright Kim Porter

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Courtesy of Kim Porter
Kim Porter won a Big Brain Award in 2011.
Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Kim Porter.

Kim Porter wants to do something new this year.

The playwright is planning to push her story about strangers trying to not fall for each other, The Condom, to the max. Maybe it'll be a movie. Maybe a novel. Mostly though, Porter wants to see how far she can take it. That's what the writer said when we caught up with her via e-mail. Well that, and how jazzed she is on Arizona's growing storytelling scene.

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Big Brain Update: Artist Joseph "Sentrock" Perez

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Courtesy of Sentrock
One of Sentrock's latest works.
Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Joseph "Sentrock" Perez.

Joseph "Sentrock" Perez may have moved to Chicago since winning a Big Brain Award in 2011, but the artist's presence in Phoenix hasn't waned. He returned to town for "Generations: Inspiration of Bird City," a group show at Willo North that featured work of his alongside that of Martin Moreno and Luis Gutierrez. And he has plans for another show in his hometown: a must-see exhibition at Palabra in May.

But that's not all he has in the works.

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Big Brain Update: Phoenix Graphic Designer and Artist Safwat Saleem

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Ryan Lash
Big Brain Award winner Safwat Saleem has a few collaborative projects in the works.
Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Safwat Saleem.

For Safwat Saleem, sleep is overrated.

The artist, graphic designer, and filmmaker just-plain doesn't have time for eight hours a night. That's because the 2011 Big Brain Award winner has been hard at work on plenty of projects -- both collaborative and his own.


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"Urban Legend" Award Celebrates Creative Phoenix Pioneers in Honor of New Times' Fifth Big Brain Awards

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2014 Big Brain Awards are almost here.
Last week we announced the finalists for Phoenix New Times' 2014 Big Brain Awards.

Today we're back with another announcement. In celebration of the fifth Big Brain Awards (time flies, huh?) -- an honor that recognizes emerging creatives just beginning their careers -- New Times has decided to also give awards to five community leaders who have fostered local talent, mentored young artists, and are hard at work making Phoenix a better place to live.

Call them elder statesmen. We prefer Urban Legends. And they are:


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Big Brain Update: Phoenix Performer and Activist Dulce Juarez

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Daniel Palomino
Dulce Juarez combines art and activism.
Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Dulce Juarez.

You might call Dulce Juarez a two-for-one.

The performer and activist transitions between (and blends) the worlds of art and politics in compelling and creative ways. That's a major reason why she won a Big Brain Award in 2012 for her work in the field of performing arts.

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Big Brain Update: Designer and Illustrator Jon Ashcroft

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Courtesy of Jon Ashcroft
Designer Jon Ashcroft is on the move.
Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Jon Ashcroft.

Jon Ashcroft's on the move.

The illustrator and designer won a Big Brain Award in 2012 and moved to Seattle soon after. Since then, he's ventured back several times -- only to see Phoenix continue growing as a Southwest art hub.


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