To celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 152nd birthday, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is hosting its first Discovery Day, sponsored by Comerica.
On June 8, the community is invited to explore Taliesin West, participate in activities and demonstrations from foundation staff members and enjoy live entertainment and pop-up shops from local artisans — all free of charge.
Through Discovery Day, the foundation hopes to reintroduce Taliesin West and itself to the community.
“Many people drive past the entrance of the property at Frank Lloyd Wright and Cactus and have no idea that there is an architectural marvel just a mile farther down the road,” said foundation spokesman Kevin Conley, adding:
“The physical spaces are not the only thing that we want to highlight. We have programs and resources that are designed to show visitors of all ages and backgrounds what Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas were and how they can be relevant to our daily lives today.”
For example, the Licensing Department will teach attendees about their new print-on-demand program, which allows visitors to enjoy Wright-inspired textiles and discover design options for their own home.
“We have a diverse array of innovative, eco-friendly, sustainably-produced products that we’ll introduce over the next year, and we encourage everyone to come to Discovery Day for a sneak peek at some of the products and to learn more about what we have in the works for the upcoming year,” said Stephanie Pierotti, foundation vice president of licensing.
The foundation announced in March the launch of new product-licensing initiatives in an effort to “create more of a lifestyle brand,” Curbed reported at the time.
In November, it began selling hundreds of Wright-inspired home decor, furniture and other products on Amazon.
Pierotti said they have received a “fantastic” response from Wright enthusiasts regarding the collection on Amazon — so much that they plan to double the amount of items available before the fall, with a strong focus in the home decor and apparel product categories.
“The home decor items are the best-sellers, such as table runners and throw pillows,” Pierotti said.
Pierotti added that the first phase of the print-on-demand program will officially launch the first week in June on ShopVida.com and will include items such as silk scarves, women’s wraps, ties, pocket squares, serving plates and candles.
The second phase will launch the first week of August on Spoonflower.com, with wallpaper and fabric by-the-yard on 20 different types of fabric; and on Roostery.com, with 60 different home decor products, including duvet covers, sheets, throw pillows, curtain panels and tablecloths.
“All of these items will be available on Amazon as well, and we will continue to make more of Frank Lloyd Wright’s artwork available through these programs throughout the next few years,” she said.
The Licensing Department portion is just one small part of Discovery Day, however.
At Discovery Day, visitors will also get an inside look into the challenges and techniques of the Preservation Department, where they will learn how technology can be used to analyze material composition and methods of degradation involving wood, finishes and masonry – among other things.
At the Pop-Up Shop, guests can purchase items created by local artisans, like Arlee Kasselman Jewelry, Jodi Bombardier Jewelry, WhenLifeGivesURocks by Teri Welsch, Loving Earth Pottery by Calvin Hiser and RK3 Handcrafted Fine Arts.
Hands-on activities include a bridge-building lab and a cyanotype photographic printing workshop with the Education Department.
For those who want to rest their feet and have a seat, they can watch classic films at Taliesin West.
Films include “The Wizard of Oz” and the 2017 BBC documentary, “Frank Lloyd Wright: The Man Who Built America.”
Visitors can also view some of the Box Projects — gifts made by apprentices and Fellowship members on Wright’s birthday and at Christmas — from collections.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members will also receive exclusive access to the Garden Room.
The foundation spent a year planning Discovery Day.
It was championed and led by events director Kate Hastings, “who has had the vision of creating more events on our unique campus to engage our local community,” Conley said.
He added that, at the very least, they expect the community to gain an awareness of the Foundation’s work and Taliesin West.
“Ideally, we want the community to see us as a place they can return to, for learning and engaging in Wright’s ideas,” Conley said.
For guaranteed entry, make advance reservations at franklloydwright.org.