DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Artlink’s 16th Annual Juried Exhibition presents the work of twenty-six exceptional Arizona artists. A panel of three jurors from the Arizona arts community chose the exhibition pieces from over fifty submissions. This year’s jurors included Phoenix Art Museum Director, Jim Ballinger; Phoenix artist, Randy Slack; and avid art supporter, former gallery director, and downtown community advocate, Louise Roman.
The twenty-six artists featured in this year’s show are AztecSmurf, Malena Barnhart, Chris Boyd, Ryan Carey, Samuel Dahl, Mary Helsaple, Jeff Jones, Maggie Keane, Peter Brian Klein, Lindsay Kraemer, Constance McBride, William Mullins, Lisa O’Riley, Sandra Ortega, Rockford Orvin, Amanda Phipps, Alicia Robles, Julio Rodarte, Jill Roig, Patricia Sannit, Stacie Schimke, Ingrid Shults, Edward Taylor, Lucretia Torva, A.O. Tucker, and Joan Waters.
The top three selections will be announced at the Opening Reception, this Thursday, September 4 from 6 – 10 p.m.
“This year’s exhibition is extraordinary. We were inspired by the diversity of submissions we received from so many talented Arizona artists. We’re looking forward to sharing this amazing show in the iconic Icehouse white column gallery,” said Sarah Levi, Vice President of Artlink.
The show will remain in place at The Icehouse, 429 W. Jackson Street (Jackson and 5th Ave.), throughout the month of September 2014. The exhibition will be open during the Opening Reception on the Thursday, September 4 from 6 – 10 p.m. (with refreshments provided by Phoenix Ale Brewery); on First Friday, September 5; and Third Friday, September 19, also from 6 – 10 p.m.
About Artlink Artlink, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, business and the public to better understand, appreciate and support a thriving arts community in downtown Phoenix. Artlink supports a variety of community-based art events. Ongoing community projects include support of the First Fridays Art Walk, the country’s largest self-guided gallery tour; Downtown Arts Tours, specially selected guided gallery tours; the year-round Pop Up Gallery Program; an annual Juried Exhibition; the annual Art d’Core Gala, and the annual Art Detour self-guided tour, featuring open studios, pop-up galleries, family-friendly art experiences and more. Artlink’s year-round activities are supported by Downtown Phoenix, Inc., City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, CityScape, APS, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Art Museum, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix Convention Center, Dunn Transportation, The Torosian Foundation, Valley Metro, 12 News, City of Phoenix Aviation Department, Support Sky Harbor Coalition, Gammage & Burnham, Attorneys at Law, Arizona Center, Downtown Voices Coalition, Downtown Phoenix Journal , Invexi Web Development, Simply Adam Mann, Roosevelt Row CDC, and the Grand Avenue Merchants Association.
Ed note: DPJ publisher Catrina Kahler is President of Artlink Inc.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
7th Avenue Streetscape – Call to Literary Arts Teaching Artists
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture is seeking two (2) experienced and accomplished Literary Arts Teaching Artists to work with a classroom of youth to write poems that broaden public thinking about reuse, recycling and a greener environment. The poems will be featured as part of an annually-changing outdoor exhibition of poetry and art at 7th Avenue and West Glenrosa Street.
Literary Arts Teaching Artists will lead 6-8 workshops with students (ages 10-18) to create poems that will be read at a culminating community event and exhibition at the Public Art Program’s 7th Avenue site of changing art and poetry panels. Literary Arts Teaching Artists chosen for this project will be expected to:
- Work with the special recycling initiatives of the City of Phoenix Public Works Department to develop a project curriculum.
- Teach creative writing and build mentoring relationships with young people.
- Develop poems that feature student writing on the topic of recycling and a greener environment.
- Select poems to include in the art panels displayed at the 7th avenue site.
- Participate in a community poetry reading of works created during the project.
- Use assessment and evaluation tools given to document impact of residency.
Selected works will be enlarged and displayed on three double-sided translucent Lexan panels at the project site. A graphic designer will be hired to design the layout of each poem and panel. The Office of Arts and Culture will purchase reproduction rights, not the original works created through this project. The city will retain rights to reproduce the art and poetry on the Lexan panels and use them for promotional and educational purposes.
The Office of Arts and Culture encourages applicants to visit the site at Seventh Avenue and West Glenrosa Street to view the current art panels. A project description is also available online at https://www.phoenix.gov/arts/public-art-program/public-art-tours/7th-avenue-streetscape.
There will be a presubmittal meeting held on September 11, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Burton Barr Library auditorium, 1st floor, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004.
To learn more about this project please go to www.phoenix.gov/solicitations/93. For more information about this project please contact Jeanine Garcia, Public Art Project Manager at email@example.com, 602-534-5084. Go towww.phoenix.gov/arts to learn more about the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, or call 602-262-4637.
Image courtesy of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.
This cool street art project caught our eye and we definitely wanted to share it with you, so we reached out to the artist, Pete Petrisko, to get the scoop on what it all means.
Shiny Happy People Happening is a city-centered conceptual art street project, where anybody can “experience tomorrow’s art of downtown livin’… today” by spotting one (or more) of 93 silver and gold one-inch figures, semi-permanently attached to our urban landscape throughout downtown Phoenix. There is no specific list of locations, just this loose direction: “(From) Jackson to Roosevelt Streets, between the 7s (Ave/St).”
But for those who like spoilers: the fewest number are nearest the 7th Ave/Jackson corner, and the sculptural “population density” increases as you approach downtown center (which, for the sake of argument, let’s say is somewhere near Chase Tower) and/or when you near higher “pedestrian traffic” areas.
While everybody loves the street art you can see from a block away in downtown Phoenix, let’s not forget the joys of finding art that’s literally hidden in plain sight. Providing a more detailed map would kind of defeat that purpose. As far as where they could be sitting or standing, discovery is often found in the urban details.
Remember, one-inch folks will avoid actual benches and public walkways, because they don’t want to be accidentally crushed by a giant! However, just look around. Where on or near buildings, or other urban objects in our downtown-scape, might they be… hidden in plain sight?
There are no exact answers, but the best plan might include bringing a child with you. They are much better at spotting tiny shiny objects than your average adult, and this public art is family-friendly because the fun of “discovery in the details” has no age limit!
Shiny Happy Factoids
Total number of new sculptural residents downtown: 93
Time spent to install ‘em: Four hours
Cost of project: Under twenty bucks
With the above helpful hints and useless factoids in mind, you might be asking yourself, “Is this downtown adventure for me?” “Are pictures allowed?” or “Didn’t I read about something like this in Mary Norton’s The Borrowers?”
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Is this a memorial to artists migrating out of downtown as their actually-affordable-to-artists housing options dwindle?” or even “Does this have anything to do with culture becoming an ornament for gentrification, like in Jamming the Gentrification Machine: A Manifesto?”
Or, more likely you’re thinking, “Why are you telling me this? Did I ever even once claim to be a fan of conceptual art of any kind?”
These are all excellent questions. The short answer is “Quite possibly.”
And it’s the best possible answer when the spectacle of Shiny Happy People Happening awaits discovery!
Photos by Pete Petrisko.
As summer moves toward autumn, don’t miss a final opportunity to catch Actors Theatre’s very funny two-play repertory before it slips away. Presented at the Helen K Mason Performing Arts Center, The Cottage by Sandy Rustin continues through August 10, while The Book Club Play by Karen Zacarías ends its run August 17.
By scheduling performances throughout June, July, and August, Producing Artistic Director Matthew Wiener deliberately bucked a common misconception about Valley audiences. “There used to be this kind of prevailing wisdom that everyone left Phoenix in the summer…that’s why no one did anything,” says Wiener. “And that’s just not true. I mean, a lot of people take vacations and holidays but they don’t go away for 12 weeks.”
“Actors Theatre is trying to actively reinvent after leaving the Herberger, which was a shock to our system,” he continues, “and I think this summer program is one way that we’re trying to stay vital and relevant and exciting and important to the community.”
According to Wiener, the strength of the company’s performances lies in strong casting. “They’re just marvelous performers,” he says. “I was actually trying to cast both shows together…the characters seemed to line up…and so I started kind of making up my fantasy football.” Wiener laughs. “It was like fantasy casting, and I pretty much got my first choice — my first draft.”
He explains, “I was really looking for actors who are very flexible, who could manage the language — because the language of both plays is pretty challenging — and people who I thought would get along well for 10 weeks.” Weiner continues, “These are very long contracts for the actors…and it was important to me that we work with all local people.” He adds with a smile, “I think I just got really, really lucky.”
Both plays feature Maren Maclean, who’s performed for Phoenix Theatre, Southwest Shakespeare Company, and Verse Theatre Manhattan. Joseph Kremer, who starred in a potent Actors Theatre production of A Steady Rain last season, joins Angelica Howland — familiar from performances with Phoenix Theatre, Stray Cat Theatre, and Childsplay — and Tyler Eglen, an actor-educator with a diverse background in theater and science. Ian Christiansen of Southwest Shakespeare, Stray Cat, and Phoenix Theatre rounds out the cast with recent ASU graduate Alexis Green.
“I think they’re all lovely,” says Wiener, “and they all have different moments.” He points out, “Maren, who plays Ana [in The Book Club Play] — she really has to run the gamut of emotionality. And we actually worked on that, because…you want it to be emotionally truthful, but by the same token you don’t want it to get so deep and horrifying that you can never work yourself out of it.” Wiener smiles. “Because after all they have to live happily ever after — it’s a comedy.”
The Book Club Play delves into the dynamics of a long-running book club, with plenty of shocking revelations and laughably realistic interplay. “I think it’s fun when they talk about the ‘homoerotic undertones of Moby Dick,’ [and] making fun of Twilight,” says Wiener. He explains that the play began as a more satirical, hard-hitting piece until Zacarías — the experienced, award-winning author of The Bare-chested Man, Looking for Roberto Clemente, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, and an adaptation of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents – reworked it.
“I think it’s a testament to the writing, and the fact that it’s been rewritten several times,” he says. “Karen is a very careful writer — the language is very specific. And I just have an amazing ‘A’ team up there.”
The Cottage, on the other hand, is pure farce written by actress Sandy Rustin, who created the Off-Broadway sketch comedy musical Rated P (for parenthood). “It has some of the style of Nöel Coward,” says Wiener. “It’s informed by that kind of English aristocracy or English wit.” He adds, “It’s not an earth-shattering piece of theater, but it’s pretty damn funny for an hour and a half.”
“Right now there’s a fair amount of dialogue in the theater industry about the lack of women’s plays being produced,” Wiener continues, “and it’s something odd going on that we’re so far away from parity. But Actors Theatre has traditionally done a lot of plays by women.” He says with a laugh, “Maybe there’s just something about the voices that I enjoy — I grew up in a house filled with women; I live in house filled with women.”
Actors Theatre also presents That’s Life: From Sinatra to Sondheim on August 10, featuring Kristen Drathman, Rusty Ferracane and Craig Bohmler performing standards from the Great American Songbook and Broadway, including tunes by Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Stephen Sondheim, and more.
Look for a future DPJ story previewing Actors Theatre’s upcoming 2014-2015 season, which includes Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar, Sharr White’s Annapurna, Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss, and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.
If you go:
- Troupe: Actors Theatre at www.actorstheatrephx.org or 602-253-6701
- General admission
- Venue: The Helen K Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington
(nearby free parking available)
Human beings rely on all kinds of tools to survive in our complex world and a good map is one of our most basic tools for understanding where we are and where we want to go. Maps help us get our bearings, step confidently into unfamiliar territory, and discover hidden byways and shortcuts through the larger landscape.
In an urban environment, a good map is a welcome mat inviting us into the unique neighborhoods that make up the specific landscape of that city. Public transportation and easy-to-use destination maps make perfect partners for pedestrians who want to experience the true spirit of a city.
Recognizing this, Valley Metro developed new destination maps, which were installed at light rail stations in late spring. Hillary Foose, Valley Metro’s Director of Marketing & Communication, spearheaded the initiative by partnering with the City of Phoenix, Artlink, Inc. and Local First Arizona to provide a unique level of local neighborhood-specific detail that would communicate the rich destination options just steps beyond each station.
She was looking for what urbanists refer to as the “fine grain” elements of the city to provide a richer sense of place for residents and visitors alike.
“We wanted destinations to be very local,” said Foose. “That’s what makes our system interesting; we can point people to the local gems that they can walk to from each station.”
The new maps are easy to read, and each station features a “you are here” circle showing the destinations within a five-minute walk of that station. And the plan is to update the maps twice a year. Very cool.
In addition to these station maps, Valley Metro has gone the extra mile to link residents and visitors to the many arts and culture destinations accessible from the system.
The Valley Metro Arts & Culture Destination Guide was published in March and features fifty destinations between Phoenix and Mesa.
Each page of the guide features a simple map highlighting each station stop and the major cultural attractions within easy walking distance. There are photos, venue descriptions and contact info that make it easy to use and more valuable than a compass for those who want to explore all of their arts and culture options.
Savvy visitors from around the Valley and beyond can use the station maps in combination with the Arts & Culture Destination Guide to explore, shop, eat, and experience what makes our corner of the world so special.
Next time you use the light rail, take a minute to download an Arts & Culture Destination Guide and scope out the station destination maps before you step off the platform and venture out into the hood. You’ll be amazed at the urban treasures you’ll discover in your own backyard.
Images courtesy of Valley Metro