An ephemeral Art Detour pop-up space reveals long-covered DeGrazia murals and showcases plans for a new Lauren Lee mural.
Iconic Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia is most widely remembered for his commercially popular paintings of large-eyed children, faceless angels, and Southwestern-themed imagery. But two murals he left behind in downtown Phoenix—hidden under protective sheetrock for years—reveal a glimpse of DeGrazia’s other subjects, and his unique mark on the community.
“A lot of times, DeGrazia would go into a place and someone would say to him, ‘Oh, here’s a sandwich and a pitcher of beer,’ you know, ‘Would you paint me a picture?’ and he’d do it for lunch,” says DeGrazia Foundation Executive Director Lance Laber. “Now, this is a pretty extensive mural, so I know he didn’t do it for lunch,” he continues with a laugh. “This mural is 12 feet tall and it’s 40 feet long.”
Laber is describing a mural covering a large expanse of interior wall at 222 E. Roosevelt in the former greenHAUS Gallery. “The establishment was a bar,” he says, and explains that the murals were most likely painted around 60 years ago. “….They go along with the way DeGrazia’s style was in the ‘50s.”
On the Roosevelt walls, a smaller mural shows a dancer twirling in a glass, while the huge 40-foot work depicts scenes of alcohol production, from loincloth-clad figures gathered around a cauldron to a hillbilly moonshine still. “Everybody’s making some kind of booze,” says Laber. “That seems to be the theme of the mural.” Both pieces feature opaque greenish-turquoise backgrounds, and while the dancer is painted on drywall attached to wood studs, the alcohol scenes were applied directly to a very thin layer of plaster adhering to a double- brick wall.
For years, the artwork was covered and protected by sheetrock and Laber learned about the murals when building owner Baron Properties contacted the DeGrazia Foundation back in September 2014. “I had never seen anything by DeGrazia that looked like that—truly amazing,” says Laber. “The murals are kind of old…they’re a little faded from time, but they’re very interesting.”
“We learned of the two pieces as we were conducting our due diligence to buy the property,” says Baron partner Scott Fisher. “We called Lance [Laber] to understand what the murals were and what they stood for and their importance.” He continues, “We wanted to do the right thing and…donate the paintings, so that’s why we called the DeGrazia Foundation.” Baron has owned property in the Valley since 2004 and intends to build a new building on the Roosevelt site, but the company has worked out a rare opportunity with Artlink in which the DeGrazia murals will be open to the public during March First Friday and Art Detour 27 from March 6-8. “We don’t just share a desire to preserve the DeGrazia artwork,” says Fisher. “We want to do what we can to actually enhance and expand a great arts neighborhood with additional efforts too.”
Laber has been working with Baron and an art conservator to determine how the murals can be preserved, and believes the smaller mural can be saved. “That’s on a piece of sheetrock that we believe can be removed from the wall,” he says. The larger mural is a different story. No one has yet devised a method to protect such an expansive piece against the torque exerted on a thin layer of aging stucco. “If you start trying to peel it off or get behind it and get it off, you’re probably just going to break it into a thousand pieces,” says Laber.
“In either case, we plan on having a professional photographer take very high-definition photographs and donate those to the Foundation and whoever else is interested,” says Fisher. “We understand that the Roosevelt Arts District is very important, and so our new projects on Roosevelt…we plan on displaying and highlighting local art from local artists. Our plan is to have more artwork, not less.”
And the beautiful Lauren Lee mural “Three Birds” on the building’s outside east-facing wall? Lee recognized that it was going to be difficult to save the piece, so she approached Baron Properties about the possibility of producing a new piece for the new building.
Fisher said, “When Lauren Lee approached us with her idea, the answer was a resounding yes. That’s because our goal is to create a combination of the preserved art along with the newer works and contribute to a great success story in the heart of Phoenix.”
Lee said, “I’ll be painting three massive birds in flight on the five-story-high new building that will be called ‘iLuminate.’ Given their name, the developer suggested that we illuminate the birds from below so that they can be seen from far away, which I think will be spectacular.”
Lee added, “The new concept design will be displayed at Art Detour this weekend in a pop-up art gallery hosted by Artlink in the greenHAUS building. I’ll be there answering questions with the new painting and design rendering of the ‘Three Birds in Flight,’ as well as offering prints of the ‘Three Birds’ mural for sale. It’s difficult to convey my happiness about this, but I am truly happy that the ‘Three Birds’ get to live on in a new way, in a new stage of their evolution.”
Take advantage of this final opportunity to see the DeGrazia murals and Lauren Lee’s “Three Birds” at Art Detour this weekend.
If You Go:
What: Artlink Pop Up Gallery – Art Detour 27
Where: 222. E. Roosevelt St.
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 7 & 8, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Update: Recently released, DeGrazia: The Man and the Myths is a new biography of DeGrazia by James W. Johnson and Marilyn D. Johnson from The University of Arizona Press. Both authors join DeGrazia Foundation Executive Director Lance Laber at the Tucson Festival of Books on Sunday, March 15 in the Student Union’s Kachina room on the U of A campus for a panel discussion from 1 p.m.-2 p.m., followed by a book-signing.
Fourth Annual Inspired Soles Show and Charity Benefit
Stilettos transformed into works of art by local artists, designers and celebrities
Back by popular demand– it’s the fourth annual “Inspired Soles” stiletto art show and auction benefiting Artlink. If you’re one of the local artists/designers/celebrities who participated in this show in the past, we hope you’ll do it again. If you’re new to this event, just know that every year we’ve staged it this show has drawn record crowds, widespread news coverage and diverse, excited patrons. This year, we’re happy to announce new partnerships with Neiman Marcus and the Luhrs Tower that will increase exposure for the event, and help us raise even more money for Artlink.
It’s easy and fun to participate! As in past years, we’ll provide the stilettos. You provide the inspiration!
WHAT: Inspired Soles features black stilettos transformed into works of art by more than 50 participating artists, designers, celebrities and other creative individuals. We love it because the shoes are incredible. Artists love participating because it draws a packed house, and offers incredible networking opportunities with patrons, and other artists.
WHO: The show is produced and promoted by BJC Public Relations, a women-owned public relations agency that also LOVES shoes. But the true force behind this show is the artists and designers who their volunteer time and talent to turning shoes into incredibly creative works of art.
WHEN: This year we’ll showcase the shoes at two events – a VIP “Sneak Preview/Silent Auction” fundraising event that will take place on Thursday, April 2, 2015, and then the shoes will remain on display for the public to enjoy on First Friday, April 3, 2015. We hope participating artists will consider attending both events. Neiman Marcus has generously offered to promote the show, and will be previewing some of the shoes during a three-day event that is taking place in-store the week prior to our event.
WHERE: The show has moved to a new location that offers more space and exposure. The VIP “Sneak Preview/Silent Auction” and First Friday events will be held at Luhrs Tower at 11 W. Jefferson in downtown Phoenix.
WHY: We want to draw more people downtown, and introduce them to you and our arts community. That is why a portion of the proceeds for this annual event support Artlink, a nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, business and the public to better understand, appreciate and promote the thriving arts community in Central Phoenix. In the past three years, the show has generated more than $6,000 for Artlink. We hope this year’s event sets a new fundraising record.
GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPATING ARTISTS
- Order your stiletto shoe by calling Taylor Wilson at 602-541-2224 or Taylor@bjc.com. If your design requires more than one stiletto, please let us know how many, and we’ll do our best to provide what you need.
- Your shoe will be delivered to you, or you can pick it up from our office.
- Design your stiletto. Enough said!
- Complete the “Art and Artist Information Form” (which is included in this document)
- Return your stiletto and the “Art and Artist Information Form” to: BJC Public Relations, 650 N. 6th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85003, (602) 277-9530, x232
- If you ship via FedEx – select the 3-day option – it’s cheaper and often arrives in a day
- Email or call BJC Public Relations with the TRACKING number of your shipment. Our email is: email@example.com
- EARLY BIRDS GET THE WORM. If you would like your stiletto art featured in our publicity efforts, we need to have your submission in our hands the week of March 6. So do yourself a favor, and create your work of art the minute you get inspiration. Want even more coverage? Send some pics of your “work of art” to be included in our social media outreach!
- ALL submissions are due NO LATER than Friday, March 20. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS, as we need time to stage the show especially now that it will be held off-site.
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Art Detour 27: An Invitation to Connect the Dots in Downtown Phoenix
Art d’Core Gala Hosted by Mayor Greg Stanton, Downtown Phoenix Inc. and Artlink Inc. Kicks Off a Slate of Community Events
Art Detour, the first event to link the downtown Phoenix arts community, returns for its 27th year on March 7 and 8, 2015. The two-day celebration invites Valley residents and visitors to meet the artists, arts entrepreneurs and businesses that contribute to a thriving downtown Phoenix. Artlink, Inc. produces the event in partnership with its “Articipants”—downtown Phoenix arts districts and destinations that participate in and contribute to the arts community.
More than 100 of these Articipants are expected to make this the largest, two-day, all-access, downtown Phoenix arts event in Art Detour’s 27-year history. It will be kicked off by the second annual Art d’Core Gala on February 21, coincide with the March First Friday, and will be highlighted by neighborhood celebrations and activities, resulting in a full schedule of downtown Phoenix discovery.
The City of Phoenix’s Office of the Mayor, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Artlink, Inc. will kick off the festive season with the second annual Art d’Core Gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 21 at Crescent Ballroom. Mayor Greg Stanton will give his “Celebrate Downtown Address,” where he will toast business leaders, small business entrepreneurs, neighborhood groups and the flourishing arts community in an expression of shared pride in Phoenix. This free, fun and formal affair features a live performance by Phoenix Theatre, music, dancing and an eye-popping virtual tour of downtown Phoenix. Guests are encouraged to dress colorfully in creative formal attire.
Connect the Dots
With a map in hand, the public is invited take to the streets of downtown Phoenix on March 7 and 8 to explore working artists’ private studios, standing galleries, “pop-ups”, unique art spaces and colorful murals. There will also be special neighborhood-specific celebrations on both Saturday and Sunday to add to the fun. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days Artlink will provide free tours with Ollie the Trolley. On-board docents will guide visitors to destinations, highlighted as dots on the map, as the trolley makes stops in Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue and other locations, providing a unique opportunity to enjoy the fun, festival environment. Restaurants and bars will provide special offers to those who wear Art Detour 27 stickers picked up at the arts destinations.
There will be four park-and-ride hubs where visitors can park, pick up a map, ask questions, and hop on a trolley to explore the full spectrum of arts activities and events along the route. These hubs will be located at the Burton Barr Public Library, Oasis on Grand, CityScape and Arizona Center. Art Detour is transit-friendly with many locations within walking distance of METRO Light Rail stations. GRID Bike Share also has locations along the trolley route and throughout the central corridor. The trolley route also conveniently intersects with METRO light rail.
EVENT SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to the exhibitions and activities hosted by the over 100 Articipants, the following are events and celebrations that culminate in an artful early 2015.
Art d’Core Gala
- 6 to 10 p.m. on February 21, 2015.
- Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003
- There is no charge for this event. For additional information and to RSVP please visit artlinkphoenix.com/art-detour/gala/
- Creative formal attire encouraged for this event hosted by the City of Phoenix’s Office of the Mayor, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. and Artlink, Inc.
March First Friday
- 6 to 10 p.m. on March 6, 2015
- Throughout downtown and central Phoenix
- Typically one of the most popular First Fridays of the year. The Artlink First Friday Trolley Tour will take place as normally scheduled.
Art Detour 27
- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 7 and 8, 2015
- This free weekend event offers programming appropriate for all ages, including the family-friendly “Kids’ Detour” activities at select venues.
PaintPHX – 5th St. Block Party
- 2 to 10 p.m. on March 7, 2015
- 5th Street in Roosevelt Row
- Paint Phx is locally organized, mural painting event and celebration of outdoor mural arts in the city of Phoenix happening in conjunction with Art Detour 27. Local community artists and muralists will be creating multiple new mural projects throughout the city over the Art Detour weekend. The 5th St. Block Party will take place in the epicenter for Phoenix’s mural art scene. The street will be closed to traffic from Roosevelt to Garfield and activities will include new murals being painted, live music, DJs, skateboard demos, a live art battle and live painting on a vintage bus.
Outdoor Screening of Stop Making Sense
- 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on March 7, 2015 (weather permitting)
- What Should Go Here Pop-Up Park, 1005 N. 2nd Street
- Artlink Inc., No Festival Required Independent Cinema and Palm Pictures Present Stop Making Sense: Talking Heads, hosted by monOrchid and The Lot: What Should Go Here Pop-Up Park. 1980s attire, spontaneous singing and dancing will be encouraged. Please bring blankets or low-back beach chairs for seating.
Detour de Grand
- 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 8, 2015 (Group bike ride begins at 10 a.m.)
- Grand Avenue, 1028 NW Grand Ave. (between 10th and 12th Avenues)
- The Grand Avenue Members Association (“GAMA”) will celebrate one of Phoenix’s most iconic and authentic streets. Activities include a group bike ride at 10 a.m. before Art Detour 27 that will follow the route of the Artlink trolley: from Grand Ave., to the Warehouse District, through the core to Roosevelt Row, through historic downtown neighborhoods, and back to Grand Ave.
- Detour de Grand visitors will be able to visit galleries, shops, local vendors, artist’s tents and food trucks. The main event will be a beer garden and stage with local beers and bands open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Bring your own bike or grab a GRID bike on Grand Avenue. Attendees can use Grand Ave as their park and ride hub to enjoy Detour de Grand and to catch a trolley to explore the rest of Art Detour 27.
OTHER KEY EVENTS HOSTED BY ARTLINK ARTICIPANTS
Devoured Culinary Classic
- 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 7 and 8
- Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave.
- This culinary arts event hosted by Phoenix Art Museum, Local First Arizona and Devour Phoenix is the perfect pairing for arts patrons. Devour – then Detour!
57th Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market
- 5:30 to 8 P.M. on March 7 and 8
- Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave.
- The iconic cultural event will celebrate the tradition of basket making and other arts.
LINK UP AND GET INVOLVED
- Sign up to become an Articipant and be included on the Art Detour map: artlinkphoenix.com/articipants/.
- Support Artlink’s year-round programs by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteers are asked to fill out an online volunteer form at: artlinkphoenix.com/volunteer/.
Images courtesy of Artlink Inc.
Linton’s collection of black-and-white photos of people living on the streets returns downtown in a February exhibition at monOrchid’s Bokeh Gallery, and “I Have A Name” has expanded with ambitious plans for a mural on the monOrchid building.
The gallery show opens on February 6, with additional events on February 13 — when the local support organization Pineapple Triangle hosts an artisan market benefiting the mural project — and on February 20 (the closing reception).
Meanwhile, Linton is running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the monOrchid’s exterior artwork, with the goal of spurring conversation about homelessness. “The ‘I Have A Name’ Project has teamed with prominent artists Brian Boner and Wayne Rainey to create this powerful and important mural,” Linton states in his fundraising description. “A west wall of the building will carry a message in humanity and compassion while the north facing wall shall list names of those lost to the street. The overall scope of this work intends to create a dialogue beyond the boundaries of this city and help motivate action that might end the human suffering that is homelessness.” Of the $15,695 goal, $10,000 is designated to pay for artist labor over several months.
“During this past year,” says Linton, “the Project…has supplied or helped facilitate many donations in clothing or hygiene kits to local shelters, and enjoys working with Justa Center and Central Arizona Shelter Services.” He continues, “We have provided shoes, socks, meals and water to our neighbors in need on the street.”
Linton describes another aspect of his organization’s charitable activities. “Recently, we sold tee shirts printed by TumbleTees, a local Phoenix company that hires formerly homeless teens, and used the proceeds to provide a meal to 50 homeless veterans at Christmas at MANA House.”
Although “I Have A Name” is not a non-profit 501c3 organization, its association with monOrchid’s Shade Projects allows tax-deductible charitable contributions. Linton explains, “The…project is essentially a one-man army, and while receiving donations that have allowed the exhibition to travel, our efforts remain self-funded.”
“Over these past months, I have dedicated nearly 1800 hours in expanding this message of compassion,” he adds. “I continue to take photographs and gather narratives weekly. It’s tragically dehumanizing to be on the street — on many occasions the most valuable thing I can offer is an ear.”
- The “I Have A Name” project’s website and Facebook page
- Gallery show runs Feb. 6-20 at monOrchid’s Bokeh Gallery
- 214 E. Roosevelt St. in downtown Phoenix
- email@example.com or 602-253-0339
- The mural campaign for “I Have a Name” on Indiegogo
- Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS)
- 230 S. 12th Ave.; 602-256-6945
- Justa Center
- 1001 W. Jefferson; 602-254-6524
- MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House
- 755 E. Willetta; 602-254-6785
- Part of Madison Street Veterans Association — Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) at 233 S. 11th Ave.
- TumbleTees t-shirts
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Artlink Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that promotes the downtown Phoenix arts community. Artlink invites artists, arts entrepreneurs and businesses that contribute to our vibrant downtown culture to become Artlink Articipants. Articipants can take advantage of a variety of promotional opportunities throughout the year like First Friday, Art Detour and more.
As Artlink gears up for the Third Annual Art d’Core Gala (Feb 21, 2014) and the 27th Annual Art Detour (Mar 7-8, 2015), registration to become an Artlink Articipant is now open. Based on different categories (Artists; Galleries/Art Spaces; Restaurants/Bars/Retail), Articipants receive a wide range of year-round benefits designed to help promote their arts and culture endeavors (beginning February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016).
“The programs promoted by Artlink are tied to the activity of this arts community,” said Catrina Kahler, Artlink Board President. “Artlink supports the effort of artists and businesses in the creative sector to produce diverse and accessible arts experiences for the public throughout the year.”
Art d’Core Gala: In partnership with the Office of the Mayor, Downtown Phoenix, Inc., Artlink and other community partners host an exceptional celebration that spotlights the significant contribution of the arts in creating a dynamic urban core. The festivities include music and dancing; fabulous food and drink; a special address by Mayor Greg Stanton; and an eye-popping virtual tour of downtown art spaces.
Art Detour: Art Detour is the event that launched the First Fridays Art Walk phenomenon. The annual event provides the public with an opportunity to meet visual artists in their working environments, to invite questions about their work and their work processes, and to see into the creative spaces tucked throughout downtown Phoenix that are not generally open to the public.
First Fridays Trolley Tour: Over the past two decades, the First Fridays Art Walk has evolved into major monthly celebration that draws anywhere from 12-20,000 people every month. Artlink provides complimentary trolley service that enables the public to pick up a First Friday map, park and ride from four information hubs, and hop on/hop off at galleries all along the way. The trolley circulates throughout downtown connecting downtown arts venues and districts, from the Phoenix Art Museum, to the popular Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue arts districts, as well as CityScape, the Warehouse district, and the Arizona Center. Knowledgeable docents staff the trolleys and help guide new and returning visitors.
While Art Detour and the Art d’Core Gala remain signature events for Artlink, the organization’s programs have expanded to provide year-round promotional opportunities for downtown artists and arts spaces.
These opportunities include a Pop-Up Gallery program that features exhibitions of local artists in unique and nontraditional public spaces; guided Downtown Art Tours that shine a spotlight on artists and galleries; an annual Juried Exhibition; and a variety of calls for artists throughout the year.
In addition, restaurants, bars and other downtown retail spaces benefit from year-round promotion on the Artlink Art Detour maps, First Friday maps, and the Artlink website, as well as additional promotional opportunities that will be rolled out over the coming months.
The registration deadline is January 7, 205. Get full details on Articipant levels and benefits at http://artlinkphoenix.com/articipants/.