Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to peer into the studios of working artists and wander through galleries during Artlink’s Art Detour 26 this weekend. Along with the top art venues of downtown Phoenix and countless pop-up exhibits, dozens of painters, sculptors, photographers, glassblowers, and other creative minds open the doors of their private space to curious visitors.
With the event map in hand, art lovers can explore more than 100 stops on a two-day self-guided tour, many within convenient walking distance of the free Art Detour shuttle route. Docents ride along on two London-style double-decker buses circulating continuously at 20-minute intervals between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, while four information hubs at Phoenix Art Museum, Oasis on Grand, CityScape, and the Arizona Center provide volunteers ready to answer questions.
The adventure begins this evening with a greater-than-usual array of First Friday opportunities, including an open rehearsal by the Phoenix Chorale at Trinity Cathedral. While you’re there, check out Olney Gallery’s Color Color Color! exhibition, featuring work by Kaori Takamura, Sarah Kriehn, and Christopher Jagmin.
Elsewhere, the weekend is filled with live music — along with a multitude of casual performances like Bones of Folk’s Danyul Kostin at Oasis on Grand and the Moonlight Howlers at The Lost Leaf, tonight’s ambitious Viva Phx festival brings 70 groups — including Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Neighbourhood, Black Carl, Tobie Milford, and Pinback — to 14 venues ranging from Crescent Ballroom to the Hotel San Carlos to the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center. The next day, Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Blast ’14 fills Saturday with tunes from Hans Olson, Leon J’s JukeJoint, the Mike Eldred Trio, and other Rhythm Room stars at Margaret T. Hance Park — show an Art Detour map for a ticket discount.
Once your ears are satiated, fill your eyes with images from Artlink board member Hugo Medina, curator of the Phoenix Phabulous History Mural showing at Walter Studios. “I think it’s important that artists keep creating, pulling forward, which I try to do with my own work as well,” he says. “Phoenix is a phenomenal destination…. We’ve just got to start getting the collectors to start coming out, and that’s the challenge.”
For the month of March, R. Pela Contemporary Art will display Banned at the Herberger, including part of a controversial canceled show originally scheduled last fall at the Herberger Theater Center Art Gallery. The exhibit includes work by Mike Ford, Ronnie Ray Mendez, and Lisa Albinger. “Mike Ford’s photographs, about his relationship with his mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, have such depth,” says curator Robrt Pela. “There’s sadness, and camp, and real emotion. I had to share them.”
He continues, “I think that the art that I’m showing…I want there to be craftsmanship and beauty, but there has to be another element too…some commentary, some politics, some pain. It can’t just be something that’s lovely to look at because that isn’t quite enough.”
Other popular, highly-regarded mainstays anchoring First Friday and Art Detour include Practical Art and monOrchid. Great Arizona Puppet Theater offers edgy, quirky, adults-only Puppet Slams both Friday and Saturday nights.
All weekend, kids can find plenty of fun with finger-paint murals, demonstrations, workshops, and other family-friendly activities at Kids’ Detour, various galleries and studios, and the Blues Blast. Retailers and restaurateurs also add to the experience with extended weekend hours and specials.
If you go:
- Artlink First Friday on March 7
- Viva Phx music festival on March 7
- Phoenix Blues Society’s Blues Blast ’14 on March 8
- Artlink’s Art Detour 26 on March 8-9
District 4 Councilman Tom Simplot and community members will celebrate the installation of a new gateway arch across Seventh Avenue just north of Indian School Road with an event 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20.
“The Melrose District and Seventh Avenue as a whole are two of the most vibrant, growing areas of central Phoenix. It’s an artistic and community hub, and this gateway is a perfect way to celebrate its diverse identity,” said Councilman Simplot.
The arch adds a distinctive artistic element to one of Phoenix’s main arterial streets, constructed using an 80-foot steel truss structure with 24-foot columns. Lit at night, the sign lettering mirrors Seventh Avenue’s distinctive curve in the Melrose district.
“Business owners and community members are ecstatic about the arch,” added Seventh Avenue Merchants Association president Teresa Stickler. “We really see it as aiding our mission of building and beautifying our community.”
The Melrose arch is made of half-inch steel plates, with decorative lettering etched in using a plasma cutter. All together, the truss and panels weigh approximately 43,000 pounds, with each column weighing 9,800 pounds.
The Weitz Company was the contractor for the project, with Gensler as the prime consultant and architect, and the firms of Aztec Engineering Group, Inc; PK Associates and Henderson Engineers serving as the design team.
If You Go
Event: Melrose Gateway Sign Commemoration
Date: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 7 p.m.
Here at DPJ, we’re all about sharing what we love. Beyond the stories that make us love downtown, we often come across things that catch our eye, tingle our senses or have us dancing in delight. “We Like…” turns a brief spotlight on the little treasures that make our day, with helpful links so you can share in the fun.
This cool bookcase was a recent find at Retro Ranch, one of downtown Phoenix’s inspiring vintage shops found in the Melrose District along 7th Ave. The shop is full of treasures, such as this one-of-kind bookcase that doesn’t have an identifying label or stamp. To this shopper, the lack of a label simply adds to its mysterious allure.
The bookcase consists of three pieces that stack on top of each other, including an extended shelf perfect for displaying an eye-popping vintage phone. I like the dark wood with its antique appearance, but I love the unique patina that results from a scattering of worn spots. Maybe it’s a look that only a true vintage collector could adore, but I think you might feel the same way!
Another find included these blue gray “Zodiac” pointed-toe ankle boots that I discovered in the clothing section. Yes, that’s right – Retro Ranch has a clothing section full of irreplaceable shoes, frocks and accessories that will inspire anyone to get up in the morning and pull together a dynamic new look.
I like the gently worn 80’s vibe of these boots, which makes them a perfect accessory to simple, or a more polished look. This label is seemingly no longer in production, which is all the more reason to browse through Retro Ranch for more undiscovered beauties!
Retro Ranch, 4303 N. 7th Ave., 602-297-1971
Want to share your love? Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what YOU like.
The Seventh Avenue Merchants Association (SAMA) is seeking design submissions for new street banners. Currently there are 42 light pole banners that line the Melrose District (7th Ave from Camelback to Indian School Road). SAMA is seeking to have those banners updated and replaced with three different designs reflecting the themes: shopping, dining and services.
Details of submission:
Banners are 26 inches wide by 64 inches tall. Designs must be in full color and contain the SAMA branding in a visible and prominent way. Designer must submit graphics for all three themes (shopping, dining and services). Designs will leave a 26 inch wide by 15 inch tall blank space at the bottom of each banner for banner sponsor information. This blank space can coordinate in color and feel with the overall design. All submissions must be in either .pdf or .ai format and must be print ready. Design must submitted by Wednesday August 22, 2012. The winning design will be announced Friday August 31, 2012.
Please email all submissions to email@example.com with “2012 banner designs” in the subject line.
For more information please contact Meghan Olesen at 480.703.2620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some news items don’t need translation. That’s why DPJ launched the From the Wire series, so we could serve the destinations here by posting information and announcements – in their own words.
Community Alliance of Seventh Avenue is Formed
In the effort to continue the revitalization and beautification of the Melrose District and its surrounding neighborhoods, the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association (SAMA) is eager to announce the formation of the Community Alliance of Seventh Avenue (CASA).
“We are excited to perpetuate the positive work that has already been done in the Melrose District,” says CASA President, Meghan Olesen. “By working together we can continue to build a unique and vibrant area.”
CASA was formed to create a strong alliance between the residents of Pierson Place, Woodlea/Melrose, Grandview and Carnation Neighborhood Associations; as well as the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association with the goal of facilitating pedestrian friendly beautification projects that are mutually beneficial to the diverse population that reside, work and play in the Melrose District.
“Woodlea Melrose residents are excited to continue our partnership with SAMA in a way that focuses on the community as a whole,” added Pam Pawlowski, Woodlea Melrose Neighborhood Association Vice Chair. “We can’t wait to get project ideas from our neighbors. Their involvement is important to the overall success!”
“Pierson Place is delighted to be part of new improvements on 7th Ave! The projects to date are a testament to what great things neighbors can accomplish when working together, and we look forward to continuing that trend. We know that improving our border is equally important to adjacent neighborhoods and business districts alike. No doubt our residents will enjoy this opportunity!” Charles Jones, President, Pierson Place Historic District.
The Community Alliance of Seventh Avenue Board is interested to hear all project ideas, big and small. Residents and community members are encouraged to contact the board with project ideas they can consider for implementation.
For more information please contact Meghan Olesen at 480.703.2620 or email email@example.com.
Photo credit: Jack London