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
PinkCheeky strives to create locally made clothing so that there’s no need to sweat about the quality and manufacturing of the brand’s products. Some of the pieces the designer makes include yoga shorts, boyshorts and men’s boxer briefs.
Along with the trunk show, you can shop the boutique’s winter clearance and peruse through the new spring arrivals while listening to the tunes of DJ MR PHX.
Not only will you get to enjoy scoping out the cheeky fashions, but you might be lucky and score some goodies to take home with the giveaways and raffles.
Join in on the fun on Saturday, February 15 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
For more information, you can reach them at 602-252-1323 or visit them before the event at 1437 N. 1st St. Phoenix, AZ 85004.
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Official Opening of Vernon Avenue Pocket Park THIS Saturday with Mayor Stanton
Shine Coffee owners Christiaan & Laryn Blok announce the Official Opening of Vernon Avenue Pocket Park on the north side of west Vernon Avenue next to their shop this Saturday, January 18 at 10am.
In addition to Mayor Greg Stanton, David Anaya of Phoenix Renews and Colin Tetrault of ASU’s School of Sustainability will be on hand to briefly discuss the importance of parks in urban Phoenix. There will be a ribbon cutting with Mayor Stanton after the remarks.
The park is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign managed by Laryn Callaway-Blok in September of 2013 which garnered over $23,000 from the community. Landscape architect Kirby Hoyt donated the design which was implemented by Paradise Valley Tree Experts/Property Maintenance. The park was built over the past few months. Future plans for the park include working with ASU architecture students on creating custom park benches and adding architectural lighting.
It may not be immediately visible to the casual eye, but there is a diverse cross section of people and organizations who are busy creating a thriving root system to support long-term urban livability in Phoenix.
They work both independently and in collaboration to create a sustainable urban landscape that thrives on walkable neighborhoods; entrepreneurial local businesses; an arts and culture suffused environment; innovative mixed-use development, and access to healthcare. Over the next several months, DPJ will take a closer look at the people and projects that are transforming downtown Phoenix into a sustainable 21st century city.
Consider Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) a primary root. Through its partnerships, SCC is making progress in areas as wide-ranging as housing, community development, public health and transportation. Because of the success of this unique collaborative, the Living Cities Network, a Washington, D.C.-based philanthropic collaborative of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, met in Phoenix last week for the very first time to learn more about the innovative work being accomplished by SCC locally.
The Sustainable Communities Collaborative is a unique non-profit partnership of thirty-five entities powered by a $20 million fund privately financed by the Raza Development Fund and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Included in the collaborative are lenders; city officials from Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa and their staffs; financial institutions; local foundations; public health professionals; built environment professionals; private businesses; and community groups. Through the fund, the SCC mission is to create an economic catalyst for Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe connected to development along the METRO Light Rail, which means putting into place critical pieces, including underlying policies and tangible outcomes, to complete the sustainability puzzle.
Shannon Scutari, SCC’s co-founder and director explains the significant role for the collaborative as “keeping the conversation going.”
“It’s our job to help connect the dots,” Scutari said. “We break down the development process into easily consumable bite-size steps that create positive outcomes for everyone involved.”
“SCC,” she continues, “provides the glue between builders, city officials and staff, the developers and the neighborhood groups.”
To be truly sustainable, SCC members know that urban growth has to move beyond suburban sprawl, boom-and-bust models to a new paradigm that embraces infill development; increased density with mixed-use development and mixed income housing; access to public transportation; community healthcare; locally-spawned, entrepreneurial businesses; and the incorporation of the arts at every level of public life.
“This is one of the hardest landscapes to get funding in place,” said Scutari. “It has to be multi-faceted to get off the ground.”
“If it wasn’t for the collaborative members doing all the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting – the foundational work – we wouldn’t stand a chance in being attractive to companies, investors and developers who are looking at the Phoenix core as a place to invest in innovative ways.” said Scutari.
SCC Members participate on steering committees focused on policy areas that are most important for redefining urban vibrancy: housing, public health, community development, financial tools, and transportation. Scutari points out the importance of “setting the table” to make this new paradigm effective, saying, “It’s about turning public policy into public action.”
Scutari praises Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s work in making the SCC successful. “A tremendous amount of credit should go to the City of Phoenix and Mayor Stanton for making infill, adaptive reuse and transit-oriented development a priority. The mayor has been a real leader in this space.”
She also notes that Metro Light Rail has provided an unprecedented opportunity for Mayor Stanton, Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, and Mayor Mark Mitchell of Tempe and their staffs to collaborate across city lines in ways that maximize resources and create a winning outcome for each community. Listen to their comments in the video below.
SCC and others who are creating a new vision for a livable, sustainable Phoenix are just beginning to make a difference through the development of projects like The Newton at Camelback Rd. and Third Ave. and Union at Roosevelt at 1st Ave. and Roosevelt St., to name just a few.
Additionally, SCC has been involved with innovative partnerships with SeedSpot, Co+Hoots and LocalFirst to support commercial ventures connected to the light rail line that will attract and create jobs and economic opportunities. And while the impacts are only just beginning to be felt, the relationships being developed are creating a strong root system of trust and success that bodes well for the future of our urban core.
Practice your chicken dance, don your favorite walking shoes, and gather your fowl-loving friends for the Valley Permaculture Alliance’s Sustainability Festival and fifth annual Tour de Coops this Saturday at PHX Renews.
Organized in partnership with Keep Phoenix Beautiful at a 15-acre vacant land repurposing project at the northeast corner of Indian School Road and Central Avenue, the free festival features live music, food trucks, raffles, kids’ activities, and sustainability classes along with contests for best chicken call, best chicken dance, and coop design. Bring your mesquite and carob beans for milling into nutritious, tasty flour (continues on November 17).
Visit Valley chicken coops and talk with urban farmers about their feathered flocks and sustainability ideas on the self-guided Tour de Coops. Tickets are $20 for adults ($15 in advance; free for kids 14 and under with adult ticket-holder), and the tour includes a printed guide and map to participating coops throughout Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, and Glendale, along with a bike tour option.
Past tours have featured friendly, helpful chicken owners willing to discuss everything from feed to coop construction to flock-friendly gardening and water harvesting.
All photos courtesy Tour de Coops.
If you go:
- Tour de Coops (adult tickets $15-$20; free for kids 14 and under) and free Sustainability Festival
- Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at PHX Renews and coop sites around the Valley
- Visit tourdecoops.vpaaz.org or call 602-325-1230
- Resources for poultry information and supplies: