Thanks to the efforts of Jill Johnson (Program Manager) and Doctor Diane Facinelli, students who participate in the course are steeped like tea bags in everything “downtown Phoenix” through a combination of tours and presentations by local historians, business people, city officials, arts community representatives, local community development wizards and urban sustainability advocates.
The goal is to break down any myths and misapprehensions young people who are new to downtown may have about their surroundings, and to give them access to the people on the ground who are transforming our urban core.
The course is divided into six areas, including Downtown Phoenix History; Entrepreneurship & Local Business; Governance, Politics and Activism; Places, Spaces and Adaptive Re-Use; Promoting Arts & Culture; and Sustainable and Vital Living.
Local experts in each area are brought in to meet with students and share their insights about how and why they do what they do and to show the impact they’re having. Students are not only encouraged to get involved, they are introduced to the very people and organizations that can get them started bringing their own passions and skills to bear on making the urban core vibrant.
“Incoming freshmen are sometimes disappointed to find themselves in downtown Phoenix versus the ASU campus in Tempe,” says Jill Johnson, the “connector” who makes the class viable and relevant. “We use ‘Community Encounters’ to dispel their fears, to show them what is happening right outside their student bubble, and to educate them about the wealth of opportunities they have available to them in downtown.”
The value of growing this connection between young ASU students and the downtown community is in reaching a potential new generation of residents who will want to live, work and play in downtown and create sustained vibrancy on our streets.
Jim McPherson, co-author with J. Seth Anderson and Suad Mahmuljin of Downtown Phoenix History, opens the course by sharing the historic context of the city’s evolution. “Students read our book before class,” said McPherson, “and then we take them on a combination bus and walking tour that enables them to see some of the areas featured in the book. We show them how historic places are contributing to the contemporary landscape of the city.”
“The purpose of the class is to provide students with variety of entry points for them to become active, engaged urban citizens,” said Johnson. “The students benefit from being exposed to the rich variety of experiences available to them in downtown, and the community benefits from the talent and energy the students can bring to making the best downtown possible. It’s as they say, a ‘win-win’ situation.”
Find out what this years’ students learned and how the class has impacted their perceptions of downtown at ENCOUNTER THIS! Community Encounters Showcase. At this free public event, groups of students who have worked together will show the community what they’ve learned and share how it has changed their perspective.
If You Go
When: Thursday, December 5, 7:00 pm
Where: A.E. England Building, Civic Space Park
Cost: FREE to public, but reservations are appreciated. Reserve your space now.
Contact: Jill.Johnson@asu.edu; 602-496-0557.
What goes into designing the promotion materials for an event? How do you decide on an image that conveys the right message?
When it’s the 25th Anniversary of Art Detour, you look to your past and turn for inspiration to the local artists who’ve been the heart of the event for a quarter century.
The Gala and the Gal
During last year’s Detour, photographer Bryan Mok was documenting an event at the Crescent Ballroom hosted by local artist Hugo Medina. “Celebrating Beauty and Artists” featured live models sporting body painting creations by several artists.
As Mok stood with his camera poised, one of the models stopped near him just under a spotlight. She was wearing glitter on her body and her hair and the beautiful floral image by Dianne Nowicki that was painted on her back luminesced under the light.
In that moment, says Mok, “it all came together – the cool composition, the floral body painting on her back, the glowing light from her skin and hair – it was completely evocative of the event, embodying people and art.”
The resulting photo caught the eye of Artlink Phoenix board members as they were planning this weekend’s Silver Gala, a kick off event to celebrate Detour’s silver anniversary. The image embodied the festive, artful spirit of the gala.
Graphic designers were asked to use the photo as the inspiration for the gala invitation and poster, and voila! The resulting image pays homage to last year’s Art Detour, to Dianne Nowicki’s floral image, and to the fabulous photo that Mok captured.
Celebrating “The Artist”
For Art Detour’s main image, used for poster and postcards, Artlink put out a call to artists to submit work that would capture the essence of the event.
Fred Tieken’s brilliantly colored submission entitled “The Artist” was chosen. Not only was the image bright, colorful, and fun, the subject matter fit perfectly with the focus of Artlink.
As Nancy Hill, Artlink board member and Art Detour Chair said “Artlink exists to bring attention to local artists in downtown Phoenix and Art Detour is the signature event that brings the public into artist studios. Fred’s piece captures that focus perfectly.”
Tieken, a longtime Phoenix resident who had successful careers in music and graphic design before turning full time to art, talked about how the piece came to be. “I started with the idea of an artist painting a portrait of a lady, and the paint led me on. It was something that just developed before my eyes.”
Tieken is an enthusiastic supporter of the downtown Phoenix art scene who many people will know from his large-scale mural “Buzz” on the side of the Vermillion building on MacDowell, just east of Third Avenue. “I paint a lot from images I get from watching people on First Friday,” says Tieken. “I love the downtown art scene, I love the energy on the streets on First Friday, and I always come back excited and inspired.” He puts ideas for paintings up on a wall and says he has enough ideas on the wall currently to paint through next year.
So, the next time you happen past the poster or postcard for Detour or the Silver Gala, take a minute to reflect on the inspiration behind the images. And while you’re at it, put on your best finery to attend the Gala and make plans to spend the following weekend exploring everything the downtown Phoenix arts scene has to offer at Art Detour.
If You Go:
Event: Artlink Silver Gala
Date/Time: Saturday, February 23, 7 to 11 p.m.
Location: A.E. England Building, Civic Space Park.
Tickets: Buy tickets here
Event: Art Detour 25,
Dates/Times: Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Locations: Over 90 locations throughout downtown Phoenix and beyond.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
There are just a few seats left! Reserve your spot on the Third Friday Collectors Tour on January 18!
Artlink’s Third Friday Collectors Tour returns on Friday, January 18, and includes three of downtown Phoenix’s most acclaimed galleries.
The participants will have a private viewing and the opportunity to meet the artist(s) and curators one-on-one, and learn more about their processes and vision.
The exclusive guided trolley tour will include:
- Bentley Gallery – “Mark Pomilio / Jeremy Thomas,” a delightful exploration of nature’s geometry, with Curator John Reyes and Mark Pomilio.
- monOrchid – Introducing new Curator Justin Germain with artist Linda Ingraham’s unique project “Off the Beaten Path: A Departure From The Norm,” and Matt Dougan’s personal retrospective “As the Crow Flies.”
- Willo North Gallery – “Youth: New Work by Bob Adams” with Bob explaining his inspiration to re-enter the world of solo gallery shows after two decades.
The tour will be hosted by Robrt Pela, Willo North curator and arts critic for Phoenix New Times, whose NPR “Morning Edition” radio essays are occasionally themselves the talk of the town. Pela will provide context on the contemporary art scene in downtown Phoenix and background on the artist spaces and galleries on the tour.
Event: Artlink’s Third Friday Collectors Tour
Date: Friday, January 18
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. Phoenix. The trolley will depart promptly at 6 p.m.
Tickets: $35 per person, $50 per couple. Seating is limited. Light refreshments provided. To reserve your seats please visit http://collectorstourphoenix.eventbrite.com/.
About the Host:
Robrt Pela is known primarily as an arts critic for Phoenix New Times, where he has written a weekly columnthese past 22 years. His radio essays air each week on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” and he’s worked as a writer and editor for national and local magazines including Psychology Today, The Advocate, Phoenix Home and Garden, and Men’s Fitness. His last published book was Filthy, a biography of the film director John Waters.
As a curator, Pela presents a new exhibit each month at Willo North Gallery in Phoenix. Last year he curated shows by, among others, Annie Lopez, Jeff Falk, Jason Hill, Janet de Berge Lange, Paul Wilson, Carolyn Lavender, and Bob Adams. He and his spouse, Todd Grossman, divide their time among their homes in Phoenix, Arizona; Niles, Ohio; and Bargemon, France.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
On November 16, from 6-9 p.m., Artlink is launching a new series of Third Friday Collectors Tours. These exclusive guided trolley tours will take participants “behind the scenes” of the most exciting exhibitions and artist studios in downtown Phoenix. Knowledgeable Artlink guides will share their insights on the contemporary art scene in downtown Phoenix and provide background on the artist spaces and galleries the participants will visit on the tour.
The tour begins with a welcome reception at the Artlink table outside of the Phoenix Art Museum. Tour participants can park in the museum parking lot before boarding the trolley for their private hosted tour. This first tour will include viewing the work and meeting the artists at:
• Willo North Gallery, featuring “Fauna/Fauna” with work by Christy Puetz and Carolyn Lavender;
• Michael Marlowe Studio at Jackson Street Studios, and
• Modified Arts, featuring Sue Chenoweth’s “Real and Applied.”
The galleries/artist spaces will provide light refreshments, and tour participants will enjoy a private viewing of the work and the opportunity to meet the curators and artist(s) in an intimate setting to learn more about their processes and vision.
Tickets are $35 and seating is limited. To reserve your space for Artlink’s Third Friday Tour, please go to Eventbrite at http://artlinkphoenix.com/third-friday-collectors-tours-begin-november-16/ or email email@example.com with your name, number of seats, contact information and best time to reach you.
After all we’ve been through it seems amazing, but it’s true. As I’m writing, there are only FIVE condos and ten townhomes currently on the market from McDowell to Lincoln, between the 7′s.
We’ve heard the message repeatedly on the news, and more recently the housing recovery story has become endemic. The market is on the way up and demand, especially in the downtown micro market, is clearly outstripping supply. With a seemingly ever increasing number of students, new business, shops, resturants, sports, culture, and most importantly a vastly improved public transport system, Downtown Phoenix has become a very compelling place to live.
So what’s next if you want to buy a condo or townhome in downtown?
On Thursday we saw the first of several potential answers as Urban Commons (the REIT that owns half of Summit at Copper Square) hit the MLS with two condos, almost doubling the available downtown condo market. But there is a price attached. The new listings at the Summit are $60/sf more than the last recorded sales, starting at $200/sf and $285k for a two bedroom home on the 8th floor. If they sell I’d predict up to 70 more to follow over the course of the year as Summit at Copper Square comes to life again and rightfully looses its tag as the last remaining poster child of distressed buildings in downtown.
The lack of availability is also driving the two new listings at Orpheum Lofts which are $12 – $40/sf above the previous highest sale, coming in at $135k and $179k respectfully. Pricing is also up at the Townhome at St Croix Villas which is almost $70/sf above the last sale.
Expensive? Not really. In fact, the pricing is still well below build cost and will look like a bargain soon as pre-sales start to appear for some really exciting new developments.
In the meantime (at least at the time of writing), here’s where you need to go (quickly!) if you really want to be the last to buy at a bargain rate in downtown Phoenix.
Orpheum Lofts (2)
The Embassy (1)
Summit at Copper Square (2)
Artisan Village (1)
Evergreen 9 (1)
Portland Two (1)
Rennaissance Park (5)
Cathederal Townhomes (1)
St Croix Villas (1)