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THE GALLERY @ CITY HALL FEATURES ‘ART UNDER FOOT: HANDMADE FLOORS AT PHX SKYTRAIN’
“Art Under Foot: Handmade Floors at the PHX Sky Train,” which reveals how the award-winning, artist-designed terrazzo floors at the PHX Sky Train stations and pedestrian bridges were planned, designed and built, is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at The Gallery @ City Hall, 200 W. Washington St.
Designed to enhance the traveling experience for the millions of riders who use the Sky Train, the four large-scale terrazzo floors at the 44th Street, East Economy Lot and Terminal 4 Sky Train stations, and the 44th Street pedestrian bridge to Valley Metro light rail were created by Arizona artists Daniel Mayer, Anne Coe, Fausto Fernandez and Daniel Martin Diaz, respectively.
“Art Under Foot: Handmade Floors at the PHX Sky Train” shows how fabricators from Advance Terrazzo, Marzee Waterjet Services and Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip applied modern technologies to an ancient material to turn the artists’ sketches into the floors that would win the 2013 Job of the Year Award from the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA).
In highlighting the five-year creative collaboration that produced the terrazzo, the exhibition features a video documenting the process behind the projects, design drawings, computerized models, large graphics and hands-on exhibits. Audio clips enable visitors to hear the artists’ and fabricators’ insights about how the floors were built through 40,000 hours of labor by hand.
- Terminal 4 Station Platform, “Variable Order” – Daniel Mayer, a book and letterpress artist who works and teaches at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, created a terrazzo floor that features more than 1,000 letter forms and two large-scale, free-form handwritten phrases inspired by the wonder of travel. The floor is 480 feet long, ranges from 17 to 40 feet in width, and features richly detailed aggregate of stone, recycled crushed mirror, blue and clear glass, and abalone shell.
- East Economy Lot Station Platform, “Topo Magic” – Apache Junction painter Anne Coe designed the station floor. Coe based the wiggling shapes and fluid contours of her terrazzo design on the stylized depictions of Arizona rivers, canyons and landforms found in topographic maps. The floor is 450 feet long, ranges from 12 to 36 feet in width, and includes 11 distinct colors.
- 44th Street Station Platform, “Tailplane Patterns” – Phoenix painter Fausto Fernandez designed the terrazzo for the station platform. Known for paintings layered with colorful patterns and images inspired by the shapes of hand tools, Fernandez drew inspiration from airplane wings to create the floor’s rhythmic geometric pattern and sweeping bands of colors. He used 10 colors to create the design, and heightened the floor’s reflective qualities by adding aggregates of recycled, crushed glass and mirror. The floor is 440 feet long and ranges from 17 to 40 feet in width.
- 44th Street Pedestrian Bridge to Metro Light Rail, “Journey Through Nature” – Tucson painter Daniel Martin Diaz designed the terrazzo floor of the pedestrian bridge linking the Sky Train station to the 44th Street Light Rail platform. Known for his highly ornamental style of drawing and painting, Diaz combined floral and geometric patterns into a flowing design that leads passengers to an intricately detailed mandala at mid-bridge. Diaz added abalone shells, native desert stones and recycled glass to enrich the floor’s colors and textures. The floor is approximately 500 feet long and 40 feet wide.
The artists and terrazzo fabricators worked closely with the Sky Train design and construction team of HOK, architects; Gannett Fleming, engineers; and the Hensel Phelps Construction Company; to integrate the terrazzo into the Sky Train stations.
Located on the ground floor of City Hall, The Gallery @ City Hall is supported by private contributions from businesses and residents throughout the city and region and operated by volunteers.
Photos courtesy of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.
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View From the Tracks: The Light Rail Plays
Rising Youth Theatre, a new theatre company that creates socially relevant original plays with youth will present the world premiere of View from the Tracks: The Light Rail Plays on June 6, 7, and 8, 2014 on the Valley Metro Rail system. Eight short plays will be performed on the trains and at the stations from Roosevelt/Central Ave. to Central Ave./Camelback, and explore the idea of “how Phoenix moves from place to place.” Performances will happen throughout the evening each night, from 6:00 – 8:00pm.
Eight adult performers: Liliana Gomez, Cody Goulder, Anthony Kelley, Kim Manning, Elizabeth Polen, Julie Rada, Tomas Stanton, and Charlie Steak are paired with eight youth perfomers: Clare Emmert, Monica Essig-Aberg, Za’Nea Jackson, Bridget Marlowe, Xavier Ramirez, Stephanie Santa Cruz, Alex Tuchi, and Colt Watkiss to develop the plays. Professional designers Samantha Bostwick, Anastasia Schneider and Joey Trahan work alongside youth designers Victoria Arora, Maria Ramirez and James Tanner to create the aesthetic of the plays in an alternative performance environment. Even the stage management follows the youth/adult pairing model, with stage manager Rachel Solis working alongside youth stage manager Lyric Jackson.
Rising Youth Theatre received funding for this project from the Arizona Commission on the Arts as part of the Art Tank funding program. The project received $10,000 (the highest level of funding) at the Art Tank West event.
RYT has worked in close partnership with Valley Metro to develop the project, and looks forward to exploring what theatre on light rail can look like in Phoenix.
If you would like to reserve a “ticket” to View from the Tracks: The Light Rail Plays, you can reserve your spot and a free transit pass at lightrailplays.eventbrite.com (limited availability). You can also attend the show without pre-registering, enjoying any combination of the eight different plays.
Photo courtesy of Rising Youth Theatre’s Facebook page.
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PHOENIX COMICON EXPANDS AT THE PHOENIX CONVENTION CENTER
The Phoenix Convention Center welcomes Phoenix Comicon to its facility for the fifth consecutive year. The 11th annual signature pop culture event of the Southwest will attract more than 70,000 attendees from June 5–8. This year, attendees can expect additional programming including expanded youth programming. And, that’s not all that has expanded! The event now offers registration and youth activities in the South Building and outdoor activities on Third Street between Washington and Monroe.
Guests are encouraged to register for memberships in advance at phoenixcomicon.com for the event that includes a Zombie Walk, fan autograph and photo sessions, a Cosplay Fashion Show, Geek Prom, Brain Eating Contest and Avengers Boot Camp among numerous other activities. Third Street will be closed to host outdoor activities including a car show featuring famous TV/movie cars, Roller Derby, Saturday night street party, live music, food trucks and the Arizona Comedy All-Stars. The celebrity guest list includes Danny Glover, Cary Elwes, Adam West, Burt Ward, Mark Bagley, Bruce Campbell, The Power Rangers, Mark Shepard, John Barrowman, Stephen Amell, Patrick Rothfuss, Charlaine Harris, Crispin Freeman and many more.
Comicon guests can pick up their membership packets in the South Building at 33 S. Third St. Guests should be aware that bag checks will be in place as well as peace bonding for all props. To get to the Phoenix Convention Center, there are several convenient transportation options including METRO Light Rail, Green Cabs, pedicabs and carpooling. Parking is available in the Convention Center East, West, North and Heritage garages, which will have signage to direct attendees to the registration area in the South Building.
The Phoenix Convention Center is an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant facility which welcomes guests with special needs and service animals. Our facility offers accessible parking and entrances, wheelchair ramps, multiple elevators, automatic doors and accessible restroom facilities. For additional information about ADA accommodations, please call 602-262-6225 or TTY 602-495-5048.
The City of Phoenix has taken a step forward on developing the Phoenix Central Station transit center site, a key downtown development area on Van Buren between 1st Ave and Central Ave. City staff recommended entering into negotiations with Smith Partners, LLC on their proposal for a mixed-use, high-rise apartment complex for the location.
Between October and December of last year, City staff met with various stakeholders, including the Citizens Transit Commission, Valley Metro, Downtown Phoenix Inc., Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Phoenix Elementary School District #1, Roosevelt Action Association, Evans Churchill Community Association and the Downtown Voices Coalition to develop the special requirements and evaluation criteria for the RFP for the site.
The RFP, which called for a “multi-modal, mixed-use, high-rise, transit-oriented development project,” was issued on December 24, 2013 with proposals due on February 24, 2014. By inviting development on this highly visible, strategic downtown site, the City is seeking to “further implement the strategic downtown vision, enhance the public transportation system, and maximize the return on the $4 billion in public and private capital that has been invested in downtown Phoenix over the past decade.”
“This is a prominent development site with tremendous opportunity, but it also presents some very complex challenges due to its physical location, transit facilities and operations, and legal and financial Federal Transit Administration requirements,” said Economic Development Program Manager Eric Johnson. “The City sought highly-qualified proposers, and was fortunate to receive two proposals considering the complexity, size and necessary resources needed to propose for such a project.”
The proposals were reviewed by a panel of 12 downtown stakeholders. After convening on March 4 and again on April 2, the panel proceeded to interview the two proposers on April 22 and determined their consensus scores, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal.
On May 2, Hank Marshall, the Acting Community and Economic Development Director and Maria Hyatt, the Acting Public Transit Direct signed off on a memo from Deputy Economic Development Director Scott Sumners requesting that they concur with the evaluation panel’s score and recommendation to move forward with the Smith Partners, LLC proposal.
A key element of the winning proposal was a Class A high-rise apartment building with 476 market rate studio, one and two bedroom apartments. Estimated monthly rents will range from $800 to $1600 per unit.
The building will include a 24-hour doorman, concierge services, laundry and dry cleaning services, a fitness center, a media/theater room, a resort-style swimming pool and spa, an outdoor fireplace and indoor secure parking.
The proposed high-rise will be built to serve urban professionals and individuals seeking a full-service, highly secure living environment. The ground floor of the building proposal includes office space and a service component for the transit operations, and 24-hour flexible co-work space for start-up businesses.
Gross Square Footage:
- 348,965 SF Residential
- 117,100 SF Common Area/Mechanical
- 8,000 SF Amentity/Leasing
- 4,850 SF Co-Working Offices
- 4500 SF Transit office
Number of Rental Units: 476 market rate rental units
Number of Parking Spaces: 526
Building Height: +/- 390 Feet, 34 Floors \
Number of Construction Jobs: 200
Number of Permanent Jobs: 15-20
Estimated Construction Cost: $72.3 million
Estimated Project Cost: $82 million
City staff will commence negotiations with Smith Partners in the coming weeks. Pending successful negotiations, staff will present recommended business terms for consideration by City Council subcommittees, the full City Council, and the Federal Transit Administration.
DPJ will report back on the progress of this important development in a key downtown location.
As an independent chronicler of all things downtown, DPJ takes a comprehensive approach to covering the urban living movement in Phoenix and, with this Conversation series, spotlighting the people who make it move.
“We should always assume that things can be better.”
Cindy Dach wears half a dozen hats at least and has been a key player in the revitalization of the Roosevelt Row area. She is a board member of Downtown Phoenix, Inc.; co-owner and general manager of Changing Hands Bookstore, which is about to open a Phoenix location in Uptown (Camelback Road and 3rd Avenue); owner of Made Art Boutique on Roosevelt and 5th Ave.; co-founder of Eye Lounge, a contemporary artists run collective on Roosevelt Street; co-founder of Arizona Chain Reaction (now Local First Arizona); co-founder and board member of the Roosevelt Row CDC; and one of the driving forces behind the annual Pie Social, the RoRo Chili Festival, and the Feast on the Street, just to name a few.
She and her partner, Greg Esser, moved to Phoenix from Denver in the mid-nineties and immediately set about seeking community. Even finding brunch back in those days was a challenge. “We always ended up at IHop, because there weren’t any other choices,” said Dach. They began taking steps to build the community they craved by creating Eye Lounge, which was originally an artist collective exhibiting at various locations.
After a while, they discovered inexpensive property in a blighted area along Roosevelt Street, and in 2001 they bought a building, rolled up their sleeves and create a permanent gallery for Eye Lounge. In reflecting on that time, Dach said, “Wayne Rainey and Kimber Lanning had begun doing things on Roosevelt then as well. We didn’t originally know each other, but we were all focused on creating a place for the arts and artists, and so we found each other.”
The impact of creating a community for artists and the arts on Roosevelt has been exponential. First Fridays went from a few hundred urban pioneers willing to seek out galleries on Jackson Street, Roosevelt Street and Grand Avenue, and exploded during those early years. Thousands of people now flock to Roosevelt and the area supports several galleries, retail stores, coffee houses, and restaurants.
“We didn’t originally know each another, but we were all focused on creating a place for the arts and artists, and so we found each other.“
Along the way, Dach and her cohorts established the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization to further the unique cultural character and creative assets of the Roosevelt Row Arts District. Fellow Roosevelt Row and Evans Churchill District neighbors worked together to create innovative grassroots community building events, such as the annual Pie Social, and the Chili Festival.
In addition to infusing the area with the arts, Dach and others recognized the negative impact of the empty lots and created A.R.T.S. (Activated Reuse of Temporary Spaces) initiatives to focus on activating these dead spaces. To date these programs have included the creation of a temporary A.R.T.S. Market on First Fridays, the development of the innovative Valley of the Sunflowers project, and support of The Lot: What Should Go Here? Pop Up Park at 2nd Street and Roosevelt.
Dach believes that the development of the ASU Downtown campus and the coming of light rail have been key to the rebirth of the area. “It started with the nursing school. Suddenly you noticed lots of young women with ponytails out and about,” says Dach, laughing. “But as more and more of the schools moved downtown they brought a whole range of young people into the neighborhood,” she continues. “And they are looking for things to do and places to hang out.”
Dach believes that Downtown Phoenix, Inc. can make Phoenix more competitive. “The ratings system for development is good and DPI can help us grow the city in a smarter way.” Her advice for the organization? “DPI needs to allow for diversity in the widest possible sense to participate in change-making.” As she puts it, “We should always assume that things can be better.”
Cindy Dach, along with fellow DPI board members, Kimber Lanning, and Tim Eigo represent a powerful, grassroots movement that has brought a whole new kind of energy and promise to downtown. Their place at the table speaks to the impact they’ve had in creating the community they were seeking all those years ago.
In addition to her commitment to Roosevelt Row, Cindy is a staunch supporter of bringing a great bookstore to central Phoenix. It took eight years for Tempe-based Changing Hands to find the right location and circumstances to open a Phoenix store. Dach is confident that Phoenix can support the venture. “Phoenix is ready for a bookstore, but I think we have some bad habits to break.” She explains, “It’s very obvious and for good reason the Phoenix community has been buying their books online. I hope they don’t experience sticker shock and that they realize that it’s not just the book they are buying at full retail value, they’re buying the experience, they’re buying the store, they’re buying the bookseller who’s going to recommend the book.”
“But as more and more of the schools moved downtown they brought a whole range of young people into the neighborhood. And they are looking for things to do and places to hang out.”
Ultimately, Dach believes that Phoenix is not only ready, but deserves a great bookstore. “Phoenix deserves another great community gathering place; we have some great gathering places, but we’re ready for another model and I think the bookstore could be it.”
When did Dach realize that Phoenix was her place? She says it wasn’t one moment, but a series of little moments. “I remember working on Eye Lounge and going to Portland’s covered in dust and having conversations with people about what downtown needs. I began to feel like maybe I do have a place here. It really was like ‘if you build it they will come.’ I began to feel that I did have a purpose, to be involved, and that it’s fun to be involved.”
Dach believes that one of the most amazing things about Phoenix is the people. You say ‘hey, I have shovels and we need to clear this lot’ and, lo and behold, they show up. Phoenix just wants to know how to help.”
When asked about the possibility of an Enhanceed Municipal Services District for the Roosevelt area, Dach said, “In my head it can be great to see a community being able to take care of itself, because these services just don’t exist now. You can whine and complain and ask for them, but they’re not coming and at the end of the day it’s going to come down to the community having dialogue. What I love about the process we’re about to enter, it’s going to be the best way to engage everyone.”