News & Events
The small parking lot at the southeast corner of Central and Adams, just west of Hanny’s in Downtown Phoenix offers up no hints of the amazing artistic event that took place on this spot 25 years ago this week. The year was 1986 – Terry Goddard was Phoenix Mayor, a Hollywood actor was in the White House, the Apache Trout was named the official state fish, and Halley’s comet shot across our sky – at the same time an artist was on a meteoric climb to super stardom. That artist was Keith Haring, fresh from opening Pop Shop in NYC and painting a mural on the now defunct Berlin Wall.
Haring had arrived in Phoenix to conduct a drawing workshop at the Phoenix Art Museum. During a drive through downtown, he took notice of the lack of art and proposed creating a mural. A partnership was put together quickly that included Haring, the Phoenix Art Museum, South Mountain High School and the City of Phoenix. The City supplied the paint, and Mike Prepsky, a teacher at South Mountain High School, arranged for about 60 students to work with Haring for a week of December mornings to create an amazing piece of art for downtown.
The location was the old Hartfield’s Dress Shop on the South East corner Adams and Central (now a small parking lot). Keith began free-handing the 125-foot mural in his characteristic bold outlines and invited the students to fill in the white spaces. They were instructed to completely fill in their area with bold colors, but they quickly began writing their names, making dots or drawing other images. When the unexpected additions were brought to Haring’s attention, he recognized they were making the mural their own and they were encouraged to continue.
The mural remained on the building for the next five years. In 1991, the City considered selling the mural to raise some money, but stipulations in the original contract stated that it was to be displayed for a year and then destroyed. Because the mural was painted on the untreated plywood that had covered the windows of the building and had spent five years exposed to the sun, it was a wreck and people had begun defacing it. So, the City hauled the Keith Haring mural to the dump and that is where the story should have ended. Later, however, a section of the mural was spotted in an art space on Madison and Central called the Faux Cafe, (now defunct). After that it disappeared entirely and a shroud of mystery surrounds its whereabouts today.
Happy Birthday to the famous Keith Haring mural of Phoenix, on this, the 25th Anniversary of its creation! Prepsky documented the collaboration with a video camera, which included footage of Haring working, the kids painting and various people who visited the scene, including Terry Goddard. Check out the video of Haring and the students in the act of bringing this remarkable artwork to a corner of Phoenix.
Do you know a Downtown Phoenix artist, school, business or organization that has gone above and beyond in their support of the arts? Then submit a nomination for the 2012 Governor’s Arts Awards by midnight tomorrow, December 21, 2011.
All nominees will be recognized at the award event, and one nominee in each category will receive the Governor’s Arts Award.
Nominations will be accepted in the following categories:
This award recognizes an Arizona artist of significant merit, leadership or renown whose creations or contributions enrich the state and the field of the arts. This category is open to artists of all artistic disciplines.
Arts In Education – Individual
This award recognizes, educators, teaching artists, school administrators or school volunteers that have demonstrated significant support or participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in the State of Arizona
Arts In Education – Organization
This award recognizes a nonprofit arts organization or a school that has demonstrated significant support or participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to arts education in the State of Arizona.
This award recognizes small to large businesses, that have demonstrated significant support through time, energy, expertise and/or financial support or by participation in activities which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to the arts throughout the State of Arizona.
This award recognizes a community organization or institution that has demonstrated significant support of or participation in community-based programs or services which foster excellence in, appreciation of, or access to the arts in the State of Arizona. Schools or school districts are not eligible in this category
This award recognizes an individual for significant contributions to the arts in Arizona in the areas of arts leadership, support, and/or volunteerism.
The 2012 Governor’s Arts Awards will be presented March 27, 2012, at the Herberger Theater Center and are presented annually by the Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Office of the Governor.
For more information: www.GovernorsArtsAwards.org
(From the Mag brings you excerpts and continued conversations from DPJ Magazine, a bi-monthly print publication distributed throughout Greater Downtown Phoenix and beyond. Find the rest of the interview with President Crow in the latest edition DPJ Mag, now available online.)
David Leibowitz: How important should good design be to the city of Phoenix?
Michael Crow: Design is essential; it is adaptation to place to make all the natural features of the place work to our benefit. The desert is naturally cooling at night, as opposed to the city which is naturally heat absorbing. If we can change our design, our structure, we can change the cost basis for air conditioning. We can maintain species. We can change water transpiration rates. We can change the way the city works, both environmentally and economically and from the livability prospective itself.
We have a tremendous opportunity to use design to our advantage to enhance livability. Now, it’s already livable. How do you make it fantastically livable so that everybody wants to be here? The attrition rate is not trivial. Lots of people come, they experience the summer, they experience what happens at night, in the morning and then they leave. Imagine those people not leaving and being able to attract anyone to a fantastically livable place. We’re going to have to design and engineer some of that to make it work.
DL: How might Phoenix be engineered differently?
MC: We have a range of ways that we can engineer surfaces. We can engineer rooftops, shade structures. We could engineer buildings that change the nighttime heat index problem. That means we have to think it through. We have to build a unique city rather than just a transplant city. And that requires rethinking design, rethinking materials, rethinking structures. And from that you’ll be able to have the city grow without becoming a place that never goes below 95 degrees at night. Or eventually never goes below a hundred.
DL: Where are we in the continuum of downtown evolution?
MC: I think we’re still in the early stages which is good; we’ve got high energy in the early stages. I do think the progress will continue; I think it really needs to continue. And I think that we’re early and that’s good, because that means we’ll be able to take advantage of renewable energy technologies. We’ll be able to take advantage of advanced nano materials. We’ll be able to take advantage of new engineering techniques. All of which could make Downtown Phoenix into an absolutely unique kind of venue. It has many of these now and it’s done very, very nicely up to this point. We need to keep all that going.
DL: You have said that Phoenix’s competitive advantage is ours to lose. What did you mean by that?
MC: We have all of the natural assets. We have a beautiful location, beautiful place, relatively happy environment, a successful ability to advance, to do things, to make things happen. So, we have to figure out how to make all of that work. And in making all of that work, with all the natural assets, it’s going to extend our competitive advantage. It’s ours to lose. If we don’t figure out how to urbanize, if we don’t figure out how to fill the Central City, if we don’t figure out how to build intensity, then we will lose to other places that have fewer natural advantages.
Downtown needs to become a place of visually intense energy. And that’s an energy hung in between sectors or groups. Sports, finance, education, business, technology – all those things are required to make a vibrant downtown.
‘Tis the season to discover holiday lights and displays at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Gather your friends, family, and neighbors to see a winter wonderland of festive decorations and enjoy great food this holiday season. The hotel features a large Christmas tree trimmed with ornaments and lights, and a gingerbread house village creatively decorated and displayed inside the hotel’s Park Lounge lobby. Additionally, the District American Kitchen & Wine Bar will be serving up delicious holiday cuisine.
“It’s wonderful to see so many friends and families spending time together as they savor the fine food our chefs cook up and admire the holiday décor,“ said General Manager Leo Percopo. “Guests will be mesmerized by the large Christmas tree adorned with red and gold ornaments and sparkling lights that serve as the centerpiece of the hotel’s Park Lounge. There’s even a custom-built train set that meanders through an intricately designed holiday village of gingerbread houses. With faux snow, bridges, tunnels, and a train depot, you’re instantly transported to nostalgic childhood memories.”
In the spirit of the season, the District American Kitchen & Wine Bar has passed along a couple of their delicious holiday cocktail recipes. We may not get snow in Phoenix, but we can savor our own kind of White Christmas in cocktail form. Enjoy!
• 4 oz eggnog (eggnog can be purchased or homemade)
• ½ oz white chocolate liqueur
• 1 oz Southern Comfort
• Edible gold or chocolate flakes for decoration
1. Mix liquid ingredients together in a shaker.
2. Pour and serve in a snifter.
3. Sprinkle top with edible gold or chocolate flakes.
Christmas Dream cocktail
• 1 oz amaretto
• 1 oz heavy cream
• 1 oz vodka
• Sprinkle of nutmeg
1. Mix all liquid ingredients with ice in a shaker.
3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
4. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg to the top.
Santa’s Little Helper Muddled Drink
• 12 cranberries
• Half a lime, quartered
• 1 small piece of fresh ginger
• 1 tsp. superfine sugar
• 1½ oz gin
• ¾ oz Cointreau
• ¾ oz cranberry juice
1. Place cranberries, limes, fresh ginger, and superfine sugar into a mixing glass and muddle.
2. Add remaining ingredients, fill with ice, and shake.
3. Pour contents (including ice) into a tall glass.
Everything Nice Cocktail
• Cinnamon and sugar to rim the glass
• 2 oz spiced vodka
• 2 oz fresh sweetened lime juice (1:1 parts fresh lime juice and simple syrup)
1. Mix spiced vodka and sweetened lime juice over ice in a shaker.
2. Shake well.
3. Pour into a cinnamon and sugar rimmed martini glass.
If You Go
For restaurant reservations, call (602) 817-5400 or visit www.districtrestaurant.com.
Stay the night at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel with holiday rates starting from $99. To book, visit sheratonphoenixdowntown.com/phoenix-hotel-deals or call (800) 325-3535 and mention rate code HOL11.
Holgas began life as a modest, two-story apartment building sometime back in the 60s and through the years suffered the usual slings and arrows of urban decay and neglect. Wayne Rainey, an urban pioneer looking to pump some life back into Downtown, bought the rundown complex in 1999 and, in an affordable housing deal with the city, brought it back to life as live/work/exhibit space for a steady stream of young artists throughout the last decade.
As Rainey recalls, “Holgas, (along with other early outposts like Rainey’s monOrchid Gallery, Kimber Lanning’s Modified Arts and Greg Esser/Cindy Dach’s eye lounge) was part of a conscious effort to build a critical mass of artists and art spaces to help bring people back to Downtown Phoenix.”
Over the years, Holgas has suffered some highs and lows, and recently Rainey decided to sell. Phoenix-based installation artist and fourth generation Phoenix farmer Matt Moore spotted the “for sale” sign and decided to stop and check it out. And here’s where serendipity comes in. As he was walking up to the building, Gordon Knox (Director of the ASU Art Museum) and Greg Esser (Director, ASU Art Museum’s Desert Initiative and owner of several downtown art spaces) were walking out. Turns out, Moore and Knox knew each other from Moore’s time at the Civitella Raneri Foundation, an international artist residency in Perugia, Italy where Moore had been invited to stay a few years earlier. Knox, the one responsible for the creation of that residency (and a few others), was now at ASU.
“My seven weeks in this artist residency program in Perugia, Italy was an amazing experience. It was so important to me as an artist, particularly the social interaction with other artists from all over the world, that it had become my dream to cultivate that kind of environment for others,” says Moore.
Running into Knox and Esser that day set the wheels in motion for Moore and his painter wife, Carrie Marill. They’d been looking for studio space for themselves and Knox was looking for space to start a residency program for international artists in Phoenix. “Holgas had what we needed: room for our studios, spaces for other artists to come together, and a great location with proximity to coffee houses, restaurants and the creative mind of the area,” said Moore. Over coffee the partnership was born.
Moore, Marill and Moore’s parents together purchased the building and are spending the next few weeks spiffing things up a bit before the first international artists (coming from Italy, France and Mexico) begin arriving for their residencies on January 15.
“When artists become successful in Phoenix, they hit the proverbial glass ceiling and often they leave. We see developing this residency as a way to keep vested in Phoenix, to move forward on creating an even more creative environment in Phoenix,” said Moore.
Rainey is happy with the prospect of an international artist residency program coming to Holgas. “My one wish for the future is that Holgas continues to have a positive effect on the life of the city.”
To celebrate the spirit of Holgas and some of the artists who made it their home over the years, Rainey is hosting “Holgas – 10 Years Gone, A Retrospective” at monOrchid Gallery on Friday night, December 16. Join the fun and celebrate the passing of the torch with an all-star show of Holga’s alumni.
If You Go
When: Friday, December 16, 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight
Where: monOrchid Gallery, 214 East Roosevelt
Who: Artists showing include –
… Lee Hazel
Judith Ann Miller
Beth Royalty Tom