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
If you want to feel a sense of pride and connection to the place you come from, just listen to the stories of the people who live there. This feeling was palpable last Thursday at the storytelling showcase hosted by Phoenix Phabulous Experience, the Phoenix Center for the Arts and The Arizona Republic’s Arizona Storytellers Project.
Those who gathered at the Phoenix Center for the Arts heard stories from every point of Phoenix’s history: from the earliest days of ancient desert life, through each period that led to Phoenix becoming the modern city it is today and even stories predicting what our future might hold.
This event was a critical part of the larger place-making initiative called the Phoenix Phabulous Experience, a project conceptualized by Dr. Carol Poore, who serves as its president and executive producer. The goal is to tell the big story of nine time periods of Phoenix’s history in a widely accessible way.
As a Phoenix native and prominent leader, Poore is deeply engrained in the Phoenix community and felt it needed a unifying piece to create a stronger sense of place.
“How do you tell a big story? It’s through small storytelling,” says Poore.
It’s through stories like the one told by Frank Barrios about Phoenix’s Mexican community in the late 1800’s and by Henry Ong, Jr. about the Chinese community in the early 1900’s.
Or the one told by Ivan Makil about growing up on the Salt-River Pima Maricopa Indian reservation, where Phoenix was seen as the “place over the hill.
Or the one Dr. George Brooks, Jr. told about his father’s connections to the creation of the Head Start program and its introduction in Phoenix.
And Tim O’Neil’s story about why he believes that our rich native legacy, abundant sunshine, education, arts and culture make today’s Arizona the greatest place on earth.
The Phoenix Phabulous Experience will take the threads of these powerful individual stories and weave them into a single tapestry that represents the city’s history.
The first iteration of that tapestry comes in the form of a mural created this past weekend at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts. The piece was created by a team of local artists and led by artist Hugo Medina and will be unveiled during Art Detour in the spring.
“Murals are part of civilization and society since the beginning of time. It’s the first thing we learn how to do, the first thing we learn how to communicate as kids is through art,” says Medina. “It not only adds color and beauty into an environment, but at the same time tells a story.”
The next step is to transform the mural into a large-scale digital installation using 3D projection mapping. This technology has been used in other cities to project cutting-edge 3D videos onto the sides of buildings for promotional events and concerts.
This would create a major visual attraction for downtown Phoenix, one that Poore hopes will become a centerpiece for both locals and visitors to appreciate.
Ideally the installation will make its debut when the Super Bowl returns to Phoenix in 2015.
Poore believes that sharing our stories allows us to understand our neighbors better, and appreciate them as people with ideas, dreams and traditions.
“The small storytelling part of it is just as powerful as the big production.”
Options for living in downtown Phoenix just keep getting better. This week, The Marquee Apartments at 620 North 2nd Avenue staged its Grand Opening in the heart of the Historic Roosevelt District. The Marquee is a smartly realized midcentury apartment complex developed by Community Development Partners, a development team dedicated to providing high quality, affordable housing to income-restricted seniors.
If you are 62 and over and living with a limited income, this renovated complex offers easy access to light rail, Hance Park, the main library, the post office, the Public Market and a host of cafes and coffee shops, all within an easy walk.
Built in 1958, the Marquee suffered years of neglect before being chosen by Community Development Partners (CDP) as the perfect place to put their feet down in Phoenix. In describing their focus as developers, Eric Paine, CEO of CDP said, “We are passionate about sustainability, about improving lives, and about helping to build the strong, diverse community that is coming to life along the light rail.”
The building is a good example of midcentury architecture that CDP took great care in preserving by restoring many of the original architectural details. In addition, they integrated sustainable elements designed to make the residents more comfortable while conserving energy, including new solid surface flooring, energy efficient appliances, water conserving plumbing fixtures, Energy Star lighting packages, new electrical infrastructure, new cabinets and countertops, fresh paint and in-unit washers and dryers.
Paine also paid tribute to the impact the arts community has had in helping bring vibrant life to downtown. Local artist Hugo Medina, who spoke at the opening, reiterated the crucial role artists play in building communities when he said, “artists give cities their souls, their character and their color.” The Marquee will honor this impact by working with local artists to curate and display regularly changing exhibitions in the complex’s community center.
Colin Tetreault, Mayor Stanton’s Senior Policy Advisory for Sustainability, emphasized the connection to the building’s “sustainable” history. He pointed out that in 1958 when the building was new, many people had their own vegetable gardens, dried their clothes on clotheslines, darned their socks instead of tossing them, and engaged in a host of other “sustainable” energy-saving activities “before being sustainable was cool.…”
He added, “Projects like the Marquee cultivate the growth of a diverse future for downtown. The people who live here bring their experience, their backgrounds and their energy to the community. Adaptive reuse of properties like the Marquee and the integration of sustainable elements provides benefits to business, and has a direct impact on the quality of life for residents.”
Resident Richard Fox was one of the first tenants to move into the Marquee. He came to Arizona to study at Arcosanti in 1972 and never left. Fox loves his home at the Marquee. “When I was growing up we had a beach house in Florida, and yet, this is still the best place I’ve ever lived,” said Fox. “I moved in over Easter weekend and as night fell I looked out of the bedroom window and could see the full moon shining over the Sheraton. It was beautiful.”
Michael Trailor, from the Arizona Department of Housing pointed out that the main difference between developing affordable housing and market rate housing is the complexity of the financing. In the Marquee, CDP found a way to navigate the process and deliver a smart, efficient and welcome new option for living downtown.
Apartments in the complex are still available, so if you are at least 62 and living with a fixed income, you need to check them out.
Select photography provided by The Marquee, courtesy of Tony Felice PR & Marketing
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Collectors Invited to an Intimate Artist Meet & Greet Tour
Crista Cloutier to Host Tour of Three Downtown Phoenix Galleries
Artlink’s bi-monthly Third Friday Collectors Tour returns Friday, March 15, from 6-9 p.m. These exclusive guided tours visit select exhibitions/artist studios in downtown Phoenix, with light refreshments at each location. Guests enjoy a private viewing as well as the opportunity to meet the curators and artist(s) one-on-one and learn more about their processes and vision.
Galleries are invited to submit their shows to be included on the tour. The Guest Guides select the exhibitions featured.
Crista Cloutier, an international curator, appraiser, arts writer, and artist selected this month’s exhibitions. Her most recent projects include curating the Kiki Smith/Valerie Hammond exhibit “Streaming Spirits” currently making its world tour, and developing The Working Artist, an online master class for creating a successful art career.
“I was thrilled to be asked to curate the Third Friday Collectors Tour, but humbled when I began visiting the galleries and seeing the breadth of talent that Phoenix offers. Narrowing it to three venues was a difficult decision,” said Crista. “I am interested in conversations about what it means to be a working artist and in showing people what the other side of the art business looks like: the hard work, big decisions, and dedication that it entails…. I look forward to sharing this ‘glimpse behind the curtain’ with participants on the 15th.”
WHAT: Artlink’s Third Friday Collectors Tour
WHEN: Friday, March 15
TIME: 6 – 9 p.m.
WHERE: Round-trip tour from Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave.
Barry Goldstein, Works on Paper
The Coe House Gallery
365 N. 4th Ave.
Curated by Hugo Medina
This exhibition is the first in the new Coe House Gallery, a 19th century building in the Historic Roosevelt District. Curated by local painter, Hugo Medina, Goldstein’s urban landscapes transcend the mundane day-to-day through rich colors and poetic imagery. Goldstein is an internationally known artist who was born and raised in Brooklyn, and has made Phoenix his creative home for the last decade.
The Joe and Jan Show
R Pela Contemporary Art
335 W. McDowell Rd.
Curated by Robrt Pela
“The Joe and Jan Show” is a group exhibition of artwork in homage to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Governor Jan Brewer. Featured artists include Eric Cox, Jeff Falk, Annie Lopez, Peter Bugg, Cuban painter Chary Castro and French comic artist Vincent LaRue. Curated by Robrt Pela.
215 E. Grant St.
Curated by John Reyes
Bentley Gallery is a uniquely beautiful space in the warehouse district of downtown Phoenix. Neo Chroma is a contemporary survey of the use of brilliant color in abstract painting.
The galleries/artist spaces will provide refreshments, and participants will have a private viewing of the work and the opportunity to meet the curators and artist(s) one-on-one and learn more about their processes and vision.
Tickets are $35 each, two for $60. Seating is limited. To reserve your space please go to Eventbrite.
About Artlink: Artlink, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to linking artists, business and the public to better understand, appreciate and promote a thriving arts community in Central Phoenix. Artlink promotes a variety of community-based art events happening throughout the year, including First Fridays, the country’s largest self-guided gallery tour, and also operates two downtown galleries at Heritage & Science Park and the A.E. England Building. Both gallery spaces are committed to showcasing the talents of new and emerging local artists. Ongoing community projects include, the promotion of the First Friday Art Walk and Third Friday Collectors Tour, annual Juried Exhibition, and the annual Artlink Art Detour. For more information, visit: artlinkphoenix.com. Artlink’s year-round activities are supported by Phoenix Art Museum, Dunn Transportation, Snell & Wilmer, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Community Alliance, The Torosian Foundation, Downtown Voices Coalition, Grand Avenue Merchants Association, Roosevelt Row CDC, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Obliq Art, Urban Affair and Invexi Web Development.
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.