You may have noticed that increasingly downtown Phoenix galleries are opening their new exhibitions on Third Fridays. This Third Friday (tonight) brings a much-anticipated show at Modified Arts, featuring new work from 3CarPileUp, a downtown Phoenix artist collective since the 90′s, featuring originating members Randy Slack, David Dauncey, and James Angel. For 14 years, 3CarPileUp has presented the Annual Chaos Theory exhibition featuring over fifty local creatives.
As a part of the 3CarPileUp exhibition, local film and video artist Perry Allen (a periodic contributor to DPJ) will premiere his new animated work, “Town of Product.” In 2012, Allen was awarded an Artist Project Grant Distinguished Merit Award (that’s a serious mouthful!) from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to create this piece, which premieres tonight.
“Town of Product” is an animated installation using still image advertising from the 80s to create 24 hours of life in a suburban town, complete with people that move down streets, peek in windows, and shop; breezes that ruffle trees, in world that interacts. Perry Allen digitally animated the project to reflect this 24-hour cycle then sped it up to screen in 24 minutes.
“There was kind of an interesting documentary element to the project,” said Allen. “I put out a call to my network of friends and contacts looking for examples of print advertising and people started sending me all these magazines from the 80s. I didn’t start with a focus on that time period, that’s just what happened.” The ads that Allen used came from the leading mainstream, pop culture magazines of the time – such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Vogue and Cosmopolitan, to name a few.
Every element of the town comes from the ads Allen discovered in the magazines: houses, trees, people, cars, and buildings. “There’s no storyline,” says Allen. “It’s more of a meditation on time and place, on our consumer culture and suburban lifestyle as it looked thirty years ago.”
To make it even more interesting, Allen was inspired by a conversation with Kimber Lanning to project the video onto the windows of Modified instead of an interior wall. In this way, the installation will be visible from both inside the gallery and to the people passing by on Roosevelt Street. Should be pretty cool!
The exhibition runs through June 7.
If You Go
Where: Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt
When: Friday, May 16 through Friday, June 7
For more info: 602-462-5516 or Facebook
I have buried my sketchbook under books on polar exploration, a plant-based diet and the concept of space in the age of the internet. When I enter my studio space, I take a moment to stare frighteningly at the scattered, messy desktop buried under unopened mail and a few dirty coffee cups. I am haunted by Facebook posts of artist friend accomplishments and the reflection it has on my inactivity.
This is the frozen desert of being at an artistic standstill.
Like pressing on through a frigid, barren landscape with no clear end to the steady, repetitive horizon: the days of inactivity and unmeasurable creativity continue. For many artists, this is when we start to look at whether it might have been better to study as a Latent Print Examiner or follow a more practical career as an accountant. Maybe some have even fantasized about the seemingly simple life as a heavy machine operator or bus driver. Imagine the satisfaction of completing an honest day of work and settling in to relax in the evening.
This possibility is as remote as a constantly shifting magnetic pole and as unappealing as an unseasoned bowl of polenta. Any artist who has attempted this shift in career due to a temporary lack of inspiration soon finds out that they are floating in a virtual world of non-ideas. It is not the world they are cut out for.
Unfortunately, the artist is beset with the drive to produce and put something in to the world. Although one might be able to sit back and be distracted, distraught and disengaged, the pull to act keeps nagging like hunger. I can’t ignore forever that there are thoughts in my head and I am compelled, like an explorer was to the open sea, to find out more about it.
It is time to get out. When in the darkest moments of intellectual despair, sometimes it’s better to turn outward. Luckily, Phoenix has answered with a repertoire of activities to foster ideas, import information and maybe most importantly: generate human contact. Tuesday night Lawn Gnome hosts Books and Beakers, a weekly “bringing science to the people” event on the subject of Time Dilation Theory and more remotely local interdisciplinary artist Chris Danowski opens his show Dogface at the ASU West, Artspace West Gallery. Friday I can visit the multi-media installation by Ann Morton at Modified, Jackalope Ranch’s Manifesto exhibit at Drive-Thru Gallery and the Valley of the Sunflowers Paper Project at Combine Studios.
With so many options to turn outward, I have no reason to fall further into the crevasse of my own artistic inactivity. Instead, I can revel in the collective ability for others in the community to lift me up through their own action and energy and realize that I will get mine back in time. The desert, even in its cold state, need not be bleak.
Suggested reading: The Race to the White Continent: Voyages to the Antarctic by Alan Gurney; Below the Convergence: Voyages Toward Antarctica, 1699-1839, Alan Gurney; City of Bits: Space, Place, and the Infobahn, William J. Mitchell; Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health, Brendan Brazier
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.
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
Need something to do on Friday night and you’re not a huge Madri Gras fan or out celebrating 311 day? Well, let us offer you a unique solution: Downtown Chamber Series (DCS) is making the rounds and stopping at Modified Arts for a night.
Although Roosevelt Row’s beloved brick bungalow has stopped hosting nightly touring acts, the gallery couldn’t help but make an exception for DCS.
DCS is a large group of talented, local musicians that have come from all over the world. Many of them play in the Phoenix Symphony.
On Friday, the group will play the music of Nico Muhly, who has composed music for indie greats such as Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, Jónsi of Sigor Rós and Björk. The all-string performance of violins, violas and cello will provide you with a performance rarely seen in on Roosevelt.
So, while you explore the art exhibit, “What Goes On and What Takes Place,” featuring local artists Sue Chenoweth, Carolyn Lavender and others, your ears will be treated to some nice art-gazing music.
And, for $10, this is an absolute steal. Art: √, music: √, and a great way to end the week: √.
The show starts at 8 p.m.
Modified Arts is located at 407 E. Roosevelt St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt Station) — 602.462.5516
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