Arts & Culture
Randy Slack is an artist, collector, surfer, and a renaissance connoisseur of nostalgia. His work captures elements from his own Phoenix past, and his slant on our shared pop culture memories: long-haired beachy girls, VW buses, and surfboards. While many of his images yearn for surf and sand, he is firmly rooted in his own Phoenix past. On Friday, December 5, for one night only, the Luhrs City Center will play host to the Randy Slack Retrospective: From the Luhrs Basement and Beyond, showcasing the ongoing life of this historic building and the growth of Randy’s life as an artist from his early days, nearly two decades ago, in its basement.
As Randy tells it, back in the mid-late 90’s the then owner of the Luhrs Building gave the boys in Three Car Pile Up (Randy Slack, David Dauncey and James Angel) a studio to work in the Luhrs basement, and a small gallery space to show their work in the Luhrs Annex. He was generous to them and for payment, just asked that they paint murals in the hall that led from the Annex to the main building.
The building has special meaning for Slack who grew up visiting it with his dad, Rick, who worked on the elevators. “I was invited by the Hansji Corp. to do the show, and at first I wasn’t going to. But the more I thought about it, well, that’s the bottom line for wanting to do this retrospective. I have so much personal history here. I grew up running after my dad in this place,” said Slack. “I remember thinking, when we had our studio, that as an artist I didn’t belong there. We were kids down in the basement painting and upstairs were all the lawyers and guys in suits.”
“Randy Slack Retrospective: from the Luhrs Basement and Beyond” will include some of Slack’s earliest work, created in the Luhrs studio, as well as his recent larger-scale pieces. When the Luhrs Annex was being demolished, the murals were brought to light. One section, which included Randy’s piece showing the skyline and Patriot’s Park, had been painted on some old wallpaper. Randy was able to peel it from the wall before it was destroyed. This mural, along with a large-scale installation piece called “My Grandmother’s Livingroom” and two dozen additional paintings spanning the last 20 years of his work will fill the raw storefront space in the bottom of the soon to be renovated Luhrs. This show will be a celebration of the raw, young energy that artists like Slack have infused into downtown over the last twenty years, and the rebirth of a wonderful example of historic downtown architecture.
“This is all going to be gone forever, the raw space, the window frames, the details,” said Slack about the storefront space. “What they’re doing (Hansji Corp.) is great. For Phoenix, we don’t have a lot of these old buildings. The idea behind the retrospective is to get the community together and celebrate what we have and what these guys have done. It’s not just about me, they’re inviting me as a conduit to the community…. I joke that I’ve become my dad and know all these people. It’s cool.”
If You Go:
What: Randy Slack Retrospective: From the Luhrs Basement and Beyond, one-night only pop-up gallery
When: Friday, December 5, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Where: 11 W. Jefferson St.
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Alternative Black Friday at CityScape Phoenix
Sleep In, Avoid the Madness & Shop Local Vendors at the Vintage Market
This Black Friday avoid the crowds, sleep in, shop unique specialty gifts, sip mimosas and local beers all while shopping local vendors and listening to a DJ at CityScape Phoenix’s third annual “Alternative Black Friday”.
CityScape is hosting a vintage market with over 20 local vendors including Meat Market Vintage, Rare Scarf Vintage, Antique Sugar, Zinnias on Melrose and Grow-Op Boutique. This year, Alternative Black Friday is introducing the Handmade Marketplace, a local makers marketplace with vendors selling everything from jewelry and beauty products to coffee and crafts from vendors such as Strawberry Hedgehog and Lux Hardgoods among many others. Similar to a Paris flea market, they will be selling vintage clothes, antiques, jewelry, coffee, crafts and home goods and décor.
While you browse, enjoy the Mimosa Bar by The Corner as well as local beers and wine and listen to local DJs, all of which will be setup in Patriots Square.
Major Black Friday deals are also available at Urban Outfitters (open 7am to 10pm, offering additional 50 percent off redline sale items), Charming Charlie and Jos A. Bank (open 7am-10pm). Alternative Black Friday shoppers will also receive additional discounts when they use code “ABF” at Yogurt Time, Pizza Studio and V’s Barbershop.
After the market, head over to Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, Breakfast Club or The Corner to enjoy brunch. While you’re there, lace up your skates and hit the ice at CityScape Phoenix’s CitySkate, which is offering half-price skating, including skate rental, for $6 from 11am to 1:30pm.
The first 300 shoppers will receive an exclusive Alternative Black Friday tote bag filled with goodies and coupons for CityScape merchants. Shoppers can enter to win a prize package by using hashtag #MyABF to tag their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook photos of their Alternative Black Friday experience.
CityScape Phoenix – Patriots Square
(Between First Avenue and First Street and between Washington and Jefferson streets)
FREE 2-hour parking with validation.
Event is free and open to the public. The cost of admission for skating on Alternative Black Friday is half-price for $6 per person and includes skate rental.
Photos courtesy of CityScape.
There’s a common story that unfolds in cities and towns again and again. Artists looking for cheap rent and spaces to work, move into neglected, transitional areas of town. Their presence and impact begins to transform the area and everything surrounding it. Once scary parts of town become trendy and desirable, and real estate prices begin to rise. The next thing you know, the artists are forced to move elsewhere to find affordable space. And so it goes.
As the vitality of our urban core grows and gathers strength, the desire to live and work here is increasing. How do we nurture growth and density, yet continue to support and embrace artists? One way, is to make sure that there is affordable space for them to continue to live and create in the very neighborhoods that they helped transform.
Artspace is a uniquely successful nonprofit real estate developer whose entire mission is dedicated to creating, fostering and preserving affordable spaces for artists and arts organizations. For three decades they’ve pioneered and built affordable housing for artists. They’ve seen how these projects have advanced public agendas, from job creation, to transit-oriented development, historic preservation and community stabilization and they’ve created a successful process for working with communities that includes a preliminary feasibility visit, an arts market survey, leading to the potential of predevelopment planning or customized consulting.
Because of Artspace’s very specific development experience, the City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, along with Downtown Phoenix, Inc., JP Morgan Chase, Arizona Community Foundation and Arizona Forward invited the Artspace team to Phoenix for a preliminary feasibility visit. On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Wendy Holmes, Sr. Vice President, Consulting & Strategic Partnerships and and Stacey L. Mickelson, Vice President of Government Relations conducted focus groups with artists, representatives from arts organizations, and the public to learn about the specifics of our community, including the success of the locally-developed Oasis on Grand project in the Grand Avenue Arts District, and begin to suss out additional opportunities for creating sustainable, affordable spaces for artists and arts organization in downtown Phoenix.
“We are pleased that so many people from our arts community turned out for the ArtSpace presentations last week,” said Gail Browne, executive director of the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. “Clearly there is a great need for affordable live/work housing for artists in Phoenix.”
To date, Artspace has completed 36 projects in over 14 states, and they are in development on several more, including one in Mesa and another in Avondale. Many of their developments have been adaptive reuse projects. Some are combinations of old and new build elements, while others are all new builds. They are scattered in small and large cities throughout the country and many were built to accommodate artists and their families and include multiple two-and three-bedroom units.
“An Artspace project in Phoenix would provide affordable housing to the creative community, which is sorely needed,” said Diane Brossart, president & ceo of Arizona Forward, a nonprofit partner in bringing Artspace to Phoenix. “Artspace has a track record of creating sustainable projects across the country that stand the test of time – they are sustainable live/work environments that support the arts community.”
Most of the Artspace projects combine housing and studio or rehearsal space for artists with community spaces for performances and exhibitions, spaces for arts organizations, or spaces for small commercial enterprises. Holmes points out that “these businesses can be arts-related, or they can be simply arts-compatible.” One example she noted was a project with artist housing, studio spaces, and commercial spaces, including a daycare business. Not an arts business, but definitely arts-compatible.
This notion of a business being arts-compatible is worth thinking harder about as we plan how we want our downtown to grow. What elements work together and truly support the downtown we want, and which are at cross-purposes? And where do artists fit into the mix?
As the Roosevelt Row area has witnessed in recent months, there are strong feelings about what kind of development will be compatible with the lively artistic vibe of the area. Everyone who has invested in this neighborhood is passionate about what should be built on the shoulders of the artists who’ve spent a couple of decades making it their home. Will it nurture the artists in the area, or make it impossible for them to continue to live there? Whatever comes of the debate being waged over development on 2nd Street, the tensions and the passions are part of the growing pains of a city in the process of transforming itself, and not just in the Roosevelt Row Arts Distric, but in downtown overall.
As we temporarily activate empty lots, adaptively reuse historic structures, celebrate new highrise apartment complexes, and loudly proclaim our longing for mixed-use development, the unique experience and expertise of Artspace may be able to help us effectively create and develop affordable spaces that will keep artists working their magic in the heart of our city. As the process proceeds, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the progress and opportunities.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
CitySkate is Back & Bigger than Ever with Impressive Real Ice Rink
The Valley’s Only Real Outdoor Ice Rink Opens in Downtown Phoenix for 10-week Run
For the fifth year in a row, close to 100,000 holiday revelers will descend on CityScape Phoenix to take part in the 10 weeks of CitySkate, the largest and only real outdoor ice rink in the Valley that is bigger than ever and dramatically placed in the center of Central Avenue.
The ice rink this year has been significantly upgraded to a 30 percent larger rink than last year with 5,442 square-feet of real ice, a Christmas tree placed in the center of the rink and hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Also new this year is a complimentary photo booth for skaters to capture their CitySkate memories.
The rink, presented by APS, will be open daily from Nov. 22 through Feb. 2 with special events happening many days of the week
The holidays will officially kick-off at CityScape Phoenix with a tree lighting ceremony and fun for the whole family on Nov. 29.
For those looking to extend their holiday festivities, Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix is offering a “Stay & Skate” package that includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, 15 percent off the best available rate starting from $129 per night, two tickets to CitySkate and two custom Hotel Palomar branded beanies. Use rate code “Skate” when booking at http://www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or by calling 602-253-6633.
CitySkate at CityScape Phoenix
Nov. 22 through Feb. 2
Day Session: 11am – 1:30pm (Daily). Night Session: 4pm – 11pm (Sun.– Fri.), 4pm – Midnight (Sat.)
Kids and Adults – $12 each
Military, Kids Under 5, Seniors – $6 each
College Students (with valid student ID) and groups of 10 or more – $10 each
Ice rink rental is available for private parties and events. Contact (602) 772-3900.
Visit www.cityskatephx.com to purchase tickets and for a list of holiday hours and closures. Admission includes skate rental and unlimited skating all day.
City of Phoenix Holiday Kick-Off and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 29
3pm – 11pm (Santa Claus arrives at 4pm, Tree Lighting at 6pm)
The holiday tree lighting ceremony begins at 6pm with Mayor Greg Stanton and his family lighting the tree. There will be “Frozen”-themed ice skating performances, sledding with real snow in Patriots Square, live music performances, photos with Santa and public ice skating following the tree lighting.
Skate with Howler from the Arizona Coyotes
Every Monday from 7-8pm
Beginning Nov. 24, join Howler from the Arizona Coyotes every Monday night!
Tuesday Theme Days
11/25: Red Nose Day. 12/2: White Christmas. 12/9: Elf Day. 12/16: Ugly Sweater Day. 12/23: Santa Skate (Bad Santa after 8pm).
Every Tuesday, guests are encouraged to dress up as part of that week’s theme for a chance to win prizes. To enter, just take a photo at the photo booth and a winner will be picked the following day. The first 100 skaters will receive fun giveaways based on the theme. Movies will be projected on the ice and soundtracks will be played while skaters circle the ice.
Learn to Skate with the Arizona Coyotes
Dec. 3, Dec. 7 and Jan. 21
5-6pm and 6-7pm
Skate lessons with Coyotes Hockey Development Team
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online.
Every Saturday from Nov. 22 through Jan. 31
9pm – midnight
DJs, games and prizes and Copper Blues selling hot chocolate and hot apple cider.
Photos with Santa
Saturday’s from Nov. 29 – Dec. 20
Nov. 29: 4:30 – 8pm
Dec. 6: 2 – 5pm
Dec. 13: 6 – 9pm
Dec. 20: 9am- noon
Skater Discounts from CityScape Tenants
All season long, skaters who visit CitySkate can show their wristband to receive a special discount at the following locations:
10 percent off your bill at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, Copper Blues, Squid Ink Sushi.
20 percent off any service at V’s Barbershop.
Free shoe rental when you bowl at Lucky Strike Lanes
Free fountain beverage with the purchase of any pizza at Pizza Studio
$3 glass of red or white wine and a free cookie with the purchase of a hot chocolate at The Corner
For more information about CityScape Phoenix’s CitySkate, visit www.cityskatephx.com or call 602-772-3900. Ample and convenient underground parking is available.
Images courtesy of CityScape Phoenix.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner Expands to Full-Day Fest & New Downtown Phoenix Location
Presented by APS, this event brings Valley Mayors & their chosen tamale-makers together for charity!
On November 15th, 2014, the 79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner will move into its new event location at The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and present an exciting day of family-friendly festival activities.
Presented by APS and organized by Friendly House, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that has proudly served the local community since 1920, their annual Tamale Dinner is the longest continuously running fundraiser in Arizona. Now with a new location and challenge to expand the event offerings, Friendly House hopes to bring a day of fun to downtown Phoenix from noon to 10pm. “Last year, we ventured into a partnership with 16 Valley Mayors to compete in the inaugural ‘Battle of the Tamales,’” says Lourdes Sierra, Tamale Dinner Chair. “This year, we are seeking Mayoral support again, only now with even more entertainment for attendees of all ages.”
Event committee members are striving to secure the participation of approximately 12 Valley Mayors, who will each in turn identify a selected hometown restaurant to showcase their tamale offerings to event-goers. These vendors will sell tamales of various types (chicken, pork, beef, etc.) along with side items to attendees. A selected number of restaurants offering unique twists on traditional tamales will be invited to participate in the festival as well.
At the event, a main stage will be erected at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren, facing a large grass area where attendees will be encouraged to lounge all day to watch bands, dance troupes, and other entertainment in between bites of tamales and related Mexican fare. A beer garden will be set up under a picturesque cluster of trees, adjacent to another large grass area where a majority of the tamale vendors will be positioned. VIPs will enjoy access to a lovely tiered promenade of the Arizona Center, where a private bar, catering stations, and other surprises await.
The Friendly House will raise funds through sales of tickets, beverages, sponsorships, and a portion of tamale sales. Collectively, the money raised from the Tamale Dinner & Festival will provide tools and resources for individuals of all ages that participate in their stellar programs which fall within four pillars: Education (Helping Children & Adults Succeed in Education), Family Services (Improving Families Health & Wellness), Immigration (Providing Legal Service, Outreach and Advocacy), and Workforce Development (Increasing Financial Stability and Workforce Readiness).
When: Saturday, November 15, 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: The Arizona Center, 400 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Cost: General Admission: $12 (includes 3 food & drink tickets)
General Admission Upgrade: $20 (includes 8 food & drink tickets)
VIP: $60 (includes 16 food & drink tickets, and access to VIP Lounge)
Kids 10 & Under: Free (does not include food & drink tickets)
Additional food & drink tickets cost $2 each
Parking: $5 in the adjacent garage; meters around event site; side street where available
Images courtesy of Friendly House.