Arts & Culture
Phoenicians gathered last night at monOrchid on Roosevelt Row for RadiatePHX, a monthly networking event for business, community, and city leaders produced by Downtown Phoenix Inc. and Downtown Phoenix Journal. monOrchid owner Wayne Rainey welcomed those gathered speaking directly to the relationship between creative spaces and special places, and what we can do about it.
monOrchid is a place of hope.
It’s a studio complex. It’s two galleries. It’s a venue. It’s home to more than a dozen creative force businesses and is the platform for the symbiotic relationship of those businesses.
By being adaptable and flexible it provides an extraordinary opportunity for growth and advancement by consolidating experience with experiments and thus – often – art.
This building that is monOrchid is much like downtown Phoenix in many ways. Not that many years ago it was a broken and under-utilized place – a warehouse for forgotten things. It was inefficient and expensive to refit but its history and authenticity were still mostly intact, and that authenticity was an absolutely essential component for it – and its neighborhood’s – revival.
The investment was worth it.
Today we gather here and celebrate the many future possibilities that are Phoenix.
But this great view is also the place of a precipice. As we evaluate and decide who we will be as a more mature city we must be cognizant of our path. There is so much potential here – perhaps more here now in Phoenix than in any other major city in the country – and that is because we have been, in the past, so bad at being a city.
We must do better.
We must plan for the long term. And that means we must be willing to be choosey.
We should be careful to not accidentally damage our best assets, like our great arts districts, but we must also find ways to encourage more density.
We should build our great parks but we must also find ways to facilitate those who would come.
There are incredibly difficult problems that we will face and there must be great discourse and conversation. But the conversations must begin in earnest now.
I’m so happy to see you here and engaged, and I hope some of those conversations will take place here tonight. Thank you for coming.
Photos courtesy of Wayne Rainey. Featured image by Douglas Proce.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Phoenix Festival de España Annual Celebration of Spanish Arts & Culture Returns to Downtown Phoenix March 21 & 22, 2015
Phoenix Festival de España, sponsored in part by APS, will take place in the heart of the Downtown Phoenix art scene at Phoenix Center for the Arts (1202 N 3rd Street) and will feature Flamenco workshops for youth and adults, delicious Spanish food, culinary demonstrations, presentations on Spanish culture, live performances, and more!
Dance and music groups from throughout the Valley will perform in 30-minute intervals throughout the day on the festival’s outdoor stage. Local and nationally-acclaimed Spanish historians, scholars, and curators will present lectures and workshops with a Spanish flavor. The Festival will also feature art exhibits, costumes, jewelry, and a beer and wine garden. Admission is FREE for the whole family.
In addition to the fantastic dance and music performances outside all weekend long, Sunday’s festivities will include a screening of the documentary “Flamenco Flamenco” by Carlos Saura at 2pm in the Phoenix Center for the Arts Third Street Theater. Festivalgoers are encouraged to stay into the night for a very special closing flamenco performance, “Luz De Dia,” also taking place in the Third Street Theater at 6pm.
“Luz De Dia” features internationally acclaimed guitarist, Misael Barraza Diaz, with special guest from Madrid, international flamenco star, Nino De Los Reyes. Ensemble includes Macarena Giraldez, Olivia Rojas, Jason Martinez, Mele Martinez, and Angelina Ramirez. Tickets are required for entry to both “Flamenco Flamenco” ($10) and “Luz De Dia” ($15). Those wishing to attend both events, can purchase a combo ticket for $20.
Additional sponsors include Otro Café, Crescent Ballroom, Jobot, Monica Robles Art + Design, Northwestern Mutual, PAZ, Arizona Commission on the Arts, ACEAZ, and the City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department.
For an updated list of performers, presenters and workshops, please visit www.phoenixcenterforthearts.org.
If You Go
Dates/Times: Saturday, March 21, 2015, 12-6pm & Sunday, March 22, 2015, 12-8pm
Anticipated Attendance: 2,000
Where: Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
Parking/Transportation: Limited street parking available. Avoid the hassle and take METRO Light Rail to the McDowell/Central Ave or Roosevelt/Central Ave. Bike racks are also available. Parking is also available in the Phoenix Center for the Arts parking lot (enter from 3rd Street).
Presenting Organization: Phoenix Center for the Arts and Flamenco Por La Vida
Supported By: APS, City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department, Otro Café, Crescent Ballroom, Jobot, Monica Robles Art + Design, Northwestern Mutual, PAZ, Arizona Commission on the Arts, and ACEAZ
Information: email@example.com or 602-254-3100
Images courtesy of the Phoenix Center for the Arts.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
Cronkite News and the Cronkite Public Insight Network Bureau want to understand how the downtown Phoenix community sees itself. Through an online survey, they’re asking downtown stakeholders what they would like to see happen in our city. They’re asking how city leaders, business owners, community leaders, residents, and the media can best discuss the issues that concern everyone the most. So if you have a connection to downtown Phoenix, feel free to share your thoughts here. The information you provide won’t be published without your permission, and a journalist from Cronkite News or the Public Insight Network may follow up with you.
The original Downtown Phoenix Inc.(DPI) mission to administratively integrate the operations of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP), Downtown Community Development Corporation, and Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) was completed in January. While there is still work to do to integrate elements of our collective work programs, DPI is now the administrative umbrella for all of the organizations, and our small, tight-knit cadre of staff and consultants are pulling the pieces together and building synergy for the future.
Former Tutor Perini executive Adrienne Gill has moved into the position of Executive Director for PCA to broaden and deepen our business membership base. Dorina Bustamante who has been working with DPI on business and community connectivity will assist Adrienne. In addition, Samantha Jackson who has been supervising our Ambassador program moved into the senior operations position with DPP. In addition to her work with us, some of you may know Samantha from her management role with the Downtown Phoenix Public Market.
Now let’s take a look at recent news about downtown’s past, present, and future…
- Impending demolition of GreenHAUS building may promote change
- Luhrs family reminisces about historic Phoenix buildings
- Phoenix African American historic sites highlighted in cultural survey
- Phoenix historical neighborhoods ring downtown with residential
- Arizona Diamondbacks grant gives downtown school new playground
- Centurion Restaurant on Roosevelt Row closes
- CO+HOOTs receives PIDA grant to support economic development initiatives
- Downtown Phoenix: It’s cooler than you think
- Face of downtown changing, but city lags in attracting college-educated millennials
- Food Truck Friday in downtown Phoenix thrives
- Frustrated Phoenix residents are roaring since FAA changed flight paths
- Metrowest Development holds groundbreaking for Union@Roosevelt project
- Millennials fuel trends in Phoenix office space design
- Phoenix City Council votes to put $30 billion transit tax extension on August ballot
- Viad tower renamed as city hopes to brand Midtown arts district
- A Tailored Place vintage clothing shop to open in April
- City of Phoenix extends Enchanted Island amusement park contract for one year
- Containers on Grand residential project hopes to open in June
- Craft+Culture: Cheese and Charcuterie to open in Renaissance Hotel in April
- Ironline to remake E. Jefferson warehouse as office space
- Super Bowl rock climbing wall to be installed at Hance Park
- Vacant lots slated for development on Fillmore Street
- Vegan House restaurant to open downtown
Upcoming Events [Full Calendar Here]
- Channel 12 recap of “March Means Music”
- 10th Annual Arizona Poetry Out Loud state finals competition, March 12
- Radiate Phoenix, “March Means Music & More,” March 17
- Roosevelt Row workshop to help local businesses post Super Bowl, March 18
- Festival de Espana returns to downtown Phoenix, March 21-22
- Check, Please! Arizona presents food festival at CityScape, March 22
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
La Piazza PHX Selected to Host DJ Neil Armstrong’s First “Dinner & A Mixtape” National Tour Stop
Former Touring DJ For Jay Z Makes Phoenix Appearance, Hosts Three Course Meal With Chef Justin Piazza
WHO: DJ Neil Armstrong + Chef Justin Piazza
WHAT: Three Course “Dinner & A Mixtape” Guests kick back and enjoy a multisensory dining experience where soundtrack is just as thrilling as the meal.
WHERE: Located at La Piazza PHX, 1 North First Street, Phoenix, AZ
WHEN: Thursday, March 12, 2015. Choice of two seating times: 6PM or 8PM
COST: $45 pp, includes 3course dinner and a copy of Warmfuzzy part 2 on USB Cassette, a special commemorative apron and a digital download for DJ Neil’s entire mixtape catalogue. (The mixtape collection alone is valued at over $150.)
TICKETS: Call (602) 7957116 or visit http://www.eventbrite.com/e/dinneramixtapephoenixatlapiazzadowntowntickets16085873280
MORE: “Dinner & A Mixtape” is the name of a worldwide series of events hosted by DJ Neil Armstrong, sharing his love of music & good food. Started in 2013, they have been held in New York, Hong Kong, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Manila Philippines.
The idea is simple – partnering up with great restaurants around the world, Dinner & A Mixtape provides the opportunity to enjoy music and food together in a very unique setting. Often the restaurant will create a special menu just for the event, and the soundtrack is provided by a new installment in DJ Neil Armstrong’s Mixtape Library.
MENU: Choice of Appetizer: Classic Calamari, Palle Di Riso, Fried Mozzarella or Fresh Caprese Salad; Main Course: Choice one of La Piazza’s award-winning, wood-fired Neapolitan Pizzas. A special “DJ NEIL ARMSTRONG” specialty pie will be available; Dessert: La Piazza’s Angioletti Con Nutella, a Neapolitan take on zeppoles.
Images courtesy of Awe Collective.
An ephemeral Art Detour pop-up space reveals long-covered DeGrazia murals and showcases plans for a new Lauren Lee mural.
Iconic Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia is most widely remembered for his commercially popular paintings of large-eyed children, faceless angels, and Southwestern-themed imagery. But two murals he left behind in downtown Phoenix—hidden under protective sheetrock for years—reveal a glimpse of DeGrazia’s other subjects, and his unique mark on the community.
“A lot of times, DeGrazia would go into a place and someone would say to him, ‘Oh, here’s a sandwich and a pitcher of beer,’ you know, ‘Would you paint me a picture?’ and he’d do it for lunch,” says DeGrazia Foundation Executive Director Lance Laber. “Now, this is a pretty extensive mural, so I know he didn’t do it for lunch,” he continues with a laugh. “This mural is 12 feet tall and it’s 40 feet long.”
Laber is describing a mural covering a large expanse of interior wall at 222 E. Roosevelt in the former greenHAUS Gallery. “The establishment was a bar,” he says, and explains that the murals were most likely painted around 60 years ago. “….They go along with the way DeGrazia’s style was in the ‘50s.”
On the Roosevelt walls, a smaller mural shows a dancer twirling in a glass, while the huge 40-foot work depicts scenes of alcohol production, from loincloth-clad figures gathered around a cauldron to a hillbilly moonshine still. “Everybody’s making some kind of booze,” says Laber. “That seems to be the theme of the mural.” Both pieces feature opaque greenish-turquoise backgrounds, and while the dancer is painted on drywall attached to wood studs, the alcohol scenes were applied directly to a very thin layer of plaster adhering to a double- brick wall.
For years, the artwork was covered and protected by sheetrock and Laber learned about the murals when building owner Baron Properties contacted the DeGrazia Foundation back in September 2014. “I had never seen anything by DeGrazia that looked like that—truly amazing,” says Laber. “The murals are kind of old…they’re a little faded from time, but they’re very interesting.”
“We learned of the two pieces as we were conducting our due diligence to buy the property,” says Baron partner Scott Fisher. “We called Lance [Laber] to understand what the murals were and what they stood for and their importance.” He continues, “We wanted to do the right thing and…donate the paintings, so that’s why we called the DeGrazia Foundation.” Baron has owned property in the Valley since 2004 and intends to build a new building on the Roosevelt site, but the company has worked out a rare opportunity with Artlink in which the DeGrazia murals will be open to the public during March First Friday and Art Detour 27 from March 6-8. “We don’t just share a desire to preserve the DeGrazia artwork,” says Fisher. “We want to do what we can to actually enhance and expand a great arts neighborhood with additional efforts too.”
Laber has been working with Baron and an art conservator to determine how the murals can be preserved, and believes the smaller mural can be saved. “That’s on a piece of sheetrock that we believe can be removed from the wall,” he says. The larger mural is a different story. No one has yet devised a method to protect such an expansive piece against the torque exerted on a thin layer of aging stucco. “If you start trying to peel it off or get behind it and get it off, you’re probably just going to break it into a thousand pieces,” says Laber.
“In either case, we plan on having a professional photographer take very high-definition photographs and donate those to the Foundation and whoever else is interested,” says Fisher. “We understand that the Roosevelt Arts District is very important, and so our new projects on Roosevelt…we plan on displaying and highlighting local art from local artists. Our plan is to have more artwork, not less.”
And the beautiful Lauren Lee mural “Three Birds” on the building’s outside east-facing wall? Lee recognized that it was going to be difficult to save the piece, so she approached Baron Properties about the possibility of producing a new piece for the new building.
Fisher said, “When Lauren Lee approached us with her idea, the answer was a resounding yes. That’s because our goal is to create a combination of the preserved art along with the newer works and contribute to a great success story in the heart of Phoenix.”
Lee said, “I’ll be painting three massive birds in flight on the five-story-high new building that will be called ‘iLuminate.’ Given their name, the developer suggested that we illuminate the birds from below so that they can be seen from far away, which I think will be spectacular.”
Lee added, “The new concept design will be displayed at Art Detour this weekend in a pop-up art gallery hosted by Artlink in the greenHAUS building. I’ll be there answering questions with the new painting and design rendering of the ‘Three Birds in Flight,’ as well as offering prints of the ‘Three Birds’ mural for sale. It’s difficult to convey my happiness about this, but I am truly happy that the ‘Three Birds’ get to live on in a new way, in a new stage of their evolution.”
Take advantage of this final opportunity to see the DeGrazia murals and Lauren Lee’s “Three Birds” at Art Detour this weekend.
If You Go:
What: Artlink Pop Up Gallery – Art Detour 27
Where: 222. E. Roosevelt St.
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 7 & 8, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Update: Recently released, DeGrazia: The Man and the Myths is a new biography of DeGrazia by James W. Johnson and Marilyn D. Johnson from The University of Arizona Press. Both authors join DeGrazia Foundation Executive Director Lance Laber at the Tucson Festival of Books on Sunday, March 15 in the Student Union’s Kachina room on the U of A campus for a panel discussion from 1 p.m.-2 p.m., followed by a book-signing.