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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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With a name like The Constellation Branch, it’s hard to guess what kind of sound the listener should expect.
The Phoenix-based band has just finished recording and making its new EP, Mirage, which is set to release September 17. Yet compared to its previous full-length, The Dream Life, The Real Life, The Empty Glass…, the band has gone in unexpected directions. For example, Downtown folk songstress Country Marie Andrews is screaming at the top of her lungs on the EP’s finale.
“It’s not a concept like the first album was,” vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jordan Cruz says of Mirage. “It’s really diverse. The first song is instrumental and ambient, but then it leads to dancier stuff.”
Cruz likens the theme and lyrics of this album to a mirage.
“Something in your life that you believed was something for so long, but then realize it’s nothing like what you had planned it to be,” Cruz reveals.
Although The Constellation Branch — Cruz, Bryce Hill (guitar, keyboard), Aaron Motley (bass) and Stephen O’Sicky (drums) — is just now getting its name out, the band has been around the Valley for quite some time. They debuted in 2006 with only Cruz and Hill, and Motley and O’Sicky came on a year later. The result is a sound that is a dark indie experimental combination along the lines of math rock like At the Drive-In, yet the keyboard adds softness to the mix.
Over the years, The Constellation Branch has played at places like the Modified Arts, The Trunk Space, The Rhythm Room and Yucca Tap Room, but they’ve had their fair share on the road as well. They have traveled all over the West Coast and played at South By Southwest, but never got the opportunity to play a highly sought-after showcase at the festival.
“The people we did meet were all fantastic, and we did gain new fans and made some really great contacts,” Hill says of SXSW. “But in the end, I am not sure we would play again unless we were playing an official showcase.”
As with many other bands, The Constellation Branch hit a speed bump on the way home.
“We were pulled over for speeding,” Hill recalls. “Apparently it’s a crime to drive 65 at night in Texas.”
The police ended up searching the van and came back empty-handed, except for O’Sicky.
“The most memorable quote would have to be when the cop was searching Steve and he found his drum key in his pocket,” Hill says. “The officer pulled it out and said, “What’s this? Some sort of cocaine separating device?”
Police must find some interesting paraphernalia in Texas…
Back in Arizona, the band has signed a digital distribution deal with Downtown-based River Jones Music. They’ll stay busy in September, playing at Holga’s on First Friday at around 9:30 p.m., before embarking on a brief California tour to promote Mirage. They’ll be back in Arizona in time for their EP release show with Small Leaks Sink Ships at the Sail Inn in Tempe on September 17.
Want to check out The Constellation Branch on First Friday? Holga’s is located at 821 N. 3rd St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt Station).
The true mark of a vibrant urban core isn’t the popularity of special events like ball games, conventions or even First Fridays. Rather, it is the events that fill the gaps in between these. It is the creation of a 24/7 culture where things are going on every day (and night) of the week. While I wouldn’t say that we have quire arrived there, we are a lot closer that it may appear.
Here are 10 of the less heralded activities that are occurring in Downtown Phoenix on an almost daily basis.
1. Live music
2. Movie Monday at Revolver Records
No-admission movie screenings with special deals every Monday at 8 p.m.
The Torch Theatre is one of Phoenix’s best-kept secrets. Shows vary through the week, but make sure to check out the Saturday night Cage Matches!
4. Phoenix Public Market
Every Wednesday and Saturday, the lot at McKinley Street and Central Avenue becomes our local farmers market.
5. Over-the-Hump Day, open mic
Local wordsmiths and folk musicians perform every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Conspire at 5th and Garfield streets.
6. The Downtown Phoenix fitness walk/jog
Get some exercise by walking or jogging around Downtown Phoenix. Start and end points are the Phoenix Public Market every Saturday at 7 a.m.
7. Community Yoga Project
Bring your own yoga mat, towel or blanket every Saturday at 10 a.m. at Civic Space Park.
8. GROWHOUSE Garden Days
Volunteer in the garden at Garfield and 6th streets every Sunday from 8 to 10 a.m.
9. Fair Trade Café Sunday brunch
The Fair Trade menu features challah baked French toast with choice of yummy toppings, rosemary country potatoes, baked egg casserole with veggies or green chilies and biscuits and gravy. Every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
10. Sunday Service
Every Sunday at SideBar, DJs spin until 2 a.m., accompanying Downtown’s best drink discounts.
We are certainly missing a lot of other events that occur on a weekly basis. If you would like to add anything to the list, please add a comment!
This post was inspirited by the Roosevelt Row newsletter. To be kept up to date on what is going on in and around Roosevelt Row, click here to sign up for their newsletter. For a whole smattering of Downtown Phoenix events, see DPJ’s calendar page.