You know First Friday has truly become an all-encompassing Downtown phenomenon when gallery spaces start popping up on the corner of 7th and Adams streets. Artist and Downtown resident Sean Deckert has spearheaded the effort to expand the art displays further southeast to Heritage Square, home to historically well-preserved spots like the Rosson House, Teeter House Tea Room, Rose and Crown Pub and, of course, pizza monolith Pizzeria Bianco. Deckert saw potential in the wide expanses, open-air feel and heavy foot traffic at the intersection while he was working as a bartender at Rose and Crown.

“As an artist, I want to make meaningful statements through my art that change the way people think,” says Deckert, who moved to Phoenix two years ago following an upbringing in the Midwest. “Organizing an art-driven event like an artwalk would be a more immediate and proactive way to show people my ideas and also expose them to the Downtown that I see.”

The result is an outdoor gallery space that aims to feature all artistic mediums while seamlessly integrating with the historic buildings of the park. This First Friday will be the grand opening of the gallery, and with blistering temperatures expected to subside (somewhat), it’s the perfect time to showcase artwork outdoors.

“I moved here to get into the art scene,” Deckert says. “I see so much potential in my neighborhood, and it gives me the motivation and passion to volunteer my help to strengthen the community.”

In time, Heritage Square’s outdoor gallery space will connect with Roosevelt Row proper, thanks to continued expansion of art displays in the blocks north of the park.

Heritage Square is located on the northwest corner of 7th Street and Adams Street. For more information on Sean Deckert, visit his website.

All photos by Paul Valach