8 Cool Things We Saw During ASU Grant Street Open Studios in Phoenix

View of Rachel Goodwin's studio at Grant Street Studios.
View of Rachel Goodwin's studio at Grant Street Studios.
Mikey Estes

Over the weekend, The Art Grads (TAG), a new student organization at Arizona State University, hosted a two-day open studio event at Grant Street Studios. These emerging artists displayed their work in pop-up exhibitions throughout the building, had a red-tag sale with affordable art, and opened up their studios to the public. If there have been ASU open studio events before, they haven't been as comprehensive and inviting as this one.

The building hosts a large group of artists from varying disciplines -- fibers, intermedia, sculpture, painting, drawing and photography. The only departments that aren't there yet are printmaking and ceramics, but their work was on display in a pop-up exhibition. We picked out some of our favorite things that we saw.

See also: Tempe Artist Clarita Lulić on Marriage and Its Influence on Her Work

Bound sculptures

Rachel Goodwin's practice consists of drawing and sculpture. The sculptures in her studio are commercial goods bound in bright fabrics. They command attention in the same way that a product would. This texture of artificiality and sheen that mimics contemporary life is also seen in her two-dimensional work. Patterns clash with bright colors creating a noise that simultaneously pulls us in and pushes us away.

Pillow wall

Courtney Richter's studio featured precarious sculptural forms and the beginnings of a wall of cloud-like pillows. These repeated cloud forms will be paired with appropriated footage from self-help videos on YouTube. Richter's work in fibers hints at the elusiveness of completeness. The materials she uses, such as cording from hardware stores or synthetic sheer fabric, are retooled as those of comfort and stability.

Sculptures from A Little Slice of Heaven by John Tuomisto-Bell.
Sculptures from A Little Slice of Heaven by John Tuomisto-Bell.
Mikey Estes

The American dream in limbo

The figurative sculptures in John Tuomisto-Bell's studio are trapped within the confines of American idealism. Multiple sculptures like these comprise Tuomisto-Bell's installation, A Little Slice of Heaven, for INFLUX at The Pavilions at Talking Stick. These heads are in an existential crisis of sorts, floating in limbo together. Each patch of grass and white picket fencing represents a notion of the American dream -- having a family and a place to call home.

Map-like collages

The collages of Travis Ivey on display in his studio utilize the patterns of security envelopes. The patterns themselves are beautiful (they'd make for a great button-up shirt) and Ivey manipulates them in an intuitive way that ultimately transforms them. Several of the works resemble maps, specifically topographic maps. These repurposed envelopes have layers of history and travel, but they're not necessarily connected to a particular site. Ivey's collaging turns them into a landscape of sorts, connecting them to sense of place.

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