Luis Gutierrez is taking names.
For too long, he says, Arizona artists have been silent (or disorganized) in response to the actions of Jan Brewer and Russel Pierce. "They've created such a negative brand for Arizona," he says. "And that brand isn't reflective of everyone who lives here ... I can preach and paint until I'm blue in the face, but it's not going to make a difference unless I have other artists who stand with me."
Enter the Arizona Power Movement, a coalition of visual and music artists that Gutierrez hopes will be able to build a positive image for Arizona. While he's in the beginning stages of organizing, he says he's looking for artists who have created protest-based pieces and representations of what they hope for the state.
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Gutierrez will be taking over art curation at Of the Earth gallery on Fifth Street in downtown Phoenix in March, when he says the Arizona Power Movement will have its first shows (during First Friday and Art Detour). Gutierrez hopes the work will then be collected online and be available in book form for national audiences.
"It's exciting to have a chance to do something for this state together," Gutierrez says, "artists often take in what's going on around them, we digest and then focus creatively ... and that's what I hope the Power Movement will be all about -- creating and working for something positive."