It’s been 23 years since Scottsdale native Kraig Foote first opened Art One gallery in Old Town Scottsdale, where a steady stream of galleries has come and gone in the two decades since.
Bentley Gallery moved from Scottsdale to Bentley Projects in the Phoenix warehouse district in 2012, and Lisa Sette Gallery relocated from Old Town to Midtown Phoenix in 2014. Old Town galleries that closed this year include Touchstone Gallery and May Gallery.
Tilt Gallery moved from the Grand Avenue arts district to Old Town in 2014, and Lotus Contemporary Arts moved to Scottsdale from Roosevelt Row earlier this year.
Despite the ongoing flux of the Scottsdale arts scene, Art One has been in the same building, where it’s developed a loyal following. However, the gallery downsized from two rooms to one back in 2010, attributing the change to the recession.
Art One specializes in art by students, ranging from high school students to graduate students. Several of the artists who showed work there as students are now well-known in the Phoenix art scene and continue to show their work at the gallery.
When Brian Boner was a new college graduate, Foote showed his work at Art One. Today, Boner is represented by Wilde Meyer, a gallery with Old Town and Tucson locations, and his work has been featured at museums including Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Art One currently represents more than 100 artists, including several local art-scene staples like Luster Kaboom and Kyllan Maney. Tucked away on a built-in shelf, careful observers will notice a sculpture by Kazuma Sambe, whose work has recently been exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum, Shemer Art Center, and The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts.
On any given day, visitors can see well over 100 works of art, says Art One manager Max Smith. That’s because they not only cover gallery walls with artwork; they also prop artworks against the gallery's perimeter walls.
Most are paintings or mixed-media works, but they’ve also got sculptures and works in several other media – including Jonathon Read’s ceramic Woman with Cat Ears that appears to look out the gallery’s storefront windows at passersby along Marshall Way.
The informal approach makes Art One feel inviting rather than intimidating, a factor that likely contributes to their success. But there’s another important aspect to what they do: affordability.
Typically, patrons pay a couple hundred dollars, rather than several thousand dollars, for works featured at Art One.
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In addition to founding Art One, Foote started the Newlon-Foote Foundation for Student Artists, a nonprofit organization that accepts donations to help fund school art programs and college scholarships. The foundation also assists artists facing financial hardship. The gallery also shows and sells works created by students at Autism Academy, which receives all the proceeds when those works are sold.
Art One’s 23rd anniversary celebration, which several of its artists will be attending, takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, during the Scottsdale ArtWalk. Learn more on the Art One website.