October 10, 2011 | 7:30am
Mill Avenue -- the one-time hot-spot turned depressing row of empty storefronts -- is about to get a jolt of creative energy.
From the clever minds behind MADCAP Theaters, comes Montage, a community art studio that will house work (and workshops) by 18 local artists.
The gallery's slated to open next month at 740 S Mill Ave., once home to enormous posters of buffed out models and insanely overpriced jean skirts at Abercrombie & Fitch.
The shuttered 5,000 sq foot store near the corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive was stripped of its mannequins and pumping techno beats in 2008. Now, its blank walls are waiting to display the work of established and up-and-coming painters, jewelers, assemblage artists, and digital photographers.
"We have a huge creative community down here," says gallery organizer Jimmy Cerracchio with Downtown Tempe Community. With Montage, he says he's hoping to bring some of those creative minds together to build a community of artists and help revitalize the recession-hit Mill Avenue district.
The space will serve as gallery/workspace for the 18 artists who applied and have been chosen by DTC. Cerracchio says they plan to hand over the gallery to the artists; "They can do what they want with the space."
After its opening, the gallery will function as a non-profit, and the artists will each pay a monthly rent, which ranges from $100 to $275. Cerracchio says all of the money made through sales will go to the artists. Not a bad deal for the artists -- or for Mill Avenue.
The gallery's organizers are still accepting artist applications (they say they've already received 15). If you're interested in applying, you have until October 10 to be considered in the next jury selection and you can find an application here.
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