FABRIC building, where Grotto Gallery opens in October.EXPAND
FABRIC building, where Grotto Gallery opens in October.
City of Tempe

Grotto Gallery Will Open in Tempe's FABRIC Fashion Center in October

A new arts venue called Grotto Gallery is opening in Tempe this October. The gallery will be housed inside the Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center, also called FABRIC, which opened in late 2016.

The FABRIC building is located at 132 East Sixth Street, where the City of Tempe formerly operated a performing arts space. Past tenants include Childsplay and Stray Cat Theatre.

The Grotto Gallery will occupy a 600-square-foot space on the basement level, near the west entrance for the building.

The gallery is owned and operated by Arizona Artisans Collective, an organization founded by Prescott- and Ahwatukee-based artist Miriam Carlson-Maier in June 2016.

“It’s a really great way to bring people together,” she says of the collective.

Carlson-Maier started the group, which currently has 76 members, to help fellow creatives hone their entrepreneurial skills. There’s no cost to join, but Carlson-Maier says she plans to create fee-based memberships that include specific benefits.

Currently, she’s focused on presenting the gallery’s first exhibition, which will include her own work.

Grotto Gallery opens on Thursday, October 5, with a reception for its “Escape the Madness” exhibition, which includes works by 10 additional artists working in diverse media from turned wood to handmade glass. Featured artists include Jules Gissler, Edgar Hernandez, and Michelle Startzman.

The gallery will hold four group exhibits each year, with shows running about 12 weeks, Carlson-Maier says. She also expects to present three to five events every month, including art classes and artist demonstrations.

Grotto Gallery hours will be Tuesday through Thursday, from noon to 5 p.m.

“A lot of artists just haven’t gotten their work out there that much,” Carlson-Maier says. “I hope we can help artists create viable businesses with their craft.”

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