Palabra Art Gallery and Hair Salon Moving to New Downtown Phoenix Location on January 15

Opening night for the previous "Yours Truly" exhibition at Palabra.EXPAND
Opening night for the previous "Yours Truly" exhibition at Palabra.
Melissa Fossum

The hair salon and art space Palabra is moving to a new location on Friday, January 15, according to owner Jorge Ignacio Torres, who was a visual arts finalist for the New Times' Big Brain Awards in 2015

Torres revealed the new address, which is 909 North First Street, via Instagram on the morning of Monday, January 11. The official opening takes place during January's Third Friday art walk.

It’s not the first move for Palabra, which Torres founded in December of 2012 as a way to combine his passions for hair styling and art. Palabra moved to its most recent location, 630 East Pierce Street, in May of 2014. It will operate at its new address starting the week of January 18.

Gallery goers checking out an exhibition at Palabra.EXPAND
Gallery goers checking out an exhibition at Palabra.
Melissa Fossum

Torres says people will notice several differences between his current and new location.

Instead of interspersing art with hair styling stations, he’s created separate spaces within the new site for each. Torres says he started toying with the idea of distinct spaces in March or April of last year, after seeing that each element of his business was “blooming on its own.”

He’s also creating a new look for the space, where he has about 2,800 square feet to work with. “It’s the opposite of how the space is now,” Torres says. “It’s much more clean and minimal.” Even the exterior will have what Torres calls “a clean palette,” so people are intrigued when they see it rather than feeling like they’re “blasted with propaganda.”

Torres plans to open exhibitions on Third Fridays. “It’s much more condensed and crowded on First Fridays,” he says. “I don’t feel like art is the focus.” His first exhibition in the new space will feature about a dozen larger works and several smaller pieces by Josh Brizuela. “I think he’s an up-and-comer,” Torres says. After that will be shows with works by Zach Bootz and Craig Gleason.

Work by Josh Brizuela previously exhibited at Palabra.EXPAND
Work by Josh Brizuela previously exhibited at Palabra.
Lynn Trimble

“There’ll be a different approach,” Torres says of exhibition openings and closings. “I want the artwork to be the focus and not the accessory,” he says. “It’s not about the entertainment or the booze.”

But another change is also in the works. “I’m not calling Palabra a collective anymore,” he says. Torres says the term “collective” has become too popular and faddish. That's why he’ll be “presenting rather than representing artists” in the new space.

The opening reception for Palabra's first exhibition in its new space takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, January 15. Find more information on the Palabra Facebook page

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