Culture News

2016 Art Gallery Openings and Closings in Metro Phoenix

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The Sagrado Galleria
In this case, the new gallery is actually another iteration of a previous art space. Jay “Tranzo” Olivas and Sam Gomez founded the Sagrado Galleria in 2012 inside the La Melgosa building, but its first iteration closed in 2014. Now the gallery, which specializes in work by Chicano, Mexican, and indigenous artists, has reopened in South Phoenix.

Lotus Contemporary Art
After being forced to leave the Flowers building that will be part of the Blocks at Roosevelt Row, artist and Lotus Contemporary Art owner Denise Fleisch decided to relocate her gallery to Scottsdale, where she opened in October.


Drive-Thru Gallery
Photographer Andrew Pielage founded the gallery, where he showed both his own work and photography by other artists, in 2013. But he closed the space, which went on to become Bassim Al-Shaker’s Babylon Gallery, in June. He’ll be combining studio and gallery space in his new home located in the Garfield neighborhood.

Galleria Celtica
Several tenants of the Flowers building at Roosevelt and Fifth streets were forced to shutter at the end of August, after the building was sold to developers creating a mixed-use space they’re calling the Blocks of Roosevelt Row. Galleries that closed included Gallery Celtica, which was home to Ira L. Hayden Art & Design for nearly three decades.

Five15 Arts
Five15 Arts, home to a well-established artist collective, was also located in the Flowers building and lost its space in August. Although the collective no longer has a gallery, it lives on and will be showing work at gallery space inside Phoenix Center for the Arts in 2017.

1Spot Gallery
Damian Jim closed the 1Spot Gallery, founded in 2012 with fellow artist Michelle Ponce, in September. The gallery, operated with Katja Lehmann, specialized in showing works by indigenous artists. Jim cited the time and expense of running a gallery, as well as needing more time for his own art practice and full-time job outside the arts sector, in sharing his decision to close.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble