Here's a look at the latest arts news around metro Phoenix, from a new creative space taking shape to an art project documenting COVID-19 deaths.
New Creative Space
Phoenix creators including artist Patricia Sannit are working on a future artist studio compound, which will be located near Thomas and 32nd streets. The site includes three buildings and a courtyard, where they envision a multiuse space with offerings such as performances, exhibits, and open studios. The project is designed to “keep the Phoenix art community growing and offer more opportunities for artists.” Artists with ideas for the space can contact Sannit via Facebook.
New Art Festival
The ArtWins organization, which was founded by Phoenix attorney and Valley Leadership participant Dan Packard in 2018, is exploring launching a new art festival in partnership with Flagstaff Arts Council. Packard originally planned to bring a multiday art competition styled after the international ArtPrize competition in his Michigan hometown to Phoenix in November 2020, but those plans were never realized. Now, organizers are seeking input on a possible Flagstaff event.
Arts Incubator Program
Frida’s Garden, a creative space next to Barrio Café, is launching a new arts incubator program called BRACE, which will focus on mentorships, health and social services education, and business and legal principles for artists. Applications for an eight-week program launching on Monday, April 26, are being accepted through Friday, April 23. The program is designed to help artists “grow and sustain their careers.”
New Public Art
Tempe Public Art recently commissioned artwork by Tempe-based artist Koryn Woodward Wasson, who created a vinyl installation of botanical designs called Growing Here, which is on view at the Edna Vihel Arts Center at the Tempe Community Center Complex. Sculptor Bobby Zokaites and landscape architects from Dig Studio recently created work for a new community green space located at a city of Phoenix water well site at 73rd Avenue and Crittenden Lane. Zokaites will discuss A Time Machine Called Tinaja during a virtual artist talk at 10 a.m. on April 22.
National Artist Grants
The U.S. Small Business Association plans to open its application portal this week for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants designed to provide emergency assistance to eligible venues impacted by COVID-19. The deadline to apply for a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts Challenge Grant is Thursday, April 22. The deadline to apply for National Endowment for the Humanities Grants funded through the American Rescue Plan is Friday, May 14.
Xico in Roosevelt Row
Xico, a nonprofit founded in 1975 that celebrates Latinx and Indigenous arts and culture, is getting ready to officially open its Roosevelt Row creative space in May, in conjunction with its annual art auction. They’ll have a limited number of timed-entry admissions to an open house taking place on May 22. Xico is located on the first floor of a 1928 building and former hardware store located at 829 North First Avenue.
Phoenix Art Museum will open a new exhibit of photographs exploring connections between racism and poverty on July 21. Titled “Freedom Must Be Lived, Marion Palfi’s America, 1940-1978,” it’s the first major exhibition to highlight works by this social-research photographer who documented systemic racism against Blacks in America, forced relocation of Indigenous people living in the Southwest, and abhorrent living conditions for the elderly.
Calls for Art
Alwun House is seeking “creative vibrant emerging artists” to feature in solo or group exhibitions during its 2021-22 season. The arts space is looking for artists whose work is eclectic and edgy, with a high degree of craftsmanship. This season will mark the 50th season for the creative space located in the Garfield Historic District. Xico is accepting proposals for its ongoing series of virtual exhibits. ArtWins is accepting proposals through June 13 from Arizona-based artists who want to participate in its Arizona Pitch Night. The winning artist will receive $15,000 to show work during the international ArtPrize competition in Michigan this fall.
New COVID-19 Project
Phoenix-based artist Jen Urso plans to create an art installation recognizing more than 17,000 people who have died in Arizona due to COVID-19. Remarkable Presence will include paper suitcases representing the victims, more than 100 pop-up suitcases created using obituaries, an online hub for those affected by COVID-19, fall events designed to facilitate public grieving, and an augmented reality component. Urso is currently raising funds for the project through crowdsourcing.
Artist Happy Hour
The Roosevelt Row Artist Advisory Council hosts virtual happy hour conversations for artists at 7 p.m. on every third Tuesday of the month. The events are designed to help Arizona artists, musicians, and other creatives get to know each other, share their work, and talk about upcoming projects.
West Valley Arts and Fry’s Food Stores commissioned Phoenix-based artist Mary Shindell to create an interior mural called Desert Feast for a new Fry’s Marketplace in Buckeye, which is expected to go on view on May 1. Jayarr Steiner will be painting a mural on the Human Services Campus at 1214 West Madison from April 23 to 25. Francisco “Enuf" Garcia is crowdsourcing funds for a collaborative ocean-themed mural near Seventh Avenue and Indian School Road in the Melrose District.
Humanities Grants Awarded
Arizona Humanities recently awarded more than $62,000 in grant funding to a total of 12 organizations, and is accepting applications for its next round of project grants through May 1. Recent grant recipients include Iron City Magazine, which specializes in “creative expression by and for the incarcerated,” as well as ASU and the Museum of Northern Arizona.
Cycle The Arts
Scottsdale Public Art has created a self-guided bike tour of public art to celebrate Valley Bike Month, which continues through April 30. The tour includes 10 works in the city’s public art collection. The map is available online, and riders can use the Hoverlay app to get augmented reality content on their mobile devices. The tour, which covers 3.25 miles, includes Windows to the West by Louise Nevelson and LOVE by Robert Indiana.
Border Arts and Culture
The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, in partnership with the Ford Foundation, recently announced 27 grants to artists, cultural workers, and organizations that amplify or shift the narratives of diverse communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Arizona recipients include Gilbert-based Aliento and Douglas-based Border Arts Corridor, as well as Tucson-based Borderlands Theater and Naomi Ortiz.
New Symphony Projects
The Phoenix Symphony plans to use a new round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to create new content and performances, including outdoor performances and educational programs, with its musicians during the next two months. Program specifics will be announced as they are realized moving forward.
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