ASU Art Museum Project Space Will Close in Downtown Phoenix

A nighttime view of ASU Art Museum Project Space in Roosevelt Row.
A nighttime view of ASU Art Museum Project Space in Roosevelt Row. Lynn Trimble
ASU Art Museum is not renewing its lease for its Project Space in downtown Phoenix, where it has presented exhibitions by local and international artists since 2011.

ASU Art Museum announced the news in a Facebook post at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 17.

"While we remain committed to our Artist Residency program, this summer, we will not renew a lease at Project Space," that message reads, in part.

The Project Space is part of a 6,300-square-foot mixed-use development called Combine Studios, founded by Phoenix artists Carrie Marill and Matthew Moore. They bought the building at Third and Garfield streets back in 2011. The building's south-facing wall has a Marill mural that's a swirl of patchwork colors.

In June 2017, Marill and Moore sold Combine to Thomas Castleberry for $1.5 million. Since then, the museum has been leasing space from Castleberry. The museum's lease for Combine Studios, including the Project Space, runs through July 1.

Since launching, Combine has been home to the ASU Art Museum's international artist-in-residence program. Participating artists have included Christine Lee, Las Hermanas Iglesias, Miguel Palma, and Postcommodity, an arts collective featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

In 2014, the Project Space housed Librería Donceles, comprising an itinerate Spanish-language used bookstore created by New York-based Pablo Helguera. That installation inspired Rosie Magaña to launch the Palabras Bilingual Bookstore here in Phoenix.

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Watching artist Shannon Ludington's March Third Friday performance in the ASU Project Space.
Lynn Trimble
Programming has changed over the years.

In October 2017, ASU Art Museum curator Julio César Morales announced that the Project Space would be open every Friday night, rather than just during First and Third Friday art walks. And the focus became presenting a series of sound installations, starting with Sofía Córdova’s “Where Thieves Go After Death.”

But plans changed in December.

That's when Miki Garcia replaced Gordon Knox as museum director. Garcia, and others, are working on a new strategic plan for the museum. Based on current discussions, the Project Space isn't likely to align with the plan, according to a museum spokesperson.

Currently, Shannon Ludington is presenting her master of fine arts thesis exhibition titled "To See The Words Unspoken," which continues through April 20. Her show will be the last ASU Art Museum exhibition in the Project Space.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version to clarify that the museum's new strategic plan is not complete.
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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

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