Longtime downtown Phoenix arts scene staple Five15 Arts representatives signed an agreement with Phoenix Center for the Arts to use their exhibition space from January through September 2017, according to an October 16 Facebook announcement on Five15's Facebook page.
The collective lost its longtime Roosevelt Row gallery space at the end of August, after the building was purchased by a Desert Viking, a Chandler-based real estate and development firm.
For a time, collective members weren’t sure how they would move forward after losing their gallery space, says Wendy Willis, a printmaker and president of Five15 Arts. But now, she says, they have a two-fold plan.
First, they’ll exhibit works at Phoenix Center for the Arts for at least nine months, with the option to extend that time period as needed.
But eventually, Willis says, they’ll return to the Desert Viking redevelopment. She adds that Kaitlyn Mulhollan, project development manager for Desert Viking, told collective members during a recent meeting that gallery space will be available once redevelopments are completed.
Desert Viking hasn’t shared detailed plans with the public at this point, and hasn’t responded to New Times’ request for information.
“It will be smaller, nicer, and cost more,” Willis says of the new gallery space, which she expects they’ll open in November of 2017 if all the redevelopment goes as planned.
“We’re excited and kind of relieved and happy to keep going,” Willis says of the collective’s decision to move forward after losing their space.
Other changes are also in the works for Five15 Arts, Willis says.
Two members, including Five15 Arts founder Mary Shindell and Henry Bellavia, decided to leave the collective after the gallery closed. In Shindell’s case, Willis says, it was a way to free up more time for her extensive public art practice – which includes art located along the Valley Metro light rail.
But three new members have recently joined the collective, including Turner G. Davis, a former member of the Eye Lounge collective, as well as painter Katy O’Connor and photographer Daniel Friedman — who also work in other media.
Ongoing Five15 Arts members include Marlys Kubicek, Michelle Terry-Helmick, Anne Howey Falvey, Joan Thompson, Susan Risi, Deborah Hodder, and Willis.
Five15 Arts will present exhibitions every other month in the Phoenix Center for the Arts gallery. They’ll start with a group show in January, then do another group show in March during Art Detour. In July, they’ll continue their annual “Five15 to the Fifth” exhibit, in which every member invites five other artists to show a 12-by-12-inch work. And they’re also planning a show of new members’ works.
Solo exhibitions of works by individual artists in the Five15 collective will return once they get settled into their new gallery space back at Fifth and Roosevelt streets, Willis says.
Willis says it was important for the collective to stay in downtown Phoenix. “Because of our history, we want to stay in that area. We hope it attracts young urban professionals interested in buying art.”