Visual Arts

Go Behind the Scenes at Grant Street Studios in Phoenix's Warehouse District This Weekend

Curious types, take note. 

More than three dozen students with ASU's School of Art are opening the doors of their studios in the Phoenix warehouse district this weekend for all to explore. Which means you can check out work spaces of some serious creatives and talk with them about their work.

Organized by a club called The Art Grads, comprising ASU MFA students, the TAG Open House offers visitors a chance to go behind-the-scenes at Grant Street Studios. This weekend's event takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20. 

About half the participating artists specialize in painting, drawing, or sculpture. But several other media are represented as well — including photography, fibers. intermedia, and printmaking. Artists' finished works line the corridors, but their works-in-progress occupy various studios spaces — sometimes a wall or work table, other times a desk or floor area. Tools, equipment, and eclectic materials abound.

It's likely you've already seen works by at least a few of these artists, who've been featured in exhibitions at several art venues — including The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts, Shemer Art Center, {9} The Gallery, Fine Art Complex 1101, and the historic Bragg's Pie Factory building.

Sculptor John Tuomisto-Bell created an installation for last year's IN FLUX Cycle 5 public art project, and Travis Rice works were featured online by the contemporary art publication Hi-Fructose

The open house also includes assorted activities, artist talks, and demonstrations. Saturday's line-up includes tintype portrait demos (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), 3-D body scanning (1 to 4 p.m.), and an artist talk by fiber artist Courtney Richter (4 p.m.). Sunday's line-up includes 3-D body scanning (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and vintage coin stamping (1 to 4 p.m.).

But's there's an intriguing mix of movement with visual art, too. Choreographer Fumihiro Kikuchi and visual artist Heather Couch, whose work with sound artist Tony Obr was a highlight of this year's Breaking Ground dance and film festival, will perform on Sunday at 1 and 2 p.m. 

Visitors can explore three exhibitions, including a pop-up show in a space called the Side Gallery, during the event.

Step Gallery, which frequently features solo exhibitions by graduate art students, is showing Richter's MFA thesis exhibition titled "working title: in anticipation of something good do the right thing be your best self accept what you cannot change and fake it till you make it." Richter's work explores the cycle of "doubts, disappointments, and tiny celebrations" that mark attempts to accept or change oneself. 

Northlight Gallery, which specializes in photographic works by current as well as former students and faculty, is showing works by a trio of artists addressing environmental issues. Titled "Nature's Persistent Instrument," the exhibition features ASU alumna Stephanie Hunder and ASU professors Heather Green and Mary Hood. 

Finally, both days include a Red Tag Sale with works by Grant Street Studio artists, so you can snag some original art for your live, work, and play spaces. You'll also be able to purchase a newly-published ASU 2015-2016 Master of Fine Arts Program catalog. 

Never mind that you never got to tour Andy Warhol's studio. It's entirely possible that you'll have serious bragging rights one day about having seen these artists' studios. Just saying.

Find more information on The Art Grads Facebook page

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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