Culture News

Jane Reddin (1957- 2011)

Jane Reddin, the local creative who retired from her legal career to support the blooming arts scene in Central Phoenix, died on Sunday evening.

Reddin was known and celebrated for her passion for locally made artwork. She opened Practical Art on Central Avenue north of Camelback in early 2008.

Two years later, in April 2010, Reddin was diagnosed with leukemia and was treated at Phoenix's Good Samaritan Hospital and later at a Dallas-Forth Worth facility.

Her friends and business partners Kara Roschi and Lisa Olson issued a statement this afternoon:

"Whatever your relationship with Jane, we know that any life she touched will greatly feel her loss," they write. "The central Phoenix community that she lived in, worked in, spent her time in, and greatly loved, feels much emptier today. We miss her terribly."

We interviewed Reddin in May, where she described her work and passion at Practical Art:

"[Practical Art] was such an enormous undertaking that calling any other project since then 'big' is laughable. And it continues to be a very demanding project! It seems like every day there's a new partnership we're able to forge, causes we're able to support, new artisans to promote ... after all, we're not only a space for local artisans to display their craft work, but we are trying to help Phoenix generate a culture of eco-friendly practices and locally-minded consumers while proving it all can be easy and affordable once the awareness is present and the habits are established."

In January, Reddin turned ownership of Practical Art over to Roschi and Lisa Olson, who say they'll continue to do everything they can to keep the store open as a living memorial.

"We'll be here," Roschi told New Times, "Jane's dream is safe with us."

While details on services are still being worked out, Roschi and Olson say they'll keep her friends, fans and community up to date through the store's website, and Facebook and Twitter pages. They also note that the Reddin family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Jane's honor to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Roschi and Olson say in their statement that they will be at Practical Art during regular hours and would appreciate any visits from friends who wish to remember Reddin.

"It feels right to be here, in this space that she created and filled with her hard work, passion, and spirit," they write. "Our lives were impacted immeasurably by this amazing and dynamic woman. We will always be very, very grateful for the time we were able to spend with Jane even if it was cut short far too soon."

Practical Art is on 5070 North Central Avenue in Phoenix.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton