The metro Phoenix gallery scene saw some significant changes in 2015. Several galleries closed, some new ones opened, and a few moved to new locations. Here’s a look back at the most noteworthy changes.
Jeff Zischke – an artist familiar to most locals for his public art created in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe – opened his own gallery space called Art|Object, which is located at 100 East Easy Street in Carefree, in October. He’ll use the gallery space to exhibit his own works in various media and present exhibitions featuring work by other artists.
Nancy Hill, co-owner for the letterpress business Hazel & Violet located in the historic Bragg’s Pie Factory building, took over the space previously occupied by Frontal Lobe Gallery after Beatrice Moore decided to focus on other arts and preservation projects in the Grand Avenue Arts District. Since her soft opening in September and formal grand opening in October, Chartreuse has presented group and solo exhibitions. Most recently she presented “5 Earths,” a solo exhibition featuring works by Chip Thomas (aka Jetsonorama), a medical doctor and artist who works with people in the Navajo nation.
Fine Art Complex 1101
Grant Vetter opened a new arts venue designed to serve as an exhibition space and resource for artists seeking research opportunities, career counseling, workshops, and other tools to help further their development as artists. The space located at 1101 West University Drive features a main gallery for solo or group exhibitions, a project room for special projects and print shows, and a new media arts center for screening video art and short films.
J Klein Gallery
The J Klein Gallery, which features works in various media by three artists, opened in mid-November at 7136 East Main Street in Scottsdale. Represented artists include Jim Klein, Dan Ostermiller, and Jeff Berryman.
This new barber shop, beauty shop, and spa located on the ground level of Roosevelt Point had its grand opening during November First Friday – complete with exhibition titled “Out of Line: The Art of Scott Wolf and Doug Bale.” In December Public Image opened another exhibition curated by Artelshow, which is titled “Portmanteau” and includes the work of about two dozen local artists.
Sound and Color
After previewing their new multi-use creative space at the Grand Avenue Festival, and doing a soft opening during December First Friday, Sound and Color, which is located at 1504 Grand Avenue, will be officially up and running sometime in January. The space will house both Grand Avenue Records, a vinyl shop focusing on dance an DJ music, and a graphic design and branding business called Frost Design Studio.
Fred and Gail Tieken had an art gallery built in the backyard of their Paradise Valley home, where Fred also has his art studio. The gallery serves as a place to show artist Fred Tieken’s work, but will also feature exhibitions of works by other artists. The Tiekens did a soft opening in May, inviting fellow artists who were showing in “ARTillery” at Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, and a grand opening in November. Their first group exhibition included works by 45 Arizona artists working in diverse media. The gallery is located at 5202 East Gold Dust Avenue in Paradise Valley.
Unexpected Art Gallery
What once served as storage for items acquired by a company called Surplus Asset Management is now a multi-use art space called Unexpected Art Gallery. It’s located at 734 West Polk Street in the Grand Avenue Arts District, and had its officially opening during the Grand Avenue Festival in November. During December’s First Friday, the gallery hosted a one-night only exhibition of works by students in the ASU Sculpture Club. Future exhibitions are planned for First Fridays and Third Thursdays.
Bentley Gallery, which relocated from Old Town Scottsdale to Bentley Projects in the Phoenix warehouse district in late 2012, has undergone additional changes as part of Bentley Projects renovations completed earlier this year. Gallery space once located on the northern side of the venue, which comprised more than 14,000 square feet, had been moved to the southern portion of the venue – where the new exhibition space consists of about 6,000 square feet.
Operated by the City of Glendale, the gallery moved in September to a different location at the Westgate Entertainment District. Its first exhibition in the new space featured objects from the city’s art collection. Exhibitions typically change monthly, and the gallery is opening an exhibition titled “Fur and Feathers” in January of 2016. The gallery is now located at 9380 West Westgate Boulevard, Suite D-102, in Glendale.
Arizona State University relocated its Northlight Gallery from Matthews Hall, located near the School of Art on the Tempe campus, to the renovated warehouse space called Grant Street Studios – where ASU has operated its Step Gallery for about two years. Northlight Gallery, which is located in a western portion of the building, shows works of photography and video by ASU-affiliated artists as well as others. Future exhibitions will include works by emerging, underrepresented, and internationally-recognized artists.
ASU Night Gallery
This gallery, which was operated by ASU School of Art inside space at Tempe Marketplace donated by Vestar Development Company, held its last exhibit in May after learning the space had been leased out. Although the school has said it would like to find another community gallery space, they have not announced locating a new site at this point.
The photography exhibition and education business operated by ASU alum Stephen Gittins briefly made its home in the western bay of the building that also houses Eye Lounge and MADE Art Boutique. But Gittins, who is still doing photography and photography education through his Capture 12 business, moved the enterprise out of that space in the middle of 2015. Today the space is home to a nonprofit organization called Ben’s Bells that blends visual arts with raising awareness about autism.
Frontal Lobe Gallery
Beatrice Moore, longtime arts and historical preservation advocate in and beyond the Grand Avenue Arts District, closed Frontal Lobe Gallery after an August 2015 exhibition. Moore estimates that she presented about 40 exhibitions during four or five years of operating the space, which is located in the historical Bragg’s Pie Factory. The space is now home to a new gallery called Chartreuse operated by Nancy Hill.
After 23 years of operating her fine art jewelry business out of a small shop in the Grand Avenue Arts District, owner Gloria Marsiglia hoped to work with another business to open a new Gallery Marsiglia location in the Melrose District. But when that didn’t work out, Marsiglia decided to move the business to her home – where she continues to create, show, and sell jewelry.
GreenHaus owners Cole and Dayna Reed presented their last exhibition in February, before moving to Portland with plans to reopen there. The space, which boasted two interior murals by artist Ted DeGrazia and one exterior mural by Lauren Lee, was demolished in March to make way for a new housing development, which is currently under construction.
Method Art Gallery
Photographer Davin Lavikka closed his Method Art Gallery at the end of June, after expressing concerns about the lagging art scene in downtown Scottsdale, and saying that more and more buyers are making their art purchasing decisions online. After closing Method Art Gallery, Lavikka opened Method Art Studio at 4151 North Marshall Way. He’s doing photography and photography education, and also has works by a small number of artists available at the studio or on the studio website.
R. Pela Contemporary Art
Gallerist, curator and New Times columnist Robrt Pela closed R. Pela Contemporary Art in June, after presenting 26 exhibitions there starting in March of 2013. Pela expected to move the gallery to a new midtown Phoenix location, but changed his approach after learning that space would not be ready in time. He’ll be presenting independent exhibitions at several locations during 2016 – including Walter Art Gallery in Scottsdale, Central Arts Plaza and Found: RE Hotel in Phoenix, and various Pita Jungle locations.
Scottsdale Fine Art
After nine years of having a brick and mortar gallery in Scottsdale, Scottsdale Fine Art owner Beth Lauterbach decided to close that gallery and continue to sell artworks online. After Scottsdale Fine Art closed in Old Town Scottsdale in June, several nearby galleries took works by artists who’d previously been showing and selling their artworks at Scottsdale Fine Art, so the artists would continue to have a visible presence in Old Town.
Willo North Gallery
Willo North Gallery closed earlier this year, after its final exhibition featuring works by Douglas Miles, and the space is now being rented to a 3-D design company. Nicole Royse, who formerly curated shows for Willo North Gallery, is keeping the website and social media for the gallery active for now so artists who have shown there can still link to their prior exhibitions.
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