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Mirage Pop-Up Gallery to Host Grand Opening Tonight

Last fall, artist Diana Campanella and several others who were familiar with Phoenix's Town & Country Shopping Center had a pretty smart usage idea for the former Jutenhoops spot (at 303 E. Ocotillo Road in Phoenix), which had remained empty for nearly a decade: set up a temporary gallery.

They negotiated with the property manager for free rent (until the space is actually leased) and started hanging artwork on the once-pink walls of the new T&C Pop-Up Gallery.

Since then, the gallery has changed hands and prepared to close a few times. The roster of artists has evolved from craft and antique dealers to an eclectic mix of a dozen fine artists with styles ranging from typical Old Town Scottsdale pottery to abstract acrylics and hyper-realistic oil portraits.

Now under the direction of local artist Steve Moyer (no, not the True Blood actor), the redesigned and newly renamed Mirage Gallery will kickoff with a Grand Opening Celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. this evening. Guests will have a chance to meet with the artists, and there will be nibbles, drinks and live music.

The gallery works like a co-op, with each of the participating artists required to put in at least 4 hours manning the gallery each week. The tradeoff is a decent sized area to hang or display pieces within the huge 3,000-square-foot open-plan gallery.

Many of Mirage's artists are newcomers to Phoenix's art scene, while others such as Maggie Keane and Campanella have displayed their works around town for years. Keane, a University of Arizona graduate, is well-known in the community as a muralist (peep her 7th Street mural here) and as a courtroom sketch artist.

As a pop-up, the gallery could be asked to move at any time -- with 2 weeks notice -- so check out the space while you can. 

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