MonOrchid Curator Nicole Royse's 5 Day-to-Day Essentials

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MonOrchid is located in downtown Phoenix, but the Royse family resides in the East Valley suburb of Chandler. For dropping off and picking up kids, and practically living at the monOrchid during the week of First Friday, Royse has a white Dodge Durango to “get me downtown ... get my kids everywhere.” She says she’s grateful for the three rows, because she hates minivans. Plus, it's "a good utilitarian car" with "nice, big, black rims.” 

Her vehicle gets her to and from the East Valley along with other important things, like artwork and her children. She tries to keep her kids involved in the art scene, and they’re often at the gallery with her (though she prefers Third Friday with the family versus the busier First Friday). “I try to bring them as much as I can,” she says. “People know my kids; they’re the Royse kids.”

Background as an Artist
Royse has been a curator at monOrchid for four years. “I love monOrchid and what we do,” she says, "and [they're] not going anywhere.” And having experience as an artist on a personal level is ideal for the position, she says. “It gives me that perspective with helping artists with sales or interacting with other curators.” Royse says showcasing personal work can be of course intimidating for artists, especially if it’s their first show. “You’re nervous, and I know what that feels like because I’ve been in their shoes,” she says, “It’s great to be able to share that with them, and maybe give them a little help or a little guidance."

Her background may also help Royse appreciate the local and national artwork coming through the gallery. “I like seeing all kinds of art; that makes it more fun,” she says, adding, “I’ve dedicated so much time [to it], and I think art lifts people up.”
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.