Gunner Williams is on a tight schedule. The local artist and co-owner of NOISE Art Space in Scottsdale is moving his collection into the 1,500 square-foot space at 4200 N. Marshall Way (the spot of now-defunct Squeeze Gallery).
He has a few walls to knock down, lights to put up, and massive art pieces to install. And he's planning on putting the final touches and opening the doors to the public in time for Scottsdale's First Thursday -- in two weeks.
Williams says that while he's always been an artist, he started running galleries when he created Dwell apartments in Scottsdale and created an art space on the first floor.
In 2010, he and his business partner, local injury lawyer, and art collector Glen Lerner moved their space to Marshall Way and settled in with the handful of pop-up art spaces taking advantage of low rent and temporary leases.
In a year, Williams says he's watched a few of those places close or move away and other businesses move in. Fortunately, for the neighborhood and for the contemporary art scene, he and Lerner have no moving plans in the near future.
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For First Thursday, Williams and Lerner will continue their "Seven Deadly Sins" show with work by Williams, T.M. Scott, Jimmy Massacci, and Jon Arvizu. The gallery will also be working with Alisa Joelle, an artist and curator from New York, for future exhibitions.
Williams will be Downtown for First Friday, looking for new artists to work with and show (he says has his eyes set on DOSE, Hector Ruiz, Pete Deise, and El Mac, to name a few).
"Noise is about big, bold pieces that are full of color -- definitely contemporary and sometimes with a street-art-type vibe," says Williams. "But we're also in it for the long run. It takes hard work and perseverance to be an artist and run an art space ... we're not going anywhere."