[nueBOX] Creates Platform for Phoenix-Area Performance Artists

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How do performance and installation artists make the transition from the structure of school to the chaos and uncertainty of the real world? [nueBox], a nonprofit arts organization, has some ideas. Their year-long residency programs provide creatives with studio space (through a partnership with Phoenix Center for the Arts) as well as performance opportunities and a platform for critical analysis of their working pieces.

[nueBOX] will hold its launch party (aptly dubbed "[nueLAUNCH]") on February 5 at First Draft Book Bar. We chatted with co-director Matthew Mosher about the event and the state of Phoenix's performance art scene.

See also: 10 Cool Art Classes in Metro Phoenix

As Mosher puts it, "The goal of [nueBOX] is to provide local Arizona emerging artists with space to develop new performance or installation artworks." The idea came out of a void in Phoenix-area performance art spaces. "We also noticed that all of our friends were leaving Phoenix because there wasn't enough support or structure for them to stay here. But Phoenix is awesome, and we wanted to stay here, so we said, let's start a space for people to go when they finish school and want to create but are still emerging in their practice."

Mosher and his co-director, Julie Akerly, select artists for their residency program based on a number of criteria. They favor artists who integrate multiple disciplines into their work. Current performance resident artists Dirty Buckle Dance have been working with an electrical engineer to create projections to complement their movements. Mitchell Keaney, a [nueBOX] installation artist, records noise frequencies in the shape of his wooden sculptures, fusing sound and visual art. You get the idea -- these folks are doing some cool stuff.

In addition to selecting creatives who like to tickle interdisciplinary boundaries, Akerly and Mosher select residents based on which individuals might benefit most from their program. "Rather than just giving {these artists} the space to do work, we also set up community feedback sessions. It's a way for people to get a critique of their work, which is really hard to get once you're out of the university structure. If we've got {applicants} with a lot of skill whose portfolio just needs beefing up, we want to accept those people too so we can push their work to the next level."

[nueLAUNCH] will feature installation and performance art by an incredible range of [nueBOX] resident artists, including Dirty Buckle Dance, Jordan Daniels Dance, Jasmine Nunn, Kyle Daniels, Mitchell Keaney, and Anna Garner. Installation pieces will be on display throughout the evening with sporadic dance performances. Mosher says the event will be more of a debut party than a performance. "We want to show everyone in Phoenix who got selected for this year, so people can meet them and the community at large can see what we're trying to do with the space."

The event will take place on February 5 from 6 to 8 pm. Tickets to [nueLAUNCH] cost $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and include one happy hour beverage. For tickets or more information, visit [nueBOX]'s website.

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