4

Phoenix Artists on Commercial Art Gigs and Creative Survival in this Week's New Times

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Commercial artwork -- or the production of artwork for hotel lobbies, office hallways, airport corridors, stock image websites, hospital rooms, Ikea canvases, and Pottery Barn coasters -- is hardly a new concept. Classical painters were commissioned to (and then often had their apprentices) paint landscapes and portraits to fill the homes of the wealthy, and pop artists commissioned hundreds to reproduce their own work for the masses.

Today, commercial artwork in Phoenix is a way to pay the bills. And while a number of local artists have done commercial work (mostly under a pseudonym or two), most aren't all-too-willing to admit it.

This week's feature in the print edition of New Times features the conversations of local artists on commercial work, the lasting impressions of Phoenix Art Group (one of the most established commercial art businesses in the country), and how to survive while still creating personal work.

From the story:

Phoenix may be home to a group of largely second-tier fine arts institutions, but it's also the headquarters of one of the country's most established commercial-art manufacturers. It's a high-stakes, high-paying (relatively speaking) business with more than 50 big-name hotel clients around the world (plus office buildings, private homes, convention centers, airports, and hospitals). That's a lot of wall space.

... Truth is, it's never been easy to survive as an artist in Phoenix. But today, even in tough economic times, galleries and museums continue to open and students enroll in arts degree programs across the country. And because of public involvement, support from local government, and a group of seriously talented people, this city's art scene is the strongest it's been in years.

The artists, however, still struggle to make ends meet.

Read the full Paint by Numbers story here.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.