Culture News

Roosevelt Row Shipping Container Art Galleries in Downtown Phoenix to Move

A trio of shipping containers located in the Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market will be making their way to a new home across the street, says Greg Esser, who spearheaded their initial purchase and placement by the Roosevelt Row CDC.

After April's Third Friday art walk, the containers will be closed up for what Esser calls a "summer hiatus." He's working now on getting permits from the City of Phoenix before moving forward with a plan that would bring to life the rendering pictured above on the lot between Eye Lounge and Modified Arts.

See also: State of the Arts: Phoenix's Arts Community Is at a Make-or-Break Moment. It's Time to Grow Up

The containers were founded with a $90,000 ArtPlace grant awarded to the Roosevelt Row CDC in 2014 for the purpose of developing live/work spaces for artists using re-purposed shipping containers.

Two of the containers became Hot Box Gallery, where the first of many exhibitions curated by Ted Decker of Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art opened in January of 2014. The third container was transformed into another gallery, where Halt Gallery presented exhibitions beginning in October of 2014.

The containers' current location was always conceived as temporary. The name of the initial project, A.R.T.S., stands for Adaptive Reuse of Temporary Space. But now Esser plans to incorporate them into a larger project, and give them a permanent home.

Esser shared details with Jackalope Ranch via an April 16 e-mail, in which he notes that the design for the shipping container is still in development and not yet finalized. He says that elements of the pilot project will include gallery space, living space for artists, and work space.

Two of the three shipping containers currently serving as gallery spaces will continue as galleries under this plan, and the third will serve as a gallery/welcome center for Roosevelt Row. Esser adds that details "will be refined as we continue to go through the development process with the City of Phoenix" -- and notes that their current renderings are "not yet final and subject to change."

Esser hopes work on the new shipping container project can begin this summer, and be completed by year end. Decker is already planning a series of exhibitions for one of the relocated shipping container galleries, which will likely run from October 2015 through March of 2016.

See also: Roosevelt Row: The Fight to Keep Roosevelt Row "Authentic" Is a Fight to Let It Become Something It's Never Been

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble