Roosevelt Row's Shipping Container Gallery Moving — Here's What We Know

These containers at 425 East Roosevelt Street are being moved to make way for a brewery.
These containers at 425 East Roosevelt Street are being moved to make way for a brewery. Lynn Trimble
The shipping container gallery curated by Xico Arte y Cultura in Roosevelt Row will be relocating soon to make room for a new brewery. The gallery has three containers, which are being moved to the southwest corner of Roosevelt and Second streets in early July, according to Greg Esser. A fourth container will likely be added in July.

The brewery will be situated on land owned by fellow artists and married couple Esser and Cindy Dach. They’ve been instrumental in developing the Roosevelt Row arts district, including the Five15 Arts collective that's now located on Grand Avenue.

The containers are part of a larger project being undertaken by the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation at 918 North Second Street, where there used to be a Revolver Records store. If all goes as planned, the containers will be open at the new location for Third Friday on July 19.

The lot is owned by APS, which is granting the Roosevelt Row CDC a short-term lease. The community group will use the space to provide assorted art programs, including community art workshops.

The shipping container gallery first opened in 2013 with just one container, which was situated on the north side of Roosevelt Street. The gallery was supported by a $90,000 ArtPlace grant awarded to the Roosevelt Row CDC.

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 2014. Nic Wiesinger of Rhetorical Galleries also curated several exhibitions in the space. The third container was transformed into another art space called Halt Gallery, which presented exhibitions beginning in October 2014.

click to enlarge The containers have been used for visual art and performance. - LYNN TRIMBLE
The containers have been used for visual art and performance.
Lynn Trimble
New development necessitated the move to their current location, on the dirt lot at 425 East Roosevelt Street, in 2015. At the time, Esser was working on a plan to create artist live/work housing using the containers.

Instead, the containers have continued to serve as an exhibition space. Most recently, they've been curated by Xico, an arts organization based in south Phoenix, which presents exhibits, classes, and other community programming.

Xico, which is headed by executive director Donna Valdez, originally planned to curate the shipping container art shows for just 12 months. But now that’s been extended, and it will be curating exhibits at the new temporary location as well.

"The shipping container art gallery spaces have provided our Latinx and indigenous artists access to new audiences, allowing them to further develop their creative practice," Valdez stated in a press release issued by the Roosevelt Row CDC.

Now, the lot at 425 East Roosevelt Street will become the main footprint for Greenwood Brewery, a new venture for local brewer Megan Greenwood. The development will also incorporate parts of the existing building just east of the lot, which Dach and Esser own as well. That building is home to MADE and the Eye Lounge gallery, which is operated by an artist collective.

Greenwood hasn’t revealed the final design for the brewery, or the expected opening date. Early plans indicated the project would include an outdoor beer garden, and could open by late 2019. Christoph Kaiser, principal for Kaiserworks architecture design firm, is spearheading the brewery’s design.

For now, all eyes are focused on the shipping containers moving to their new home, "We are thrilled to continue to cultivate awareness and appreciation for the incredible creative work these artists produce and exhibit," Valdez says. 
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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