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Scottsdale and Tempe Public Art Programs Activate Public and Vacant Space with IN FLUX

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Tempe's Mill Avenue and Scottsdale's Marshall Way are about to get a second dose of public art eye candy.

The second cycle of IN FLUX -- a program that commissions, promotes and enables the installation of temporary art in and among vacant and active storefronts -- is in full gear.

IN FLUX began as a pilot program, managed by the Scottsdale Public Art's Kirstin Van Cleef and the Scottsdale Cultural Council, in 2010. This year, in addition to temporarily activating a handful of vacant storefronts in downtown Scottsdale and Tempe (with the help of Maja Aurora from Tempe's public art program), IN FLUX includes a residency space, an installation in the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, and a project that will be created around the canal space in downtown Scottsdale for spring equinox.

This year, five artists were selected to complete temporary installations in two storefront windows in downtown Scottsdale and three on Mill Avenue in Tempe. Logan Bellew and Craig Randich will be taking over windows in Scottsdale, while Peter Bugg, Christina Mesiti, and Mary Neubauer and Todd Ingalls (a team effort) will be installing their work into spaces on Mill Avenue.

These installations will be on view from April to October of 2012.

IN FLUX also includes a creative residency, which local artist Erin V. Sotak will undertake in the Livery at Brown and 2nd Avenue. There, Sotak will create an installation "driven by social interaction and public engagement starting this April," according to IN FLUX's Kirstin Van Cleef.

And while you'll have to wait a few weeks for the artists to install, you can check out two of IN FLUX's projects that have been completed. Last weekend, interdisciplinary artist Saskia Jorda completed her site-specific suspended installation, which currently hangs in the Gallery@theLibrary during the exhibition of 1000 Journals with Scottsdale's 100+ Journals.

Jorda writes that her installation reflects the layers of 'skin' that define and separate cultures" that she experienced when she moved to the United States from Venezuela as a teenager. "One's own skin, the second skin of clothing, the shell of one's dwelling place--all these protecting the vital space of one's hidden identity."

This weekend, local artist Mary Lucking will create a temporary artwork in downtown Scottsdale's canalscape for the spring equinox, which includes performance, sculpture, and live interaction with the audience.

Lucking invites the public to see and interact with her project, titled "Picnic with a Fish," tomorrow from 10 a.m. to sunset. Pack a lunch and head to the waterfront to see White Amur fish, which keep the Valley's canals clean, to the tune of live dance and activities. More info here.

Stay tuned for pictures and installation details, and check out the IN FLUX website for more information.

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