After existing in the purely conceptual realm, the Tempe Museum of Contemporary Art will officially open its doors for the first time this month.
Co-founder Christian Filardo originally used the name for his home and workspace where he runs record label Holy Page. From there, the idea grew into a theoretical museum complete with phony Facebook page: "I sort of set it up as a fake museum that would appeal to the public and act as a space that could exist but wasn't really accessible" says Filardo.
But thanks to SMoCA's GOOD 'N PLENTY grant the Tempe Museum of Contemporary Art is accessible now.
"The space was always there lurking, sitting, stewing, hanging out" Filardo says.
Filardo founded the museum along with friends Caroline Battle and Chet Lawton (who, full disclosure, is related to Jackalope Ranch editor Claire Lawton). All three of the founders are talented artists in their own right working in various mediums.
The space itself consist of two sheds in Filardo's backyard partitioned into three areas: the gallery, the archive, and the workshop.
"The space is ghetto and intimate, you will never find legitimately white walls here," Filardo says. "We challenge the context of the museum, but we are just looking to bring art back to the people."
And the space does just that. The workshop is available for artists to come use tools and supplies, and the archives are open for anyone to come explore the growing collection of zines, posters, and tapes.
"Arizona is the Wild West so I personally feel that we should get wild with our art spaces," Filardo says. "This space doubles as an archive and acts as a community space and a place for learning, which is what makes it a museum to me."
Tempe Museum of Contemporary Art will host its first exhibition Grand Total, featuring art from the founders Caroline Battle, Chet Lawton, and Christian Filardo, on January 25th from 6 to 10 p.m.
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