Wonderspaces is opening its first permanent location on Friday, April 5. The venue will be located on the first floor of Scottsdale Fashion Square, just west of the food court.
The creative enterprise, which brings art to new audiences through ticketed shows, launched with a pop-up space in San Diego during 2017. This will be the company’s first multiyear commitment.
They’ll have about 16,000 square feet of space, in a portion of the mall once occupied by Harkins Theatres. Harkins relocated to the upper level of the east section of the mall in late 2015.
Wonderspaces worked with Scottsdale-based Sixty First Place Architects on the design, which includes several galleries and a small bar. They plan to present three art shows a year in Scottsdale, each comprising more than a dozen interactive or immersive artworks.
It’s a relatively new model for experiencing art, which has typically been centered around gallery and museum settings. That’s just what Margaret Noble, a California-based sound artist whose work will be part of a future Scottsdale exhibition, appreciates about Wonderspaces.
“There used to be an old guard of classical institutions, and those are still important,” Noble says. “But there’s a bunch of new work emerging that doesn’t fit with that model.”
First up for Wonderspaces in Scottsdale will be “Point of View,” which includes works previously shown in San Diego. The exhibition will run through mid-July
“Point of View” comprises 13 installations, including Squidsoup’s Submergence, a light-based work shown at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in 2018. "Point of View" also includes a virtual reality experience called Dinner Party, created by Angel Soto, Laura Wexler, and Charlotte Stoudt.
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Wonderspaces will open at 10 a.m. daily, and close at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday through Thursday, the venue will close at 10 p.m. Early access tickets, which range from $12 to $24, are already available online.
The company is also planning shows in several additional cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Miami, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.
For Noble, Wonderspaces is part of a larger trend within the art world. “We are in a technology and art movement,” she says. “It’s really important to have these experiential spaces.”