As we bid farewell to the year and look ahead to 2011, Jackalope Ranch contributors will bring you some greatest hits from 2010. Art is rarely tame. And a few local artists pushed the typical boundaries and made changes in our local arts scene. We'd say they went rogue. Here are a few highlights:
1. Pop-up galleries on Marshall Way
The economy sucked this year, which was a great thing for a handful of local artists who took advantage of low rent spaces offered in Scottsdale. The retail-turned-gallery spots brought a wave of contemporary and pop art to an area of Phoenix used to seeing an overflow of cow skulls and denim vests. These spaces, including Squeeze (formally Soyal), 5 and 6, Jean Rashkind, Brian Drake, and Spec10, may vanish from the street as quickly as they popped up, so check them out if you have yet to venture to south Scottsdale.
2. The Fall of First Friday's Phoestival
What are all of these cars doing here? In June, city staff and Roosevelt Row representatives came to an agreement and took down the barricades usually up for the First Friday Phoestival. Traffic has since returned to downtown Phoenix during First Fridays, and the future of the Phoestival is still uncertain. In the meantime, what some call the end of table-top art vending and festivities along Roosevelt Street, is what others argue as a step in the right direction if Phoenix wants a local art- and gallery-focused monthly event.
3. Red Dress Tours by Kara Roschi and Ernesto Moncada
The performing and visual art duo showed up along Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Row and the Central Corridor in red costumes and encouraged the community to do the same. Roschi and Moncada started the tours as a reaction to the end-of-First Friday-street-closure's negative response (mentioned above) and continue to give lively tours, in English and Spanish, of popular and lesser-known art areas of town.
4. Local street art explosion begs the question, "What's the difference between graffiti, tagging, and art ... if any?"
Murals have been around in Phoenix for decades, but after the Stateside-sponsored murals on the side of eyelounge and the Pabst Blue Ribbon murals were tagged by a local artist, and graffiti-style murals made their way into salons, restaurants and alleyways, the community's definitions of street, public, and gallery art blurred.
5. Trashy Fashion Show at the Grand Avenue Festival
Fashion trends can definitely be temporary, especially if they're made out of "recycled" materials. Designers and design hopefuls submitted, created and walked their designs down the runway at Bragg's Pie Factory in September. And we were happy there was plenty of hand-sanitizer on hand.
6. Steam Punk
Wired Magazine reported this week that nerd culture is on its way out (or should be), which may be true in its San Francisco hometown, but not so much here. The wave of comic culture brought Steam Punk to Phoenix -- a blend of 1800s fashion with an emphasis on steam power technology. Sure, a few of the get-ups resemble something out of the ghost buster series, but these guys definitely know a thing or two about costuming, mechanics and art.