Some sad news from Tucson: Solar Culture, the venerable gallery/venue that has a lot in common with Phoenix's soon-to-be-vastly-different Modified Arts, is on the auction block. The guy who runs it, artist Steven Eye, is apparently not the obvious winner. From Tucson Weekly.
There are dark clouds gathering over Solar Culture's building, which is set to go up for auction next week as the cash-strapped state seeks to unload surplus properties in an effort to find revenue.
The auction process was put into motion by developer Steve Fenton, who put down $9,500 for the chance to bid on Solar Culture. That's 10 percent of the appraised value of $95,000.
Unfortunately, when the Tucson City Council had to decide which warehouse spaces to transfer from the state into city hands, Solar Culture did not make the list, which did include the Steinfeld Warehouse, the Toole Shed and the warehouse that's now home to Skrappy's... But Eye has never made much money from his artistic endeavors and certainly does not have the deep pockets necessary to compete in an auction against Fenton.
So, you're probably wondering: Am I going to declare Tucson "ovah?"
Even without Solar Culture (which, again, will be sorely missed) that dirty little city down south still has better venues than The Valley in every size and shape -- aside from our two wonderful arenas and our standard-issue giant concert pavilion.
That's the real shame here, folks. Losing Solar Culture will suck a little, but Tucson is still way, way ahead of Phoenix on this front. If Phoenix scenesters are smart they'll start taking up a collection to buy the jilted Eye an abandoned warehouse somewhere in our fair metropolis and pray he can create something half as awesome as what he did there.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.