Reviews

Roosevelt Row: Taking advantage of small spaces

When you think about it, Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix is only a few blocks long. Yet it manages to pack in about a dozen art galleries of various shapes and sizes, joyfully mixing it up as far as artist rosters and points of view. There’s something for everybody.

For the Third Friday Art Walk on September 20, 2013, I stuck to just a couple of blocks (didn’t have my best walking shoes on) and managed to see three terrific shows:

1Spot Gallery, 918 N. Sixth Street, is featuring an intriguing collaboration between photographer Andrew Pielage (of the nearby AP Gallery) and Damian Jim, a Dine artist. Pielage gave Jim several black-and-white 8 x 10 metallic prints, depicting remote landscapes and city scenes, and Jim took them to another level with vibrant oil-pen drawings directly on the prints. For instance, “Path to Freedom, Camino Del Diablo, AZ,” depicts a stark view of a border crossing near Yuma. Pielage explains that border-crossers put notches in saguaros to turn them into signposts. Jim instinctively drew stylized blue arrows in the sky portion of the photograph, signifying instructions, in a way, for those seeking a better life north of the border.

With each of Pielage’s photographs, Jim says, “It was delicate material that I didn’t want to scratch. So I have to let the movement (of the pen) take me where it wants to go, because if I were to stop, the flow would be gone.”

The show can be seen through October 4.

Five15 Arts, 515 E. Roosevelt Street, is currently showing mixed media works by longtime Arizona artist Mary Shindell. Her theme is “Generation CSA,” in a nod to the high interest among younger generations in the community-supported agriculture movement. Shindell used foliage and crop motifs to create several pieces using wood, LED lights, Plexiglas and optical fibers, giving botanical scenes a three-dimensional and neon-lit “pop.” Also in the show are several very affordable lighted flower sculptures in colorful pots.

The show continues through September 28.

Modified/Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt Street, is getting on its Southern California, punk-rock ’80s vibe with black-and-white photographs based on a book by David Markey and Jordan Schwartz. The show is called “We Got Power!” and it takes the viewer into a world of punk music, dress and lifestyles. OK, maybe I couldn’t quite relate, seeing as how I am stuck in the ’70s, but the stark intimacy of the photos is fascinating.

The show continues until October 12.

All three galleries are small, maybe even master-bedroom-size, yet all three consistently beckon art lovers during First and Third Fridays on Roosevelt Row.

And I understand there’s more good art in small spaces to come on Roosevelt Row. Those white shipping containers on the north side of the street are currently being spiffied up inside with track lighting, new paint and new floors, to transform them into 8-foot by 20-foot temporary art spaces.

From "We Got Power!" reminisces of the punk rock scene, at Modified/Arts. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

From “We Got Power!” reminisces of the punk rock scene, at Modified/Arts. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

One thought on “Roosevelt Row: Taking advantage of small spaces

  1. Thank you! We got into some great discussions on Third Friday at R. Pela and didn’t get to the main gallery area until after 9. We’ll have to go back – these sound like intriguing shows! Thank you.

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