Visiting every gallery, art studio and cultural venue on the map that Artlink Phoenix has created for Art Detour 26 would be near-impossible in one weekend. But don’t let me stop you from trying!
The 26th annual event occurs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9, 2014, and Artlink’s media release says it will be “the best two-day, all-access pass to the downtown arts scene in Detour’s 26-year history.” The open doors stretch from Roosevelt Row to Grand Avenue to lower downtown to upper Central Avenue to 16th Street.
Just the phrase “downtown arts scene” sends a shiver down my spine, as I recall areas on the Art Detour map that were rather forbidding during most of the ’80s and ’90s. And now those areas are home to art, artists, pop-ups, cafes, bars and restaurants. Imagine that ….
Below, I’m sharing photos from galleries that sent me media releases, so that you can get a glimpse of all that is in store. Do pick up a map, or download one from the Artlink site. You will be surprised to see all the places where art and artists are tucked away. For instance, Hjalmarson Art Pottery at 45 W. Lynwood in the Roosevelt Historic District, is opening its doors. It’s the oldest working studio in central Phoenix, specializing in sculptural and functional clay art. Who knew?
A quick tip: The Phoenix Center for the Arts at 1202 N. Third Street is a good place to start your self-guided tour. There is an information booth with maps and a fair amount of parking, along with a trolley stop. Arizona Center at Third Street and Van Buren also serves as a hub, and has plenty of parking. In addition, if gallery-hopping is your primary goal, get a head start by visiting art spaces on Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue during First Friday, March 7, starting at 6 p.m.
A sidenote: On Third Friday for February, I saw three shows on Roosevelt Row that continue through Art Detour and I highly recommend them:
— Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt St., has mounted “Twenty-Six,” a group show featuring 26 stellar Phoenix artists that neatly coincides with Art Detour’s 26th year. To name a few of the artists: Colin Chillag, Brent Bond, Monica Aissa Martinez (recently featured in The New York Times), Casebeer and Annie Lopez. Also, a beautiful Pete Deise piece is in the show. Called “Yellow,”it is a knotted piece of painted steel, about two feet wide. Gallery director Kimber Lanning says that about 80 percent of the works in the show are new. Curator is James Angel.
— Eye Lounge, 419 E. Roosevelt St., has “A River in a Time of Dryness,” a group show curated by Nic Wiesinger, presenting photos and other works that provoke thought about Phoenix’s handling of its precious resource, water. Artists include: Edgar Cardenas, Jeff Chabot, Dan Collins, Heather Conch, Bryon Darbey, William LeGoullon and Marco Rosichelli.
— Also at Eye Lounge is “Many Mini-Retrospectives,” featuring members of the art collective showcasing their smaller-than-usual works. (See photo below.) Be sure to pick up the map as you walk in, because even though the gallery is small, it has managed to place almost 80 works on and near the walls. See works by: Turner G. Davis, Lee Davis, Chris Maker, Constance McBride, Abbey Messmer, Ann Morton, Emmett Ramstad and others. It’s a fundraiser, by the way, with very reasonably priced works.