I heard that the lead-in to the Art Detour weekend-long art walk in downtown Phoenix — First Friday on March 6, 2015 — was crazy busy. Glad I opted for a Sunday excursion on March 8, when the doors of dozens of studios, galleries and other art spaces were welcoming visitors during a highly walkable 80-degree day. And you know what I noticed? Lots of baby boomers — we of the sensible large sun hats and Skechers set. But in many cases, I’m assuming, these were first-time visitors to our widely diverse art districts.
And that leads me to a few nagging questions about this Art Detour 27, questions which I know are temporarily unsolvable because, for now, this annual large-scale art walk is run by volunteers.
— Why can’t there be tour guides? Or were there guides and I missed them? The map is helpful, but still too overwhelming — which galleries have which types of art? I do want to commend the volunteer on the trolley I was riding — he did offer some guidance, just not enough. First-timers need to know where all the galleries lie on the spectrum from funky/emerging/young art to higher-end works by our city’s established artists, because they just can’t walk to all of them (well, this Baby Boomer can’t). Which galleries are the most popular? Which are worth driving to in midtown and uptown Phoenix? Kudos to New Times for at least publishing “6 Must-Sees.”
— Where were the kids? C’mon, Millennials — this was a great weekend to engage your little ones in art, and a few of the galleries were ready to entertain them with arts and crafts, for instance, at Oasis on Grand.
— And I know this question is a prickly one: What’s with all the graffiti on Roosevelt Street? Murals, yes — love the murals. But the taggers seem to be out in force lately, leaving their scratches on storefronts, and that makes me wonder if the impending redevelopment between Second and Fifth streets — and controversial as it is — will help shoo the taggers away.
Anyway, enough of my crotchety comments. Here are a few photo highlights: