I’m off the beaten path, from my usual downtown art viewing route. Facebook invitations and wall posts direct my steps this particular Art Detour afternoon.
First stop, Another Gallery. Not downtown, but on the way…from my home, at least. Open, well-lit, cozy.
Situated on 3rd street, south of Indian School. Owner Larry Forsythe, greets us and tells us about the artists he exhibits, and their work. A variety of media fills his gallery: painting, sculpture, and there’s prints…linocuts, monotypes…etc.
Wendy Willis’s very fun…blue, blue water, people in swim suits, turtles…prints. Mark McDowell’s paintings and prints. Gregory West, very realistic looking paintings…and prints.
We’re invited to the back room where a ceramic wheel, shelving and two electric kilns sit. Larry dabbles in clay. I like the space, and I like the ‘behind the scenes’ studio peek.
We head out, southeast, 16th Street, North of McDowell. A row of apartment complexes, now called, City Wide Studios, artist studios. For Art Detour, each apartment is an exhibition space. 3D artwork in the first spot…3D glasses hang from the center of the room for ones use. Put a pair on, and the images on the wall extend out or recede into the walls. Amusing. I talk to the group: Peter Christenson, Matt Garcia, Teresa Miro, and Matthew Mosher, all art students from ASU.
The next area is filled with LCD monitors and a sound system. I run into artist and ASU faculty, John Haddock. These are his students. He fills me in on the various performance works taking place on this weekend. (John has work at Modified, btw…we talk about this too).
A few spaces down I meet Adriene Jenik, Professor and Director of the School of Art, at ASU. She appears to be dressed in mourning (or as death itself). She’s marking the walls. Each mark represents an (documented and verified) Iraqi death since the war began, 8 years ago. Her artist statement is at the entrance. She’ll hold vigil, and mark, for the 3 days. (Click here for her resource)
Looking around the room, I note the bottom area is marked about 12 inches from the ground up. Passing of time, passing of life. Death. Quiet. Somber realization.
One space uses a computer and web cam to pick up movement. Robert Madera projects the colorful image (of the viewer. me, at the moment…I realize) onto a corner area. A moving and changing canvas. Frequency is generated and produces sound, as I move within the space. Interactive. Entertaining.
Each area offers information, in a different way. Technology is prevalent.
Next…southwest to Grand Avenue.
I enter a few galleries, one in particular gets my attention. I note a rather large sculpture, a black Snoopy dressed as a Native American. Recognize the wit. Hector Ruiz. And his large (woodcut) black and white prints are on the wall alongside Fausto Fernandez’s large, colorful paintings. I know the work from our Local’s Only exhibition, at the Phoenix Art Museum. I talk with Hector. He invites me to go back into his studio/work area. It’s a long, narrow, energizing area of materials and ideas, complete and incomplete, raw and in process.
He carves wood and stone, draws, paints, prints…scribbles, writes…starts, stops… Even though I am an artist and I have a studio, I never take this sort of opportunity for granted. An artists studio is sacred space.
I decide on one more area before I call it a day. West of Grand. A long, dry street leads me to WestWind Studios. Bob Booker, Executive Director of the Az. Commission on the Arts, sits outside his studio. He’s closed it for the afternoon, but he opens it back up. Another bit of sacred space. I find that I connect so much more when I can see work area, process. I am curious about his materials, everything from sweet colorful tissue paper to black tar.
I enter a few more artist studios in the complex, and finally I walk into the last one. Pleased to see Dominic Miller sitting in a large, open room with light streaming in through the windows. Cacti and succulents fill areas. We talk about his work at Modified, and we talk about things in his studio. He has a large, gridded sheet of paper taped up on the wall. What is this? I ask. I don’t know, he chuckles. He does know, the idea is getting formulated. I spend a bit more time there and then I head out.
Thanks to Larry, John, and his grad students, and all the artists whose work was out for the Art Detour experience. And thanks to Hector, Bob, and Dominic for a more personal studio visit…appreciate it.