With the First Friday Art Walk in March, we’re turning the corner toward spring, and artistic new beginnings are as common as the first buds on winter-dormant flowers. Case in point is the brand-new gallery space for members of the Artists’ Coalition of Flagstaff to show their work. And it’s a gem of a space, too: The pocket gallery at 111 E. Aspen, Ste. 1, with lovely window light, light beige walls and a 13-foot ceiling with an antique tin roof.
Owned by local photographer John Running, the location is part of his holdings that include his studio, the studio of his photographer daughter, Raechel Running, and Gallery 113, the space claimed about six months ago by Jill Divine after Carolyn Young and her West of the Moon Gallery moved to a larger venue.
By March Art Walk evening, ACF members will have left the old location at 13 N. San Francisco and installed the first part of a group show, with the second installment due in April.
“We want to re-introduce the breadth of the talent we have, then revert to feature an artist each month,” explains Mike Frankel, executive director of the nonprofit founded in 1996 to encourage and promote artistic growth and professional development of local artists.
Frankel says finding the new space came after an exhaustive two-year search.
“We finally found the Goldilocks gallery,” he says, with characteristic humor. “Everything else we had looked at was too expensive, bad location or too much work to turn it into a gallery. We’ve gone from the fifth-level underground garage to prime street level.”
Frankel said the board of directors gave the move a 13-to-0 “Aye” vote.
ACF member Dolores Ziegler, who says she has sold art for 35 years, will continue on as gallery manager. She and Frankel agree the old gallery was like a training ground, giving fledgling artists a non-threatening environment to get their feet wet.
The more than 250 members in the coalition are excited about the new space.
“There’s just a whole new level of enthusiasm now,” Frankel says.
If you’re feeling a little feisty and in the mood to dress up a touch, pop into Incahoots Vintage Clothing and Costumes, 9 E. Aspen, and show off your best mustache, real or fake, and your sportiest cardigan sweater. All this is for the third annual Mustache March Sexy Cardi Party at the store. Those properly hirsute in the right place and warm in a cardigan will get 25 percent off their total ticket. Fake mustaches and cardigans will be for sale in the store.
Using Incahoots items, Adres Adauto, store manager for six years, dressed up last week to demonstrate the right look, complete with fake mustache, although he has grown one lately, and a baby-blue cardi.
“This is the best part of the job—pretty much doing anything you want,” he says. “I came up with the idea about three years ago, and it’s just kind of this loose celebration of March where you grow out a mustache and just have fun with it.”
Adauto promises good times and free refreshments for guests. Call the store at 773-9447 for more details.
The March Art Walk is highlighting the found objects, old and new, used by local artist Sally Evans to create shadow boxes and bottle-cap jewelry, both on display at the Arizona Handmade Gallery, 13 N. San Francisco.
“Southwest art with a twist,” the artist calls her work, and her mission statement says she tries “to keep my creations fun and affordable,” and that “supporting the local economy is important to me.”
Evans says she uses recycled bottle caps from Diablo Burger on Heritage Square and gets found objects from local charity thrift stores.
“She’s just really fun,” says Shawna Butel, longtime manager for the gallery.
There will be live music and snacks during Art Walk. Call the gallery at 779-3790 for more information.
Beaver Street Gallery, 28 South Beaver, presents the opening of “Tea and Tonkas,” featuring new work by painter Franklin Willis, associate professor of painting at Northern Arizona University, from 6 to 9 p.m. during Friday’s Art Walk.
The work will be in the gallery’s Alpha Space, says Barbara Harton, co-owner of the gallery with her husband, David Harton.
“This work, which will appeal to the kid in all of us, is a group of table-top still-life’s inspired by his son’s toys and shiny tea kettles reflecting the toys over and over again,” she explains. “Willis’ recent work includes landscapes in addition to still-lifes, and the gallery will also be showing a group of Willis’ landscapes and wildlife studies in our Delta Space. All in all, it should be an exciting exhibit, fun for the entire family.”
Willis will also give an artist talk, hosted by the gallery on Sat, March 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. He will answer questions about his artistic process. Call the gallery at 214-0408 for more information.
Additional photos for this story:
Members of the Artists’ Coalition of Flagstaff meet in their new gallery space at 111 E. Aspen Ave., Ste. 1. Photo by Betsey Bruner
Longtime Arizona Handmade Gallery manager Shawna Butel holds up a mirror trimmed in decorated bottle caps by Sally Evans, Handmade’s featured artist for March. Photo by Betsey Bruner
A pink cigar-box shrine by Sally Evans, the featured artist for March at Arizona Handmade Gallery honors the colorful legacy of Frida Kahlo. Evans scavenges for the materials she uses for the shrines and also her bottle-cap jewelry. Photo by Betsey Bruner
“A Mighty Catastrophe,” on display during the “Tea and Tonkas” exhibit at Beaver Street Gallery. Photo courtesy of Beaver Street Gallery