Push PHX Gallery to unveil revamped look, new stage at ‘2.0’ reopening

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The Push PHX Gallery, which closed in December due to a lack of funds, will reopen its doors to the public today. The remodeled Push PHX 2.0 Gallery will feature a new outdoor stage. (Cydney McFarland/DD)

The Push PHX Gallery will reopen its doors to downtown Phoenix today after closing down its space in December.

The grand reopening at 1145 E. Roosevelt St. will feature 16 artists from the local art scene and around the country.

The new space, now called the Push PHX 2.0 Gallery, will feature a remodeled look, with the addition of an outdoor stage for musicians to perform on during events.

“I just want to create a place where people can come and enjoy artwork and music all in just one great place,” said Matt Brown, one of the owners of the gallery.

Friends and art enthusiasts Brown and Jay B Fail opened the art gallery in 2009. After being open for roughly three years, the gallery was forced to close due to a lack of funds.

“We were doing well for a while, but the only thing was we had to advertise a lot to get people out to our events, and all of those costs came out of our own pockets,” Brown said. “So we decided to close down our doors.”

It wasn’t long after the space closed, however, when the two business partners got some help from the space’s landlord, Mark Lunn.

“We were able to have someone, a good friend, put in some money into our project because he strongly believed in what we were doing and didn’t want us to give up on it,” Brown said. “Lunn also acted as our contractor during the whole process, so he helped us reorganize the space and continues to have a larger role in what we are doing.”

Brown hopes the remodeled gallery has a more professional layout with upscale touches. He also wants the main focus of the gallery to be to sell art, as well as hold events in the future that are more themed around the artist the gallery is featuring.

With the art space being so close to the Downtown campus, students are excited about the grand reopening. Cody Larkin, a journalism freshman, is looking forward to the gallery being open again.

“I feel that First Fridays is the only place artists really have an outlet for their work. I wish that the art scene was thriving more and that artists didn’t have to depend only on that event,” Larkin said. “I’m excited for the opening of this space because I think that with the addition of a new stage for performers, it will attract a different crowd to the area.”

Karen Schmidt, a journalism senior, is also happy to see the art scene branch out from the main downtown area.

“I would love to see more Downtown ASU students get involved in the arts scene downtown, but I think most students aren’t aware that there even is one,” Schmidt said.

“Not enough people are buying art, so having this space try and distinguish itself will definitely draw in the community. It would be nice to show people that there are other places outside of the Fifth Street and Roosevelt area.”

As the gallery’s reopening approaches, Brown is optimistic about what it could do for the downtown community.

“We are trying to revitalize an area that has been rampant with crime, and I believe that with our presence in downtown over the last three years, we have had a lot of artists move in the neighborhood. We just want to bring in more quality artists and bring in a really serious art crowd and begin to work with bigger names.”

Brown said that as the new “2.0” gallery draws in more buzz, he hopes to add a community garden to the property and put in a more permanent stage.

The proceeds from the reopening event will be donated to Young Life, an organization that helps schools struggling to maintain art programs for their students, Brown said.

Contact the reporter at daniel.j.escobedo@asu.edu

14 COMMENTS

  1. I know there is a link in the article to the reopening Facebook page and I could get the physical address there, but the address should be in the article. Having readers and potential customers know where they are located helps a struggling business. All I can deduce from the article and photo is that it is 1145 on some strreet in the Roosevelt district.

  2. I’m wondering about the last part of your note, regarding Young Life. You list it as “an organization that helps schools struggling to maintain art programs for their students”, yet the only organization with that name that I could find, an organization that I personally has been too intertwined with ASU over the years, gives its mission statement as “Young Life brings the good news of Jesus Christ into the lives of adolescents with an approach that is respectful of who kids are and hopeful about who they can be.”

    Can you follow up as to whether this organization and the one receiving the proceeds are the same? I see nothing in the Christian organization Young Life’s mission re: arts.

  3. Thank you for the suggestions. We’ve added the address to the second paragraph of this story and have also clarified the last paragraph to reflect the source of the information about Young Life.

    Julia Tylor
    Downtown Devil Managing Editor

  4. The downtown devil is great – better, faster, more topical, more relevant, more detailed, and more local than any other news source in

  5. …Phoenix. The others just care about crimes, murders, and politics – you guys are great.

  6. Julia, your clarification in the last paragraph is basically an attribution of the source. Shouldn’t a follow-up clarification be to ask Mr. Brown where he can show anywhere that Young Life does what he says they do, or do you let him explain away that these proceeds from Push Gallery’s event actually will go to a Christian proselytizing organization that has virtual carte blanche on publicly financed campuses. Would people feel differently about their support if, for example, proceeds went to “Campus Crusade For Christ”?

  7. Young Life is a cult that brainwashes teenagers and college students and teaches them the gospel of fear, hate toward those perceived as “sinners”, and that their parents are wrong for following a different type of Christianity even though Young Life claims to be non-denominational.

    Usually, when it comes to religious things, I shrug and say “to each his own”, but having experienced Young Life in my youth, I can’t sit here silently. I experienced them for two years on my way out of religion and into the arms of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Here is a discussion that may interest you:
    Young Life Experiences

  8. Steve, Barry and Layal,

    Thank you for your comments. We will look further into the Push PHX Gallery’s relationships with other organizations and what groups it supports financially. If there is any newsworthy information, we will publish an additional story. It is inappropriate, however, for a news organization to speculate on the quality of Young Life’s work.

    If you have further questions or comments, please direct them toward one of our managing editors directly at news@downtowndevil.com, or to me personally at john.l.fitzpatrick@asu.edu.

    Jack Fitzpatrick
    Downtown Devil Managing News Editor

  9. Mr. FItzpatrick, no one suggested that Downtown Devil should speculate, but rather that it should find out the facts, which is what a news organization does. The quality of your work is a disgrace to the fine journalists who teach at the Cronkite School of Journalism.

  10. Jack, I don’t argue with what your role should be in regard to questioning Young Life and the”quality of their work”, but I would appreciate your writer asking further questions when a seemingly obvious fudging of facts is evident.

    I simply don’t want people to think Young Life’s mission is “an organization that helps schools struggling to maintain art programs for their students.” I know of organizations that actually DO this mission, and can recommend PUSH PHX to them, but I don’t think that is the ultimate purpose.

    The fact that Mark Lunn, the landlord in the story who has helped PUSH PHX to return to being open and is currently helping them to stay open, is the Director of the ASU Downtown and ASU West Young Life program, is a worthy addition to the question, “Who will the proceeds benefit?”.

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