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.
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