MonOrchid Arts’ Ball fundraises for relaunch of Shade Projects

caption! (Marianna Hauglie/DD
An auction at the MonOrchid Arts’ Ball raised $4,795 for the potential relaunch of Shade Projects, which published a magazine focused on the downtown Phoenix arts scene. (Marianna Hauglie/DD)

Influential members from the past and present Phoenix art scene gathered at MonOrchid for the Arts’ Ball to celebrate 25 years of Art Detour Saturday.

Proceeds from an auction at the event will go toward the re-launch of Shade Projects, an organization that published a magazine focused on the arts in downtown Phoenix.

“There’s not many opportunities that people have to be in a room with 60 significant artists that have all put their blood, sweat and tears into creating this community,” MonOrchid curator Justin Germain said.

The ball was free and drew 300-400 people to MonOrchid on Roosevelt Street between Second and Third streets. It celebrated the Phoenix art scene and its accomplishments over the past 25 years, MonOrchid owner Wayne Rainey said.

The exhibit, 25 Years Downtown, highlighted the artist experience, Germain said. Some artists wrote statements or stories about their experiences with galleries or Art Detour to accompany their work.

The auction raised $4,795, Rainey said. Sixty percent of that will go toward Shade Projects, Germain said.

Artist Lara Plecas attended the ball and showed an encaustic painting, a style involving heated beeswax with added color pigments, of a wildfire landscape named “Set Afire,” which was a part of the auction.

“It would be wonderful to see Shade come back and be a part of documenting downtown because I feel like we lack a lot of that,” Plecas said.

Ten years ago, Shade Projects published a regional magazine called Shade Magazine, which focused on the arts, filmmakers and sustainable and green development, said Rainey, who was Shade Magazine’s publisher.

Shade Magazine released its 18 issues when Art Detour only drew crowds of 50-100 people, First Fridays had yet to start and the only galleries on Roosevelt Street were Modified Arts and House Studios, Rainey said.

But after approximately 3.5 years, Shade Magazine stopped publishing because it could no longer sustain itself financially, Rainey said. Over the last ten years, however, the artist community has grown.

“Phoenix has matured a little bit and understands better the importance of arts and the economy,” Rainey said.

Shade Projects will focus on educating, protecting and exposing the arts in Phoenix, Germain said. It will also support local artists and creative businesses.

Shade Projects will have an arts program dedicated to establishing a stronger presence in the community, hosting shows and maintaining interns, Germain said. MonOrchid will fall under that program, he said.

“The issue with a lot of nonprofits is that they don’t have the funding, they kind of fade away,” Germain said. “We want to use the art program and really the direction of it to help make sure that it is really something long-lasting to enhance the downtown art.”

Shade Projects will work differently than it did 10 years ago. A form of the magazine will return to print with an enhanced online presence, Rainey said.

In the past, Rainey said, they would guess how many copies to print. Shade Magazine’s first issue released 3,000 copies and ended with 5,000 copies for the 18th issue. This time, Rainey said the magazine will print on a demand basis.

Rainey said Shade Projects has submitted its application to become a nonprofit. The organization will be comprised of Rainey, Germain and old board members.

Initially, Shade Magazine was run by volunteers, which became very taxing, Rainey said.

He described it as a full time job for some of the volunteers. This time, Shade Projects will hire staff.

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Correction: March 4, 2013

A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted Wayne Rainey but has since been removed to accurately reflect his words.