Artlink, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting stakeholders of the arts and culture community, invites the public to participate in the transformation of a nearly 20,000 square foot basement space at Phoenix’s Park Central into a multidisciplinary arts space for Arizona artists.
In partnership with Park Central, and with support from the Flinn Foundation and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Artlink launched the ART+FORM project in 2018, with the intent to forge stronger partnerships between our region’s real estate development and arts and culture sectors.
As part of this ongoing initiative, Artlink invites open and inclusive community engagement, and is asking for feedback that will help shape a discovered space located at the center of midtown Phoenix to meet the growing needs of our burgeoning art capital.
Visioning for a Subterranean Arts Space
Through a series of in-person and online tours scheduled as part of the annual Art Detour 33 event, Feb. 27 to March 31, the community can provide input and complete a survey that will help inform the direction of the project.
As the largest undertaking of this initiative, the multidisciplinary arts space will provide a strong foundation for community, connection and conversations about how the greater metro Phoenix area can support its cultural creativity from across the state, while further catalyzing the relationships between artists and developers at our city center today.
“We have long planned a significant focus on the arts, and the partnership with Artlink brings tremendous value in terms of a creative vision and connection to the arts community,” said Sharon Harper, president and chief executive officer of Plaza Companies, which teamed up with Holualoa Companies to redevelop Park Central. “We hope more developers use this as an example of integrating unique spaces for the arts into their projects in the future.”
“This project aligns perfectly with the Flinn Foundation’s grant-making mission and history of support for the biosciences and the arts,” said Tammy McLeod, Ph.D., the foundation’s president and chief executive officer. “We felt compelled to support Artlink, as this project stands to benefit a community and a larger vision of development and art growing together.”
The impact of this community-led initiative will set a precedent for creating long-term relationships between local artists and developers that intentionally prioritize the social form of the city and make space for artists to lead.
“The arts community has played a major role in urbanism and development of Central and Downtown Phoenix,” said Catrina Kahler, president and chief executive officer of Artlink. “ART+FORM is a progression of how arts can play a role in the development of structures and spaces. As a region, we need to keep extending this progression to keep the arts community engaged and our built environment beautiful.”
Artlink further announces its partnership with Gould Evans, Inc. to provoke and curate the trajectory and evolution of the subterranean project at Park Central.
The planned redevelopment of the basement space represents one of many phases of the multifaceted project that are currently underway.
Public Art Commissions: Through open calls to artists facilitated by Artlink, Park Central has commissioned the work of five Arizona artists to produce high profile public artworks:
- The first is the mural produced by Jane Goat in 2019, “From What We Were,” a stylistic depiction of Park Central’s historically geographic center of a growing Phoenix.
- The second, “The New Archive” by artist team Miguel Godoy, Diana Calderon and Edgar Fernandez, artfully celebrates interconnection taking place between art, history, education, health care and the technology sectors in Midtown Phoenix.
- In partnership with Creighton University, sculptor Jeff Carol Davenport has been commissioned to create a sculpture of St. Ignatius that will be positioned at the entrance of the Jesuit university’s new midtown medical school campus at Park Central. The new artwork will be unveiled in April 2021.
Exhibition Space Leads to COVID Relief: Park Central’s contribution of leasable space first led to Artlink’s hosting of several art exhibitions:
- The 2019 and 2020 Artlink Juried Exhibitions and 2020 Art d’Core Exhibition took place in Park Central’s warehouse space.
- The mood room represents a gallery concept that addresses the needs of artistic practice. The mood room’s opening in February 2020 immediately preceded the coronavirus pandemic. Artlink repositioned the new space for community support by hosting a series of “Recovery Exhibitions” shows canceled by arts venues that were unable to maintain their exhibition commitments due to a small venue size or similar public health constraints. The airy, 3,000 square foot room and Park Central’s convenient parking allowed the exhibitions to take place while following necessary safety protocols.
Artlink keeps the arts integral to our development by connecting artists, businesses and the community. Founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by artists in 1989, the Artlink name is a guiding principle for the organization, as it supports stakeholders of the arts and culture community, amplifying its collective strength.
The new Park Central includes 450,000 square feet of Class A low-rise creative office space available for lease with the ability to accommodate tenants ranging from 3,500 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet in size. It features exclusive tenant patios, on-site restaurants and amenities, a stunning midcentury modern design, 15- to 25-foot ceilings, extensive bike paths, light rail access and ample parking.
The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. To achieve this mission, the foundation aims to advance the state’s bioscience sector, enable high-achieving students to experience world-class education at Arizona’s public universities, strengthen the fiscal and creative capacity of the state’s arts and culture organizations, and develop future state-level civic leaders.
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested nearly $511 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are health care and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education and religious organizations.
Gould Evans, Inc. + Canary Studio is a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm focused on projects that build cultural significance. Our diverse portfolio of architecture stems from a design process that starts with the client’s goals. We share a passion for regional architecture and design that positively impacts our communities.
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