The 25th International Sculpture Conference: New Frontiers in Sculpture will take place in metro Phoenix, a city with a ton to see and do. Conference programming and activities will be in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe; three cities close in distance within the metro Phoenix area. Continue reading below for more information and highlights in each exciting city.
When you take a 1940s business district and revitalize it with boutiques, bungalows, galleries, and a healthy dose of street art, you get the exciting arts district known as Roosevelt Row. “RoRo” spans 7th Avenue to 16th Street downtown, and is filled with as much art outside as inside its venues. 1Spot and the five15 Gallery capture Phoenix’s contemporary indigenous art and the edginess of Arizona’s well known artists. Even the Row’s coffee shops have a hand in the downtown culture. Have a pastry and listen to prose in Songbird Coffee , or stop in the hip Lola for an espresso and a crepe. RoRo’s homes are a great place to sip and walk around. Urban Bungalows like the Cibo restaurant and historic homes in Oakland and Garfield on the east and west ends are rich in Phoenix’s culture. Roosevelt Row has so much to offer. Take a look here to see just how a short walk can cover a lot of territory.
Grand Avenue’s neighborhood and arts district that has risen up just northwest of the downtown core of Phoenix is bustling with local businesses, art studios, converted warehouses, funky bars, restaurants, and restored storefronts. The Grand Avenue neighborhood also boasts one of the most bike and pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares in all of Downtown Phoenix. For more information on Grand Avenue visit www.grandavephoenix.com.
Downtown Phoenix is home to Civic Space Park, one of Phoenix’s open plan parks right in the heart of the city. Civic Space Park gives residents, workers, ASU students and downtown visitors a green setting with unique urban design, sustainable construction and operational features, and a landmark public sculpture, Her Secret is Patience, by artist Janet Echelman. The park, which opened in April 2009, uses sustainable design techniques to generate power, keep the area cool and capture rain water. It is also located near the Central Station METRO Light Rail and bus transfer stations. There’s also a variety of public art when you step outside the green. A good place to discover public art in Phoenix is the Phoenix Convention Center on 100 N. 3rd Street .Take the bus or light rail to The Gallery at City Hall on Washington St. and Third Ave for more. The official hotel for the 25th ISC Conference is downtown at the Hyatt Regency, located at 122 North Second Street right in Cooper Square.
Like Roosevelt Row, Phoenix’s Warehouse District is part of the cultural movement to house the new in the old. Bentley Gallery is an intimate space showing contemporary art, and other media as well as antiquities. Originally a linen laundry dating back to 1918, the space is now famous for its exploration of contemporary and modern art that celebrates the American Southwest. Art can also be found nearby at Lisa Sette Gallery, currently celebrating its 30th year fostering the culture of Phoenix. The ASU Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts’ Grant Street Studios are also located nearby in a renovated warehouse, just opened last year. There, many of ASU graduate students create works in a maze of studio spaces open to the public for free.
Above: Building on Grand by Ms. Phoenix via flickr
Art plays a big role in nearby Scottsdale, where you can visit more than 100 galleries, check out acclaimed museums, and a view their large collection of public art. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) in the Old Town District has five galleries of permanent and traveling collections, as well as an outdoor sculpture garden, including James Turrell’s Skyspace: Knight Rise.
Public art is also abundant in Scottsdale. For information about works on view throughout the city, check out Scottsdale Public Art. Old Town Scottsdale is where the Old and New West come together, offering several galleries dedicated to American Indian and Cowboy Arts. Don’t miss Evening Mixers at SMoCA and Bollinger Atilier on November 6th, where you can catch a docent tour of SMoCA and check out some public art on campus, before heading to Tempe to visit Bollinger Atelier.
Above: Photo Courtesy of Scottsdale Public Art Aspire by Simon Donovan and Ben Olmstead photo by Sean Deckert
20 minutes from Phoenix, and 15 from Scottsdale, Tempe is a frequent travel destination for visitors of Arizona. Bollinger Atelier, an art fabricator and art foundry founded in 1977, has called Tempe home since 1997. Check out Bollinger Atelier on November 6th to see this state of the art foundry and some works of art on view.
Tempe is home to Arizona State University (ASU), with highly impressive arts facilities including an art building, graduate ceramic studios, digital labs, ceramics research center, and Arizona State Univeristy Art Museum. Just north is ASU’s Gallery 100, which hosts senior level experimental art exhibitions open to the public. James Turrell’s Skyspace: Air Apparent, a third must-see in ASU’s Tempe locations, and explores light perception, incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to art and engineering for students and visitors to learn about.
Above: Antoine Predock - ASU Nelson Fine Arts Center. Photo by Forgemind ArchiMedia via flickr
Savoring Your Time in the Sonoran and Beyond- Other Sites of Interest
When you are not busy with the International Sculpture Conference, you’re sure to find attractions that match your other interests in Phoenix and the surrounding area. There are a number of beautiful archeological sites, interesting history museums, and delicious restaurants. North of the Papago Freeway are the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum, which together cover work all the way from the Renaissance to the 22 Native American cultures of Arizona. Further northeast is the new Musical Instrument Museum, whose collection is the first in the world to exclusively celebrate world music and the diverse instruments that make it. In Phoenix, be sure to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens to see the world's finest collection of arid plants from deserts of the world in a unique and beautiful outdoor setting.
For some more ideas on things to do, visit the Phoenix tourism site here.
If you would like to extend your stay and explore Arizona on your own, there are plenty of things to see and do. If you are interested in outdoor activities, Arizona features over 500 trails and over 30 protected State Parks and Natural Areas. Some sites of interest are the Grand Canyon, Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Lost Dutchman State Park in Phoenix, and Tonto Natural Bridge State Park in Flagstaff, among others. If you would like help setting up a trip, check out Detours AZ for professionally guided tours of Arizona and the West.
If you choose to extend your stay, be sure to reserve tours or activities ahead of time. For information on visiting Arizona and planning your trip, click here.
Please indicate if you require any accessibility accommodations by contacting the events department at 609.689.1051 x302 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The International Sculpture Center is committed to ensuring that all events are accessible to all of our patrons.