As we bid farewell to the year and look ahead to 2012, Jackalope Ranch contributors will bring you some greatest hits from 2011. In a year, things come and go. In 2011, we said hi and bye to plenty of our favorite (and no so favorite) places.
Here are just a few highlights:
In March, art curator and investor Ted Decker, Roosevelt Row and eyelounge founder Greg Esser, and graphic designer Eddie Shea, created the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA), a nonprofit organization that has no official space, carries no permanent collection, and instead focuses solely on programming. It's what the founders call a "lean and mean" opportunity for contemporary artists to learn, grow, and contribute to the contemporary art scene in Phoenix.
Vintage market Sweet Salvage opened its doors in August and has taken over the Downtown shopping scene with monthly "occasion sales" that are packed with vintage fiends and deal hounds alike. Now, if we could just figure out how to navigate the crowd and nab the drool-worthy furniture pieces.
3. Lulubell Toy Bodega
Geeks and fanatical collectors of designer vinyl figures got another reason to downtown Mesa tonight with the grand opening of Lulubell Toy Bodega. The designer toy boutique relocated from Tucson's Fourth Avenue and we've been drooling over their niche nerd culture to come to Mesa in the past year.
4. Hazel and Violet INC.
Hello letterpress. When longtime friends Nancy Hill and Beverly Wolfe found a jackpot Craigslist post for a 1922 Chandler & Price letterpress, they knew they were in for a project. And so, Hazel and Violet INK was born. Catch the work in progress (and take some home) at their shop on Fourth Street, or catch some live-pressing during First Fridays.
5. Montage Gallery
Mill Avenue took a deep breath when the City of Tempe opened Montage gallery in the old Abercrombie space. The community art studio houses work and workshops by 18 local artists in November, and it continues to find its place along the busy college street, we're looking forward to seeing another source of creative energy.
Mesa's Main Street welcomed a spooky newcomer in October. Monsterland, a combination haunted house and horror film museum, is open year-round so horror buffs and monster lovers can get their fill long after the holiday has passed.