In some shops, it feels odd to wander to the back of the store – you might not even go unless you’re looking for the restroom. But at Phoenix General and Framed Ewe Optical at The Colony in Uptown, they want you to wander to the back of their shared space. That’s where you’ll see the two retail outlets have turned a hallway into a pop up art gallery. Referred to as the Shortcut Gallery, the two walls that line the back hallway make the perfect spot for the upscale eyewear store and clothing boutique to host art exhibitions throughout the year, bringing attention to local artists and providing a creative way to experience local retail space.
Shows last from 30 to 60 days and include an opening reception with snacks and bubbly that night. Shop managers start marketing the shows a week or two before each opening. When it ends, the space is cleared and the walls are repainted for the next show. Artists are responsible for hanging or installing their own work, says, Jordin Harrison, store manager at Framed Ewe, who acts as one of the curators for the gallery that opened more than two years ago.
“We were brainstorming ways to use this space in an interactive way, and this idea came up because we have a lot of artist friends,” she says. They also find local artists on Instagram.
This month features a show for Arizona artist Brianna Voron. Her opening reception is Thursday, May 9, 2019, 5 pm. – 8 p.m. Veron, who constructs and designs her own work surfaces, stretchers and frames, works with pastels and charcoal to create what she describes simply as “Moonscapes,” which is also the name of her show. If you miss the reception, the gallery hall is open during store hours, seven days a week.
“We love that we can use this space to celebrate friends and artists,” Harrison says.