As Art Detour celebrates 34 years, one Phoenix artist reflects on its humble beginnings

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Friday, March 18, 2022 - 12:53pm
Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2022 - 2:04pm

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beatrice moore hanging mutant piñatas at weird garden
Beatrice Moore
Beatrice Moore hanging mutant piñatas at Weird Garden art space in 2018.

Long before Grand Avenue was lined with galleries and Arizona State University brought its arts programs downtown, culture pioneers created ArtLink, a nonprofit designed to bring attention to the largely underground creative scene in Phoenix. Now in its 34th year, ArtLink’s premiere program, Art Detour, is celebrating local artists for the entire month of March.

On March 18, for Third Friday, you can try your hand at letterpress at Hazel + Violet on Grand, see a show of photographer Mark Klett’s work at Grant Street Studios and check out group shows all over town.

Artist and neighborhood activist Beatrice Moore was there from the beginning. Moore is now director of Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation and owns many of the historic buildings there. But before she bought her first building in what’s now one of Phoenix’s major arts districts, she was one of the founders of ArtLink and Art Detour; and she said it all began sort of by chance.

The Show spoke with her to learn about its legacy, and how the local arts scene has evolved since those days, in both good ways and bad.

Art Detour continues all month, including events on Grand Avenue.

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