Phoenix: A Creative Oasis

Phoenix: A Creative Oasis
Curated for phICA by Ted G. Decker
Offices of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
April 15, 2013 – May 31, 2014

In January, 2012, Greg Stanton was sworn in as the 52nd Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, the 6th largest city in the United States. A large urban population center and commercial hub in the southwestern USA, Phoenix has been fast-growing since World War II (between 2000-09, the population of the Phoenix Metropolitan area grew by nearly 1 million people) and has become an international destination for tourists and a magnet for people and businesses. The desert environment is an oasis for dynamic, creative people who live and who arrive here to share their considerable talents towards enlivening and enriching the Phoenix and Valley of the Sun cultural infrastructure.

phICA director and curator Ted G. Decker assembled 34 works of art by 24 artists from the Phoenix area as well as from Brazil, Cuba, Portugal, and the United Kingdom for this exhibition project. The international artists spent time in artist residencies in Phoenix. The works were installed in the Offices of Mayor Greg Stanton and signify the dynamism, diversity, progressiveness, richness, and stellar creativity of the citizens of Phoenix and of the community of Creatives who live and visit here. The title, Phoenix: A Creative Oasis, directly counters an erroneous perception, more in the past than now, of Phoenix being a “cultural wasteland”. Like anywhere, cultural infrastructure needs to be sought out, supported, and enriched by people who live and visit.