March 7, 2008

Phoenix Friday | Measuring Inches | March 7, 2008

Andy Warhol said once, "Don't pay attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches." I got hold of this article online, so I don't know exactly how many inches it was in print, but Downtown Phoenix artists have some measuring to do...

The Arizona Republic (Motto: "We like pretty pictures and hyperbole.") is reporting that Phoenix city officials are going to crack down on ordinances that make selling on sidewalks illegal. Sidewalk vendors have become one the main draws of First Fridays here in Downtown Phoenix for four (4) years, and there fate is now in great jeopardy. The galleries, taverns and eateries are amazing, no doubt, but the fact that anybody can set up a table and sell theier artwork is amazing. And if you've been down there, you know that just about anybody has set up a table and sold artwork.

Beatrice Moore is the founder of Artlink, Inc., the brainchild behind First Fridays and Art Detours. She was quoted in the article as saying, "The sidewalks are so crowded that people are in the street." An estimated ten thousand (10,000) people showed up for February's First Friday events, and nearly two hundred vendors (200) where there in addition to galleries. I am no business maverick, but I can venture a pretty safe guess to say that growth is a good thing. And if Downtown Phoenix is trying to be a little bit more "edgy" and promote its Urban Core, the last thing people should do is complain about an overflow of people. Warnings go out tonight and in April, but starting in May vendors will be hit with up to a twenty-five hundred dollar ($2,500) fine.

On the brighter side of this whole thing -if there is one- there is a proposal up for city consideration right now that would create an official Arts & Culture District. This would allow for "Block Party" events, legalizing and possibly re-legitimizing the street vendors' efforts to make Downtown Phoenix a place actually worth living in. Until then, they just count inches.

"Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job."
Andy Warhol


Rail Life said...

nice post, my man.. Phoenix claims to want more people downtown, we don't need to be chasing them away.. First Fridays has helped to bring a lot of attention and excitement to the area.Let's "keep it real." :-)
btw.. enjoy your time off for spring break!

Krystina said...

Art rocks. So does Warhol. I adore him.