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Mark Jay Freedman

Artist Mark Jay Freedman, pictured here in his new Phoenix studio, just returned to the Valley after 10 years in NYC.

FEATURES

State of the Arts

By Riki Altman-Yee, Justin Lee, Lauren Swanson and Carey Sweet

Portraits by Carl Schultz

11.28.16

The art scene is as vital, exceptional and ever-growing as the Valley itself. Meet the innovative movers, players, works and venues that are painting a particularly beautiful picture for art lovers of all stripes.

Home is Where the Art Is
Mark Jay Freedman has been dreaming of the West.
Artist Mark Jay Freedman’s new studio space at monOrchid in Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row signals a homecoming. Recently relocated from New York, Freedman has reintroduced his work to Arizona for the first time in a decade and returned to what has now become the nation’s largest art walk: First Fridays. “MonOrchid founder Wayne Rainey and I have a history that goes way back to the downtown days of just a handful of galleries: my art group—The TRA25 Capsule—and some tumbleweeds,” he said. “I like to think we were able to move the needle a bit and that we encouraged Phoenix talent to grow.” Today, Freedman showcases a wide array of his eclectic work that ranges from painting to digital, photography, organic sculpture, rock-star tributes and, woven throughout, a theme saluting Mother Nature. “I’ve seen art in some of the strangest and most beautiful places,” he said. “But the Valley has such great energy, and now I’d like to see it celebrated here.” 214 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, 602.253.0339
 

Linda Ingraham

THE LOOK Artist Linda Ingraham finds peace amid her five Reveries paintings in the new FOUND:RE Hotel.

About Face
Linda Ingraham brings her unique style to FOUND:RE Phoenix.
It all started when Linda Ingraham ran into Mike Oleskow, the cultural curator for the new FOUND:RE Hotel in Phoenix, at a friend’s art opening. She showed him an image she had shot 15 years ago but had never printed. “It had a special quality to it, so I kept experimenting over the years, layering backgrounds underneath the face, but never finished,” she recalls. He suggested enlarging them, doing more variations and grouping five of them together as signature pieces for the lobby’s long wall. Ingraham set to work, making five enormous pieces with a process that involved high-end scanning, layering, paint enhancements and two coats of resin. “I want to communicate a universality rather than a specific person,” she explains. “They are more of a symbol of an emotional state. I feel a peacefulness and ‘at one’ with everything when I look at them.” Ingraham labeled them Reveries, stating, “They are like meditations.” Perfectly dreamy. The pieces are currently on display in the hotel. 1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602.875.8000

 

John A. Reyes

EMERGING Now an independent dealer, former Bentley Gallery director John A. Reyes connects clients with rising and established artists and their works.

Masterpiece Merchant
After nearly 15 years at Bentley Gallery, John A. Reyes paints a new path dealing in art.
“I have a collecting gene,” explains John A. Reyes, owner/director of Reyes Contemporary Art. “It’s always been a joy to find things that are visually pleasing.” Born and raised in Douglas, Ariz., Reyes graduated from the University of Arizona and tried being a cameraman, but quit to work at a Western gallery simply because, as he recalls, “I thought it was interesting to be around art.” Soon he was in London, studying modern art and auctions at the renowned Christie’s Education; then he moved to Phoenix in 2001, where he spent nearly 15 years at Bentley Gallery, eventually becoming its director. This summer he became an independent private art dealer. “The traditional gallery structure to represent artists and broker artwork is changing, so I’m changing with the times,” he explains. “A lot of seasoned collectors are getting older, and they want to divest.” Reyes also has clients on the hunt for special pieces to treasure, while others seek investment opportunities. “In many ways, art is an asset,” he explains. “If purchased properly, its value can increase up to 300 percent.” While Reyes searches for a brick-and-mortar office in Phoenix, he services clients around the country and reps pieces from well-known emerging artists, including Charles Arnoldi and John Millei from Southern California and Keith Milow from London. He is also working as an art consultant for Desert Botanical Garden as plans are being made for American ceramics artist Jun Kaneko’s installation next year. As for his personal acquisitions, Reyes says he mostly has works from artists he has befriended, which begs the question: Would he part with any of it? “I don’t know,” he admits. “A collection is more than just an assembly of things.” 602.538.9165

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