Fundraiser goes toward new studio space for Neon Club in downtown Phoenix

This year, 40 ASU graduate students were given their own workspace at the studios

Two ASU clubs are coming together to help connect local and student artists while raising money for new studio space.

The Grant Street Studios is a special facility exclusively for ASU graduate students. As of this year, 40 graduates were given their own studio and workspace.

The space is not only for working — it also holds two galleries and allows students to show their work.

ASU Neon Club and the Ascending Artists' Association aimed for an expressive approach to fundraising and served as a networking platform for local artists during the "That New" art exhibit, which raised money for the Neon Club's studio space. 

Neon Club adviser James White said the funds raised by this particular event ($1,200 over the weekend of March 17 through March 19) are set to go toward the completion of the club's gallery space at the Grant Street Studios in downtown Phoenix.

The workspace has been occupied by ASU graduate students for four years. ASU recently bought out the property in June 2016 and renovations are still ongoing to allow even more artists to be able to work and show their art, according to George Harris, a general maintenance supervisor at the School of Art.

"We bought out an old mattress company, and we're expanding upstairs workspace. It should be finished by fall 2017," Harris said.

The Neon Club has workspace in Tempe, but they are now working towards moving their workspace to the Grant Street Studios.

The club has run into some safety and licensing issues in the space, and regulations require the space to be upgraded before the club can work legally in the studios.

The funds raised in “That New” will all go towards the renovation of the unfinished neon workspace in the Grant Street Studios.

The money came from vendors, who bought stalls at the gallery to display their art.

The pair of clubs collaborated to host the art show at the Unexpected Gallery in downtown Phoenix. The show allowed local artists, ASU artists and ASU alumni to feature, sell and show off their work as part of Art Detour 29, an arts and culture celebration in Phoenix.

Artists went through an application process to display at the event by submitting photos and proposed projects to members of the the clubs to approve. Artists and vendors selected to participate in the event were asked to give a $10 donation towards renovating the gallery space, but the clubs did not take any percentage of the money the artists made by selling their artwork.

The event not only benefited the Neon Club and the artists who sold work, but served as a networking platform for ASU artists.

Though the proceeds from the event went towards the Neon Club, Fernando Cabrera-Gonzalez, art studies freshman and President of the Ascending Artists' Association, saw the event as an opportunity to network his newly started club, and to help the Neon Club with their cause.

“I think it is important for every artist to start getting out there as soon as they can," said Cabrera-Gonzalez. "It is a great way to start building your CV and meet amazing people to start doing the same thing you're doing."

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