Tempe Marketplace may be known for its shops and restaurants, but thanks to the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and Vestar Development Co., the mall may soon be known for its art.
Two years ago, Vestar, the development company that manages Tempe Marketplace, gave Herberger a vacant storefront free of charge. The school used this space to open Night Gallery, a place where ASU graduate students, faculty and alumni can display their work.
The exhibition currently on display is “Tool.” Artists have taken everything from common tools to things you may not recognize and created art.
Playing on the construction phrase “At work,” sculpting professor Jim White hung a shovel with the phrase “Art work” struck through its blade next to a photograph of a nighttime construction zone with the same phrase spelled out in the sand.
"Whether art is an actual construction or an intellectual or virtual endeavor, all artists use tools,” said White, who is also the faculty adviser for the gallery. “This exhibit is a combination of works by artists inspired by tools, and tools inspired by artists.”
Over the past two years, Night Gallery has become increasingly popular. Close to marketplace staples Barnes & Noble and Mojo Yogurt, the gallery is a not-so-hidden gem popular with casual passers-by and power shoppers alike.
“[Night Gallery] has had as many as 1,000 people in here in three hours,” White said. “It has more visitors then most galleries or museums in the state.”
Unlike other ASU galleries, the Night Gallery is located in a high-traffic place. (Step Gallery and Gallery 100 — two other ASU-owned galleries — are neighbors in a fairly unpopulated strip mall near Mill Avenue and University Drive.)
Although the Night Gallery is only for open for three hours six nights a week, the space is a perfect fit for the outreach gallery. Because of its location, many people who would not normally go into an art gallery walk through the door.
“I am totally excited about that because, as an artist, what you want to do is affect the world. This gallery is not preaching to the choir,” White said.
The gallery is also currently showing an exhibit called “Map(ing).” It is a collaboration of American Indian artists and graduate printmaking students.
Both “Tool” and “Map(ing)” will be showing at Night Gallery through the end of January.
The gallery is located on the west side of Tempe Marketplace and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com