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Art Detour Celebrates 33rd Anniversary By Welcoming Pandemic Opportunities

By Steve Goldstein, Mark Brodie
Published: Friday, February 26, 2021 - 1:47pm
Updated: Friday, February 26, 2021 - 1:48pm

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21st Annual Juried Exhibition at FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel
The 21st Annual Juried Exhibition at FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel. Artworks by (from left) Marnelle North, Elissa Nowacki, Brian Boner, Charmagne Vasquez Coe, Larry Willis and Keely Finucane.

Over the last year that COVID-19 has plagued Arizona, many annual festivals and events have either downsized or been cancelled. But Art Detour saw this as an opportunity to expand.

In their 33rd year of the art walk, people can now experience 33 days of Art Detour.

Catrina Kahler is the president and CEO at Artlink Inc, the nonprofit organization behind the event. She says they refused to believe that it had to be cancelled after all of these years so they got creative.

“The arts and culture community is still very active and we wanted to be here to support it and to articulate the myriad of ways that artists and venues and organizations and even arts-supported businesses are engaging the community," Kahler said.

Because the event will be over a month rather than the typical one week, Kahler said it’s allowed them to expand the types of arts they can feature. In addition to expanding their visual and performing arts, Art Detour will highlight public and culinary arts, as well as fashion design and different interactive workshops.

Art Link is also behind First Friday, one of the most popular art gatherings in Phoenix. It has been cancelled every month since last April, and Kahler says they’re hopeful the 33-day Art Detour will introduce people to new ways of accessing local art.

“We did take a look at this past year as an opportunity to help educate the public as to what is currently available beyond the Fridays, and honestly, that is a message we hope is carried on even when First Fridays returns,” Kahler said.

She says above all, Art Detour should be a celebration of local creators in Arizona.

When COVID-19 first hit the Valley last year, it was high season for arts and events. Cancelling things had a devastating effect on the industry.

“You know, we’re coming up to 12 months later and we’re here to say the community is still here, it’s still innovating, it’s still creating and let’s be ready to embrace it and support it perhaps even more as we move forward into the future," Kahler said.

Art Detour starts Feb. 27 and runs through Wednesday, March 31st.

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