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Reclaimed concrete reinvents Night Gallery space

November 25, 2008

Recycle. Reclaim. Sustain – these days it’s all the rage. The arts are on the environmental stage this December, as the featured sculpture in the Night Gallery is comprised of reclaimed concrete that also incorporates the environmental elements of fire, earth, air and water. 

The work is titled Concretion – the sixth element and is the creation of Steven Biltz, a sculptor, ASU Herberger College of the Arts MFA alumnus and current ASU employee. See Biltz’s piece at the Night Gallery, alongside works by ASU Herberger College School of Art graduate students, faculty and alumni in Concretion – the sixth element, which runs Dec. 5-31. The Night Gallery encompasses 3,800 square feet of exhibition space in a location not yet leased by a retailer in the Tempe Marketplace and is a creation of the community partnership with the ASU Herberger College of the Arts.

“This retail access allows us to be organic and responsive to opportunities that can help us continue to connect with the community,” says Joe Baker, director of community engagement in the ASU Herberger College of the Arts. “Our primary function is education and the Night Gallery is unlike traditional gallery spaces.”

The organic nature of how Night Gallery exhibitions become accessible to the community is complementary to how Biltz approaches his work. It’s only natural that he now adds this non-traditional space to his list of distinguished exhibitions. Known for his large, concrete sculptures that incorporate reclaimed materials, Biltz has shown pieces all around the Valley from the Phoenix Art Museum, to Sky Harbor International Airport, to the Tempe Sculpture Park. His concrete work also has been exhibited at the Tucson Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum. In addition, one of his professional sculpture projects is the horses that stand at the entrance to the P.F. Chang’s restaurant at its La Jolla, Calif. location.

Experience Biltz’s new, reclaimed installation, Concretion – the sixth element, at the Night Gallery Dec. 5-31, which is located at the Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.  The Night Gallery is near the Barnes & Noble store and entrance is free. Hours are 6–9 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. 

The Night Gallery opened in late June 2008, and has featured other Herberger College alumni artists such as David Young, Michael Anderson and Jose A. Benavides. Earlier this year, Benavides received an Artist Projects grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Anderson, who studied sculpture on the Tempe campus in the late 1960s, still works as a sculptor, and his steel works are in public and private collections across the U.S. and in more than five countries. David Young’s kinetic sculpture work was featured in the initial Night Gallery exhibition. Young won the International Sculpture Center’s (ISC) 2007 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award during the fall of 2007. The ISC is the world’s leading international organization devoted to the creation and understanding of sculpture.