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Video displays redefine 'art' of shopping

June 18, 2009

Ask devoted shoppers if there is an “art” to shopping and they probably will tell you that there definitely is. Now, some student video artists are getting more than they bargained for, since their artwork is being displayed at the Tempe Marketplace.

Running through Labor Day, the video artworks of five ASU Herberger Institute School of Art students will be showcased on the LED video screen located at the center of the Tempe Marketplace’s “District,” which is a popular dining and entertainment area. The artists have this opportunity to display their work in the public space due to the community partnership between Vestar Development Company and the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

“We value our proximity to ASU and the students and staff that visit our marketplace,” says Denise Hart, Vestar’s Vice President of marketing. “Vestar and the Tempe Marketplace are committed to being good corporate citizens.”

The community project kicked off when Hart met with Joe Baker, director for community engagement in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. They discussed ways to further incorporate School of Art works into the Tempe Marketplace, which resulted in Baker connecting Hart with Muriel Magenta, who is an intermedia professor in the School of Art. Together, Magenta and Hart evaluated several videos before making the final five selections – which run about three minutes each – and were chosen based on content, creativity, length and relativity to the Tempe Marketplace consumer.

“Our customers like the creativity and mix of the content on the LED screen while shopping, watching a free concert, event, or enjoying themselves on one of our outdoor restaurant patios,” Hart says. “Many of our customers are ASU students and they enjoy seeing other students’ artwork on display at our center.”

All Tempe Marketplace shoppers who appreciate the student video artworks this summer also can stop by the 3,800 square-foot Night Gallery. The gallery is the product of the first Herberger Institute-Vestar partnership that features artwork by ASU Herberger Institute School of Art faculty, graduate students and alumni. The Night Gallery is free and open to all from 6–9 p.m. Tuesdays–Saturdays. Since its opening last summer, the Night Gallery continues to draw in droves of shoppers and artists alike.

“Herberger Institute artists greatly benefit by having the chance to show their work in a non-traditional space,” says Joe Baker, director for community engagement in the ASU Herberger Institute. “Our partnership with Vestar helps us continue our commitment to expanding arts awareness within the community.”