Great art is closer than you would expect
The University of Arizona students and faculty have a whole neighborhood of opportunity to buy local art in shops and restaurants around town.
Espresso Art Café
942 E. University Blvd.
This bar, café and hookah lounge is a place that fosters creativity through the display of local artwork.
“You can be here for hours, and still not see the amount of stuff we have here,” said Jessica Sweeney, manager of the café.
The artists decide the prices for their art, so there is a huge range for what pieces can be sold for.
“Every time I see someone new come in, they are always in awe of what we have on the walls,” said Leon Whisenant, employee and previous regular of Espresso Art Café.
The eclectic café is a hotspot for finding art of all kinds.
745 N. 4th Ave.
Epic Cafe has art in all forms from tipping teacups in the windows to the giant canvases that hang on its walls. They enable local artists to show their work off to Tucson and tourists that walk 4th Ave.
Epic Cafe stands out because they also support charities through the sale of artwork.
“A lot of times, we have them pick a charity that is meaningful to them and then we take the commission and donate it to charity," said Kimberly Flagg, owner of Epic Cafe. "Or, quite often, a lot of the artists are selling their work in honor of a charity.”
The blank, gray walls open up endless possibilities for artists to fill the space.
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Sol Art Pop Up Gallery
988 E. University Blvd.
Sol Art is a vibrant space that defies a normal gallery. It's a new addition to University Boulevard that offers a look at many mediums of art.
The owner, Barrett J. Sulkowski, opened up the gallery in May. He attended the art school at the UA and sells his work at the gallery.
“We try and market it towards more student-based,” Sulkowski said. “A student can’t drop six hundred dollars on a painting.”
Artists range from start-up, award-winning and retired and come from all different backgrounds.
422 N. 4th Ave.
With an eclectic array of Tucson-themed trinkets and gifts, Pop-Cycle embraces the practice of sustainable materials in most of its handmade goods.
Locals and visitors can come in to experience art in many forms such as jewelry, paintings, sculptures, knickknacks and even clothing. About 75-80 percent of the goods are made by local artists.
“You are buying something that is so unique that consumers are changing their mind and kind of going back to handmade and sustainable and things like that,” said Libby Tobey, one of the owners of Pop-Cycle.
Pop-Cycle really stands out as a return back to local buying and local art that you can’t find anywhere else but Tucson.
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Brooklyn Pizza Company
534 N. 4th Ave.
Brooklyn Pizza gives its customers a taste of Tucson by displaying art from local artists inside its shop.
Art is on the walls at all times. The curator of art at Brooklyn Pizza Company, Peg Wilmore, ensures that the art rotates every three to four months so that the artists can get seen by any foot traffic and make more revenue.
“I always tell my artists not to price anything over three hundred dollars because its a street venue and it's a pizza joint, and people aren’t looking for art when they go in there,” Wilmore said.
Brooklyn Pizza Company has a variety of local art at affordable prices.
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