Every town has a unique personality which is expressed by local artists in their artwork, and Phoenix is no exception.
Crooked Mile Gallery offers locals and visitors a chance to see art from around Phoenix and the Rogue Valley, and have their eyes opened to new things and experiences.
Bringing art to the community
Crooked Mile Gallery opened in November 2021 in the Phoenix Industrial Studios. Their hours are from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and it’s run by Alison Fairbanks, who has been passionate about art her entire life.
“I’ve always enjoyed and been surrounded by art,” she said. “I love art and it’s been a central theme in my life. I seek out opportunities to learn more about it.”
Alison’s life partner, who has been developing the Industrial Studios, always believed Phoenix was the center of the Rogue Valley. He saw the town had lots of potential, with room for growth and new businesses. So when the idea arose for an art gallery, he and Alison knew it would be a good fit for the community.
“All artists need a place to show their art, but Phoenix didn’t have that and hadn’t developed its own voice yet,” she said.
Alison believed that for Phoenix to thrive and welcome new visitors, especially after the fire, they would need a space for the public to view art as part of their everyday life.
“That’s always been my philosophy. I’m interested in what art can do for a community,” she said, adding that the gallery wants to be a part of the redevelopment of Phoenix.
The beauty of local art
Crooked Mile Gallery offers locals and visitors a welcoming atmosphere where they can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of wine from Catalyst Wine Collective while perusing the gallery.
They also showcase several types of art from different artists, but especially those who live in Phoenix. In addition to pieces from Phoenix artists, there’s also art created by people from around the Rogue Valley, some from Los Angeles and even one person from Colorado.
“It’s good to get outside influences so there’s some variance in style and theme,” said Alison.
In addition to fine art — such as painting, drawing and acrylics — Crooked Mile Gallery has maker artists too. This includes things like textiles, ceramics, jewelry, glass and woodworking.
According to Alison, the response from the community has been positive.
“People are starting to learn about the gallery and word is getting out,” she said.
As summer gets closer, Alison hopes to expand the gallery’s hours and focus on new events. She wants to hold events unique to Crooked Mile Gallery and Phoenix, and draw more people to the area.
“I’m interested in the relationship people have to art. To me, it’s a conversation between the artwork and the viewer. All of those pieces say something different to every individual who sees them,” she said.
Alison believes art helps people broaden their awareness of themselves and the world, and teach them how to look at things critically.
“I want art to be available to people so they can have those conversations. I’d also like the gallery to be a place for everyone to gather, relax and enjoy local art.”
“The long term hope is the gallery becomes a beloved part of the texture of the community and builds pride in Phoenix. We want people to feel good about living in Phoenix, because there’s so much vitality here,” she said.