Studio Tours


Stay tuned to the Art Detour 31 website for the next tour opportunities:



Past Tours: 

In an effort to highlight the contribution of our talented artist community, Artlink hosted a 2018 summer series of Artist Studio Tours.

June Tour

On June 9, the series launch took participants on a visit to the working space of a triumvirate of artists that serves as a cornerstone of Historic Grand Avenue, a photographer who has captured over two decades of iconic Arizona images, a nationally renowned puppeteer, and the pottery studio that is the single longest running studio in central Phoenix.

Thank you to our trailhead host Muse Apartments for the rendezvous spot and complimentary parking! It certainly didn’t hurt that Muse’s resident restaurant Forno 301 offered free dessert to tour-goers upon our return! Thank you also to tour partner Dunn Transportation and Phoenix Rising Tours.

Starting @ Muse Apartments | 1616 N. Central Avenue | Phoenix, Az 85004
Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (MST)

1. The Lodge Art Studio of Abbey Messmer, Rafael Navarro and Lisa Jacobs Handler (Retromode Handmade) 

Abbey Messmer’s underwater photography is often the root of her medium and large-scale oil paintings. Messmer is clearly infatuated with the distortion and vibrancy that emerge when water is the lens through which to see a parallel reality.

Rafael Navarro’s work, both painting and sculpture, is inspired by poetry, music and nature. Navarro often references local landmarks, but feels strong ties to his native Mexico City. With precision and craftsmanship in the forefront, the work leaves the viewer contemplative and mellow.

Retromode Handmade is the passion project of Lisa Jacobs Handler who has run retail spaces focused on local and handmade in downtown Phoenix for over a decade. Her current focus is textiles and jewelry.

2. Marilyn Szabo

A working photographer for 25 years, Szabo’s subjects range from people to architecture to landscape. The work has been praised for its depth, craftsmanship and versatility. She is published in Black & White, Focus, and Sun Magazine. Her work is represented in collections throughout the US. Alligator Juniper, a national literary magazine, awarded Szabo the 2010 National Photography Award and cover. She has received five art commission awards and has had numerous solo shows.

3. Hjalmarson Pottery Art / Halldor Hjalmarson 

Located in the Roosevelt Historic Neighborhood, Hjalmarson Pottery is the oldest working studio in central Phoenix. The artist creates functional stoneware vessels along with clay sculpture which often is inspired by our Sonoran Desert.



4. Puppet Pie / Stacey Gordon

A puppet-building studio where Gordon builds puppets for the masses. She also works occasionally as a day-player on Sesame Street, as Julia, a character which debuted in 2017. She teaches puppeteering & puppet-building workshops from her studio, as well as at schools, libraries, corporate events, and conventions. Teaching non-puppeteers (or soon-to-be puppeteers) is one of her favorite things, as it allows her to consistently witness the discovery that puppetry is a powerful form of art.


July Tour

The second tour in the series, on July 14th, introduced us to a booming art form for marking momentous occasions, a cartographer of inner and outer worlds, a realist painter with a penchant for nostalgia, and an exciting enclave bustling with the hustle of a unique artist collective.

Starting @ Desert Sun Plaza (with parking!)
1325 Grand Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (MST)

1. Grand Arthaus / Robert Gentile

Deriving much of his process from his roots in the NY grafitti scene, Gentile uses a variety of mediums— from spray paint and acrylics, to pastels and markers. He works as a mural artist, graphic designer, teacher, and as a Free Arts volunteer mentor. He owns and operates Grand Arthaus, a downtown space that hosts community events, exhibitions, and foremost provides affordable studio space and collective memberships. Their location is home to 1st & 3rd Friday Art Walks and adjacent to the Oasis on Grand artist residences.  With spaces for artists and creative professionals, Grand Arthaus is a unique environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and experimentation in every medium.

2. ABCreativeArt studio

Ashwini Bharathula is a self-taught realist painter and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. She primarily uses acrylics on canvas or wood panel. Her aim is to create contemplative art that stimulates the viewer’s senses and kindles nostalgia. Inspired by eclectic subjects and scenes from her travels, she expresses herself with bold colors and evocative textures. Her forte is her eye for detail and the ability to use natural light to set the mood of the scene. She hopes that each of her paintings invites the viewers into the scene and makes them reminisce about experiences from their own lives and travels. 

3. Amanda Adkins’ and Bill Dambrova’s Studio

Folklore often use animals to tell the stories that are passed down. In parabolic tradition, Adkins’ illustrative vignettes on panel use desert icons as stand-ins for entities, intuitions, emotions and states of being on themes of health and homeopathy, fertility and femininity, and the tense precarity of life

A cartographer of inner and outer worlds, Dambrova’s practice is situated at the crossroads of ancient ritual and modern insight, caught somewhere between the play of painterly interventions and psycho-spiritual impressions, even the kinds of processes attributed to ceremonial healings and ecstatic states of being. Each piece is a celebration of the miraculous events that take place within and between our physical bodies

4. Fushicho Daiko Dojo/Phoenix Taiko Drumming Studio

Fushicho Daiko*Phoenix Drummers perform both traditional and original Taiko songs with power, energy, skill and joy. The combination of sound, movement, instruments and teamwork create a spellbinding art experience. Founded here in 1992, the downtown dojo provides classes & workshops for all ages and skills levels. Tour attendees can play the drums, learning the basic stance and movement required to create the music.



August Tour

The third tour on August 11 was the second to last in our #ArtlinkTour Summer Series! We checked out century-old art-makin’ machines and heard from the proprietress that still brings them to life, learned some tips on how to live and work with your spouse at the shared studio space of two NY-to-AZ painters, and ventured into a hotbed of diverse creative activity at a studio complex that features not one, not two, but SIX artists!

Starting @ Desoto Central Market
915 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (MST)

1. Hazel & Violet with Nancy Hill

Hazel & Violet is Nancy Hill’s working letterpress studio and paper-oriented art space in downtown Phoenix on Historic Grand Ave. Using presses dating from 1922-1969, Hill and her go-to pressman and fellow artist Michael C. Leeder create artworks, broadsides, personal and commercial stationery, business cards, invitations and whatever else tickles their fancy. H&V is a venue for letterpress workshops and events; and a print-time rental space! They run works of their own design, special commissions, and very often the work of other local designers and artists.

2. LowCo Studio with Joel Coplin and Jo-Ann Lowney

Husband and wife artist duo Joel Coplin and Jo-Ann Lowney met while attending classes at the Art Student’s League in New York City. Since 1986, they have lived and created work here in Arizona. Lowney’s richly painted visionary landscapes and her figurative bronzes evoke a sense of the magic of the natural world and the potency of the human creative unconscious. Her paintings highlight the wisdom in certain simplicities and posit that it is possible to take comfort in the browsing of bees, the texture of bark, the acorn’s gleaming body, the fur of a moth; all of nature connects in interwoven patterns and influence. Coplin’s work, similarly, susses out the overlooked or unseen, digging well beyond the readily observable to the invisible undercurrent present in each slice of life.

3. The Studios at Bentley Projects

Adjacent to the esteemed Bentley Projects gallery and the Warehouse 215 event space, The Studios at Bentley Projects hosts the work spaces of not one, not two, but SIX local creators: John Dowd, Daniel Funkhouser, Gennaro Garcia, IdaKatherine Graver, Craig Randich and Chris Raypole. Their mediums span painting, sculpture and photography with content ranging from the art world itself to formal abstraction, from the body as sculpture to identity as material.



September Tour

Our last mix of spaces spread across beautifully-bricked buildings, historic homes and historic districts. The artists: a native desert-dweller whose subjects and medium are drawn directly from our scorching desert environment; a wildlife painter who travels far and wide to the wildest of wilds for her nature fix; and a trio of artists who each set their brush against a blank canvas— to entirely different effect.

September Tour
Starting Point Carly’s Bistro
Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (MST)

1. Coe House with Alexandra Bowers

Having grown up in the Sonoran Desert, Alexandra Bowers uses the surrounding environment as inspiration towards the works she produces. After scouring through the object archives of natural history organizations or conducting primary research during her own explorations in nature, the artist renders specimens of flora and fauna in delicate graphite sketches that evolve into full studies through Bowers’ wood-burning techniques. By creating artworks for our lived-in spaces, her objective is to bring awareness back to the plant and animal species surviving just beyond our urban streets and backyard walls.

2. Howland Studio with April Howland

Howland Studios is a working artist studio located in the Coronado Historic District, often open for First and Third Fridays. Resident artist April Howland is inspired by her travels to witness wildlife in its natural habitat; painting is her way to bring interpretations of these experiences back home. She experiments with color and composition to balance realism and artistic license. Howland recently participated in a fundraiser for the animal rescue and rehabilitation work of Southwest Wildlife.

3. Studios at The Artery with Ann Osgood, Howard Christensen and Laura Cohen-Hogan

Ann Osgood enjoys painting in acrylic and oils, often directly from life— en plein air out in the desert or in studio from a model. Recently she has been painting flowers with gold and silver leaf, but she often returns to the subject of freeways and streets and junk yard cars. Her works have been shown in solo exhibits at {9} Gallery, Shemer Art Museum and Urban Beans. She was Artist of the Month for Phoenix Magazine in January 2017.

Howard Christensen has drawn and painted almost everything from small magazine spots and logos to stage sets, houses and commercial buildings, murals, portraits, caricatures, and more. He is now concentrating fully on his fine art paintings which mixabstract components with photo-realism. His love of color and texture often draws him to the rich and varied imagery of cultural festivals, religious rituals and communal celebrations.

Laura Cohen-Hogan fills her studio’s walls, bins, and portfolios filled with unique and colorful Plein Air landscapes of the Sonoran Desert and Maui. She also creates expressive compositions of multiple figures using oil pastels, paintings, and collages. Cohen-Hogan exhibits regularly across the valley including in The Artery’s Collective Gallery space, and at Shemer Art Center and Herberger Theater Center.

Special offer from the tour’s participating artists:the cost of tour tickets were applied as direct discount on any available artworks with a retail list price of $100 or more. Not only did participants recoup the cost of the tour but they also rode away with a new piece of art that was handed directly to them by the artist who crafted it.