Downtown Phoenix residency program gives international artists home base

May 14, 2012

The first artists moved into their new living spaces last month at Combine Studios in downtown Phoenix, marking an important milestone for the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program.

Clare Patey (England), Matteo Rubbi (Italy) and Miguel Palma (Portugal) are among the artists currently in residence. Download Full Image

Gordon Knox, ASU Art Museum director, said the residencies are an important aspect of the museum’s work in advancing the role of the creative process of artists across all fields of knowledge and research.

“Having international artists here developing their work, interacting with each other and engaging with community members will provide a range of benefits and outcomes,” Knox said. “Already we have an ASU robotics team working with Portuguese artist Miguel Palma as he develops an image capture and projection vehicle to ‘bring’ the desert back into the city. Italian artist Matteo Rubbi is organizing a massive bicycle swarming project to trace the Hohokam canals, which will work with history, archeology and other community partners.”

The relationships created between the artists and a range of partners here in Arizona will benefit ASU’s students and extend the work of the university through new, on-going relationships that foster a more connected global network linked through the ASU Art Museum as host and convener, Knox explained.

The residency program involves the leasing of six units to house visiting international artists working on projects in partnership with the ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and Arizona State University. The facility also includes a storefront gallery and classroom space, as well as a shared kitchen, common area and resource library where artists can dine together and meet with project partners and members of the community.

Combine Studios was recently purchased by Phoenix artist couple Matthew Moore and Carrie Marill. Each unit was upgraded and furnished by Moore and Marill to provide a “homey” feeling that also celebrates vintage and mid-century aspects of Phoenix. Each unit includes a complete kitchen, private bath and work/study area.

Moore and Marill had a positive experience at another international residency program, Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, which was established by Knox.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring this experience for international artists to downtown Phoenix and to work in partnership with the ASU Art Museum,” Moore said.

The residency program is made possible through a public/private partnership between the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the ASU Art Museum and Combine Studios, LLC, an initiative of Moore and Marill, and with generous support from the Desert Initiative and additional partners.

For more information on the International Residency Program at ASU or the ASU Art Museum, contact Deborah Sussman Susser at

Eight's 'Check, Please! Arizona' goes statewide, plans first tasting tour

May 14, 2012

What’s your favorite Arizona restaurant? Will you drive 100 miles just for its desserts? Is it your best-kept secret for special occasions? Does your family rendezvous there from across the state?

As "Check, Please! Arizona" prepares to shoot its third season, the Emmy Award-winning program is expanding its repertoire to include restaurants beyond the Phoenix area. Viewers are encouraged to go to and nominate their favorite eateries – in Flagstaff, Prescott, Show Low, Yuma and other communities. Of course, those selected will appear on the show with two other guests and show host Robert McGrath, a James Beard Award-winning chef. The program airs at 7 p.m., Thursdays, on Eight, Arizona PBS. Download Full Image

Or do you prefer to sample dishes from restaurants already featured on the show? Then mark your calendar for the first-ever "Check, Please! Arizona" Tasting Tour, scheduled for Oct. 23. Join other foodies aboard luxury coach transportation to five of the show’s best-loved dining destinations.

The sampling begins on El Chorro’s patio for appetizers, followed by mouth-watering selections from Fuego Bistro, Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, The Salt Cellar and Malee’s Thai Bistro. Wine tastings from different Arizona vineyards will be served at each location by members of the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

Seating for the "Check, Please! Arizona" Tasting Tour is limited to 100 guests total. Two groups of 50 each will depart on the tour at 5 and 5:30 p.m., respectively. A donation of $125 per person supports programs on Eight. For information or to sign up, visit

This season, "Check, Please! Arizona" more than doubled its primetime audience and increased its Saturday audience by 20 percent over a year ago. The locally produced program is made possible by, Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, Whitfill Nursery and Lawns by Les. "Check, Please!" is a registered service mark of Check, Please! LLC.