Local Love: Practical Art

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Tell us a little bit about Practical Art. How did you get started, what do you sell, and where are you located?

We’re a friendly retail & gallery space featuring 100% locally-made wares in wood, fiber, ceramic, glass, metal, and up-cycled materials. All of the work in our shop is produced by Arizona artisans—over 100 of ’em! The work is artful, but also useful (Practical!) in some way—everything from kitchen tools to home and office items, soap, clothing, furniture, jewelry, and more.

We are located at 5070 N Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85012. Just south of the Upward Projects restaurant trio. Being within walking distance of Postino, Windsor, and Federal Pizza gets us in trouble quite often– It’s just too easy to walk up and grab a drink and bite to eat after store hours!

Do you have a favorite local artist? (I know it’s like asking you to choose a favorite child)

We have 115 favorites– all found on our artisans pages! But as far as artists who’re working in less of the ‘functional art’ sphere and more in the visual arts… Kara & I felt choosing a favorite local artist was an impossible task; so we decided to independently make lists of our top ten (also a begrudging task that felt too limiting) and then we would see if there was any overlap. And lo-and-behold, this exercise served us well– Mayme Kratz appeared on both lists!

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How do you find the artists that sell work in your storefront?

Most of them have found us! There is a page on our website for those interested in applying.
We’re always accepting submissions!

What’s your favorite part about being a local business?

The best part about being a local business is getting to know the people and community around us: fellow business owners who share our passion for placemaking, the local artists we get to work with, and, of course, our awesome customers. Phoenix has become our family. And there is a rapidly growing support and recognition for the kind of atmosphere that small businesses with personality can provide. It’s an exciting time to be here, doing what we’re doing, and we feel it every day.

You host some really great events in your space. Anything cool coming up?

We have tons of great events that happen at our store every month! Here are a couple upcoming ones we are really excited about:

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A Share of the Pie: Charity Pie Night!
Friday, October 25th, 2013 from 7pm-9pm
A $5 donation gets you any slice of a Vonceil’s Pies creation! A $10 donation or $25 purchase at the shop gets you as many in-house tastings as you’d like! The delectables (made by our favorite sister/helper Karen Olson of Vonceil’s Pies have previously included Hipster Apple, Banana Peanut Butter Cream, and Strawberry Jalapeno. Bring your own plate or pick up a handmade one on the spot to keep things eco-conscious!
This month all donations, and 10% of all sales during the event, will be donated to this month’s feature charity: Waste Not

Halloween Party & Costume Contest!
Thursday, October 31st, 2013 from 5pm-8pm
We’re making our entire backroom into a photo-booth full of posing potential for the make-upped masses! We’ll be serving seasonal snacks from 5pm-8pm, passing out treats, and ushering you back to snap photos for the costume contest. Best costume of the evening wins a $50 gift card!

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