Nicole Royse had been curating galleries in downtown Phoenix for just over 15 years when she saw a better opportunity for local artists to reach out.

She knew that Old Town Scottsdale is known for its art galleries and weekly art walks and decided to secure her space on Marshall Way in July 2017.

“I’ve curated hundreds of shows, and I went to Scottsdale from Phoenix because Phoenix has an art walk once a month and we have a weekly art walk,” Royse said. “So for (artists) to get their work to collectors and be more visible, this was a better opportunity for them.”

She was also looking for a place that had a large viewing window that was close to some of the major attractions in the Old City.

“I was looking for the perfect space,” Royse said. “I wanted a good window and I wanted to be in the center of things.

“We have some great restaurants and bars and then we have a lot of major galleries that have been here for a long time that have a lot of history, so I wanted to be a part of that community.”

Since opening her doors five years ago, Royse has made a name for herself and her gallery by selling art that is created almost exclusively by artists who call Arizona home.

“The biggest thing is that people here in the valley want to have work done by artists who live here and want to know their history,” she said.

Although her intimate gallery offers a bright white wall that highlights the intricacies of each work that fills the space, Royse devised a more intimate way to sell her art.

She began loading her SUV with her collection of works and bringing them to clients’ homes so clients could see how the works would look on their walls.

When Royse had to close its doors during the early days of the pandemic, this sales method became especially handy.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it gave people a good opportunity to get me into it because they were tired of seeing their plain walls, or they were tired of what they had,” Royse said. “It supported the artists because that’s how they made a living and that way, they were able to keep making art.”

Royse also began to see an increase in the amount of art that her main and guest artists began to create as they discovered an increase in the amount of free time they had.

“Because they were at home and had none of the distractions of regular life, they were able to go in new directions, and many of them began a whole new series of works which was quite impressive – all things considered weirdness in the world,” Royse said.

Although it’s been more than two years since artists holed up in their homes and studios waiting for the world to return to normal and killing time experimenting with new techniques and mediums, Royse has noticed some trends similar among contemporary local works. fill her gallery.

“There’s been some things with some artists where they’ve focused more on nature because they started getting out into nature more,” Royse said.

Much of this art has been on display since July 14th, Royse plans to host a Grand Art Party on August 26th to celebrate her gallery’s five-year anniversary and further showcase the art that has created her Summer Spectacular show which is her largest show to date, featuring the works of 16 artists working in mediums such as mixed media, photography, sculpture and textured painting.

Paintings are also for sale and have sticker prices ranging from $300 to $5,000.

“The goal of my gallery is to get people excited about collecting to see if it’s accessible,” Royse said. “You can get a great original piece of art the same way you can go to Target or IKEA and buy a print, but I’d rather you buy something original because it’s supporting the artists and you’re going to love it longer. because it’s something that has a story behind it.”

Although Royse hopes to clear some artwork from her walls and see more footfall in her gallery, Royse’s biggest hope for her party is to bring more attention to the work that local artists are creating.

“I want people to take a look and see what artists are doing here and realize that the arts are a vital part of our everyday lives,” she said. “It gives us a lot of joy, it brings us together as a community and we understand each other better by watching it.”

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