Arizona ArtBeat: Lisa Sette Gallery

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Lisa Sette is an internationally-recognized art gallery owner. She is highly sought after for her impeccable taste and ability to spot talent. Now as she celebrates her 30th year as a gallery owner, we follow Sette in the biggest move of her career; from her longtime home in Scottsdale’s Old Town Art District to an historic building in the up and coming Midtown Phoenix area.

Christina Estes: In tonight's Artbeat segment we visit with Lisa Sette. She's been a fixture in the Arizona art world for decades. As producer Shana Fischer shows us, the Scottsdale artist is now making the biggest move of her career.

Shana Fischer: Mingling with guests at her Scottsdale gallery is bitter sweet for Lisa. After 29 years in the same place, she's moving on to midtown Phoenix.

Lisa Sette: It's probably equal parts excitement and nostalgia and a little bit of terrified but I'm ready to move forward so it's good.

Shana Fischer: Sette is well were the asked well known throughout the art community both here and abroad. In addition to her gallery, she also assists corporations in creating art collections.

Lisa Sette: You do things for your own sort of purposes and goals and mine is to keep learning and keep moving forward and it all came about very naturally and organically. I can't say it was my goal to be here or my goal to be there but it happened and it feels right. And I'm excited so we're going to do it.

Shana Fischer: Sette says she was nervous that some of her patrons wouldn't make the drive to the new gallery but a long-time friend says she's as much of a draw as the artwork.

Gretchen Williams: I think it's Lisa, first and foremost, and it's the work that she curates and her reputation, her integrity, the exciting work that she shows here is unlike anything else that's shown in this area. I think people have come to expect very high quality from Lisa, and then she delivers it.

Shana Fischer: She had the honor of being the last artist featured in the gallery on Marshall way. Her exhibition domesticity focuses on daily tasks as a mother and how they affect her life.

Carrie Marill: Being the last artist in the gallery is kind of monumental, especially because her gallery has been sort of this iconic place in Phoenix, not just Scottsdale but in Phoenix. And she's a huge part of the art community and I feel privileged to be a part of it and honored. So I'm looking forward to the new space but I'll have fond memories definitely of this venue for sure.

Shana Fischer: Sette is now ready to create new memories in this building near 2nd street and Thomas. She first looked at it more than a year ago when it was an office space. While she wasn't looking for a new project, the pull it had on her was undeniable.

Lisa Sette: The space is so different and how we use the space is different, too. It's much more customized to our needs and that's probably the most fantastic part.

Shana Fischer: Sette and her architect didn't want to overstep the vision for the building but they did have to make some major changes, including wrapping the subterranean building in a scrim-like fabric to keep out the intense Arizona sunshine. One feature they did keep was the unusual entrance created.

Lisa Sette: He talked about how you have to climb down the stairs, enter and then come up into the space and he talked about leaving the mundane world behind so you're sort of leaving everything stressful behind you and entering this very serene kind of space.

Shana Fischer: Sette says the new gallery space dictates the type of collection she will feature. In her storage room, she has countless works of art that she can't wait to display. The first solo artist in the new gallery is Louise Gonzalez Palma, originally from Guatemala. Palma's photographs depict the often tumultuous cycles of life and death. It fits perfectly in the space. Sette is feeling more at home. She's looking forward to celebrating her 30th anniversary as a gallery owner and is reminded why she got into the art business in the first place: The art itself.

Lisa Sette: I mean, everybody sees it differently but I think everybody learns something from it and that's the reason that I'm in it. This is my continuing education. It's a little bit of selfish but it's about the world.

Shana Fischer: Thank you for joining us. Ted Simons is back tomorrow. Have a great evening.

Christina Estes: Thanks you for joining us. Ted Simons is back tomorrow, have a great evening.

Video: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

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