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.

TED SIMONS: Tonight's edition of Arizona Art Beat focuses on Lisa Sette. She's been a fixture in the Arizona art scene for decades and she's just completed a major move from one part of town to another. Producer Shana Fischer has the story.
mingling with guests is bittersweet for Lisa Sette. After 29 years in the same place she's moving on, to midtown Phoenix.

LISA SETTE: Probably equal parts excitement and nostalgia and a little petrified. I'm ready to move forward. It's good.

SHANA FISCHER: She is well respected and 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, keep moving forward. It all came about very naturally and organically. I can't say it was my goal to be here or to be there, but it happened and it feels right. And I'm excited. We're going do it

SHANA FISCHER: She says she was nervous that some of her patrons wouldn't make the drive to the new gallery, but her long time friend Gretchen Williams says she's as much of a draw as the artwork.

GRETCHEN WILLIAMS: I think it's Lisa. First and foremost. It's the work that she curates. Her reputation, her integrity. The exciting work she shows here is unlike anyone shown this area. I think people have come to expect very high quality from Lisa and she delivers it.

SHANA FISCHER: Carrie Merrill had the honor of being the last artist featured in the gallery on marshal way. Her exhibition domesticity, focuses on daily tasks as a mother and how they affect her life.

CARRIE MERRILL: Being the last artist in the gallery is kind of monumental. Especially because her gallery has been this iconic place in Phoenix, not just Scottsdale, but in Phoenix. She is a huge part of the art community. I feel privileged to be a part of it and honored. So I'm looking forward to the new space, but I will have fond memories definitely of this place.

SHANA FISCHER: She 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 office space. While she wasn't looking for a new project the pull on her was undeniable.

LISA SETTE: The space is so different. How we use the space is different too. It's much more customized to our needs. That's the most fantastic part.

SHANA FISCHER: Sette and her architect didn't want to overstep the vision for the building but they had to make major changes including wrapping the subterranean building in a discrimination-like fabric to keep out the intense Arizona sunshine. One feature they did keep was the unusual entrance.

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

SHANA FISCHER: She 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 want wait to display. The first solo artist in a new gallery is Luis Gonzalez Palma, originally from Guatemala, he photographed the often tumultuous cycle of life and death. The exhibition is bold and unrelenting and fits perfectly in the simple space. A few months into her next chapter, she is feeling more at home. She's looking forward to celebrating her 30th anniversary as a gallery owner and is reminded of why she got into the art business in the first place. The art itself.

LISA SETTE: Everybody sees it differently, but I think everybody learns from it. That's the reason that I'm in it. This is my continuing education. It's a little bit selfish but it's how I learn about the world.

TED SIMONS: And you can find out more about the gallery at

Friday on Arizona Horizon it's the journalists' roundtable. We'll have more on the new agreement between the city of Glendale and the Arizona coyotes.

And we'll have the latest investigation into a corporation commissioner's cell phone records. That's at 5:30 and 10 on the journalists' roundtable.

That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

"Arizona Horizon" Is made possible by contributions from the friends of 8, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

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