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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Monsoon Collective: Pop-up art exhibition meets downtown office space

    Jesus Barerra

    Violet Kasser-Pirzadeh sits in her art studio on Wednesday, Sept 7. Kasser-Pirzadeh has been painting her whole life in tribute to her father and grandpafather who were both art collectors.

    Art school dropout Violet Kasser-Pirzadeh has been hard at work. She plans to open a pop-up art exhibition in a vacant office building downtown.

    The show, titled Monsoon Collective, will open the evening of Oct 8.

    Kasser-Pirzadeh has rounded up eight other artists so far. She wants to show off contemporary Tucson artists and involve the community in the local art scene.

    Each artist has taken over one to two rooms in the 10,000-square-foot office building.

    The building is right behind Cartel Coffee Lab’s downtown location on Broadway Boulevard.

    The artists are removing doors, tearing up floors and transforming the building.

    Kasser-Pirzadeh attended the UA. She dropped out and moved to Colorado to attend Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. She then dropped out of RMCAD as well.

    Kasser-Pirzadeh was looking forward to her graduate exhibition before leaving school, so she decided to throw herself a grad show, and Monsoon Collective soon came to life.

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    The property managers presented Kasser-Pirzadeh with the opportunity to use the space for her art. The building will go on sale after the show takes place.

    Michael Schwartz of the Tucson Arts Brigade has taken over two rooms in the building.

    The Tucson Arts Brigade oversaw a handful of new murals in downtown Tucson. Schwartz became involved after Kasser-Pirzadeh sent him an email.

    Schwartz originally thought this was Kasser-Pirzadeh’s solo project, but since then it has snowballed into something much bigger.

    “He’s basically mentoring me on how to run Monsoon properly,” Kasser-Pirzadeh said of Schwartz.

    Kasser-Pirzadeh’s vision inspired Schwartz.

    “I remember once being at a mural meeting in Philly,” said Schwartz. “The neighbors wanted a house, like a house that was converted into a work of art. And the muralists, they were like ‘no, no.’ They wanted to do this mural. And I liked the neighbor’s idea, I thought that was kind of neat. This kind of reminded me of that.”

    Schwartz will show an ongoing installation previously shown in Tucson and Eugene, Oregon.

    Katie Kurtin will take part with her youth art organization, Children of the Desert.

    Kurtin’s room in the art space will contain a buddy bench.

    “A buddy bench is a bench at schools that encourages people to talk to each other,” said Kasser-Pirzadeh. “Somebody will go sit if they’re lonely, and hopefully someone will see them sitting there and go talk to them. It’s a new way to teach the human experience, which is pretty cool in the digital age.”

    Kasser-Pirzadeh said the youth are our future, and she feels it is important to involve the them in this project.

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    Photographers Adam Watson and Keith Grevenitz’s room will feature photographs of human cells.

    UA graduate Lisa Watanabe has two rooms.

    She just returned to Tucson from Chicago, having completed a Master of Fine Artsdegree from SAIC.

    Watanabe likes Kasser-Pirzadeh’s decision to leave art school and pave her own way.

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