Art Exhibition – Captured Evanescence III

Stevens-Haustgen House at Heritage Square
May 18th – June 22nd

We invite you to Captured Evanescence III, a limited exhibition by visual historian and artist, Gary Parcel, curated for you by Clottee Hammons of Emancipation Arts.

Read more about the artist below, and then come to the Square in person to explore the rich tapestry of Phoenix’s past through Parsel’s art, a testament to his lifelong dedication to both the arts community and the preservation of local history.

About the Artist

By Clottee Hammons, Curator, Emancipation Arts

A picture of artist and visual historian, Gary Parcel.Celebrated downtown artist Gary Parsel is a visual historian who has captured the essence of the architecture of neighborhoods in Phoenix that are quickly being demolished and forgotten. He renders with dignity the aesthetic of historic structures that some have documented in photographs only as an argument for razing them.

Gary Parsel was born in 1951 in Little Rock, Arkansas, but spent his formative years in Springfield Illinois, where he developed an early fascination with interpreting the world around him. He has had a love of creating since his childhood.

After moving to Phoenix in 1965, he fell in love with the landscape and architecture. Even as he felt the constant pressures of his subjects’ inevitable demolition; birds, mountains, cacti, canals, highways and vintage architecture inspired the prolific artists plein air documentation of the large and small wonders around him.

Because Phoenix has little reverence for historic structures, in many cases Parsel’s paintings are the only tangible recording of what once existed. He captures history in a kind of storybook contrast between the massive, uninspired rectangles that currently comprise the skyline and the bungalows and brick structures that once gave the city character. His work is not solely sentimental observations of the grandiose. He is also deliberate and conscientious in his renderings of humble structures as well.

Parsel has been a consistent presence in the downtown Phoenix Arts sphere, long before it became marketed as the “Arts District”. In the mid-90s Gary was an active member of The Hub Collective. A diverse community of artists on Central Avenue that occupied the basement of the Hub building, which is now The Valley Bar. For a decade he served on the board of directors of Artlink, investing not only his time but hours of physical labor to create “temporary galleries” for juried exhibitions in order to continue the tradition of Art Detour. Without knowing it, many local artists have been helped by Gary, because he made it possible for them to have a place to exhibit their work and become part of the larger Arts community. His commitment to community is not confined to the Arts. Gary coached Clarendon Little League for over 30 years. Gary is respected and beloved by generations that he coached and encouraged.