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Java.April.2017

GRANT VETTER A MAN WITH

GRANT VETTER A MAN WITH A PLAN FOR THE PHOENIX ART SCENE :By Bill Dambrova 8 JAVA MAGAZINE

There has been a lot of talk about what the metro Phoenix contemporary art scene needs to become known on national and international levels. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find people with the skills and experience who are willing to do the work. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to call a doctor for help. Dr. Grant Vetter enthusiastically stepped up to face the challenge when he moved to Tempe from Los Angeles in 2014. Equipped with a Ph.D. in media and communications, as well as a Master of Fine Arts, with a minor in critical thinking, Vetter has had his eye on Phoenix and Tempe for the past 20 years. He sees them both as “perfectly set up to be thriving art cities.” What finally brought him to Tempe was the presence of ASU’s main campus, along with what the City of Tempe is doing to promote the arts—as well as the ease of acquiring a property. As gallerist in Los Angeles, Vetter tried to purchase a property for three years and, in his own words, “failed completely”—whereas upon his arrival in Tempe, Vetter was able to find a property to house his gallery within 72 hours. I met with Vetter at his office. As the gallery director for ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, his office is conveniently tucked behind one of the several on-campus galleries he manages. Behind a door on a starkly lit wall is Vetter’s huge art and philosophy book collection. Eight-foot-high bookshelves cover three of the walls, surrounding a dark, homey rug and a modern grey reading couch. The space is warm, dimly lit and comfortable. It feels like a modern version of a Victorian gentleman’s library. Glancing around at a few of the titles, including Vetter’s own book, The Architecture of Control: A Contribution to the Critique of the Science of Apparatuses, I start to get a sense JAVA 9 MAGAZINE