Scottsdale Fashion Square, which recently debuted its newly renovated luxury wing this fall, has added a new tenant to its roster: Los Angeles-based Wonderspaces, an innovative, interactive art installation concept.
Macerich, the owner of Scottsdale Fashion Square, announced the mall will be home to Wonderspaces’ first permanent, 16,000-square-foot location opening in early 2019.
“The first permanent location for Wonderspaces, with its dynamic roster of curated art installations, is a strong fit for Scottsdale Fashion Square and for Macerich,” said Doug Healey, executive vice president of leasing at Macerich.
Wonderspaces debuted in San Diego in 2017 as a pop-up art show, drawing more than 60,000 people in 2017 and over 112,000 people in 2018 over a span of 78 days.
In Scottsdale Fashion Square, Wonderspaces plans to present three ticketed shows per year.
Jason Shin, co-founder of Wonderspaces, said it chose Scottsdale Fashion Square for its first permanent location because it offers a unique opportunity to make the artwork of their paid partner artists accessible to metro Phoenix.
“When looking at different locations, we were looking for spaces that will help make the shows, the artwork accessible to a broad audience,” Shin said, adding that Wonderspaces is for all people, including those who may not identify with art.
Shin said they’ve been eyeing the Phoenix area for two years.
“The first time we approached the Macerich team was about the space that is now the Apple store, to run the show on a temporary basis,” he said, adding that Wonderspaces is also planning to open permanent spaces in Austin, Philadelphia and Miami.
Wonderspaces’ goal is to create a convenient, accessible space where people of all ages can connect with art and with each other.
“We were really excited to see that in San Diego that multiple generations, three generations of a family could feel like they could come and connect and have a place that was for them,” Shin said. “And that’s what we’re excited to do in Scottsdale.”
At the first show in Scottsdale Fashion Square, Wonderspaces will pull large-scale installations and interactive artworks by artists from around the world from past pop-up shows in San Diego.
Past Wonderspaces installations include “Sweet Spot,” comprising 3,700 multicolored nylon chords suspected from a ceiling; “Pulse Portal,” an 18-by-18 foot sculpture made of Plexiglass panels; and “Dinner Party,” a short virtual reality thriller where attendees are seated at a table to witness the first nationally known UFO abduction case in America.
“The high-caliber artists and the exceptional setting Wonderspaces is creating to showcase their exciting work will come together as a powerful draw for this sophisticated region and for visitors from around the world,” Healey said.
While ticket prices for the Scottsdale shows have not yet been determined at this time, Shin said they are working to bring the ticket prices down.
Ticket prices at the pop-up shows in San Diego ranged from $16 to $24.
“We’re still working through the planning of it to understand what makes sense here and understanding all of the costs that are going into the construction process and the building of the team,” Shin said.
A portion of ticket and merchandise sales will, however, support local causes.
“That’s something we’ll always do,” Shin said. “We would very much like to join the arts community here and support the arts community here.”
That also includes working with artists local to Scottsdale and Valley-wide.
“We very much welcome meeting artists and to work with them to present their work to the audience and to audiences across the country,” Shin said.
In addition to seeking local artists, Shin is looking to fill two large roles within the Scottsdale Wonderspaces team.
Currently, they’re in need of a general manager and a marketing manager.
“[Wonderspaces] is going to succeed or fail based off the quality of the team, and we’re looking for folks to join and lead the efforts in Arizona,” Shin said.
Those interested in applying, should visit wonderspaces.com/job-inquiries.
And artists are encouraged to reach out to Wonderspaces’ Creative Director, Kendall Warson, at email@example.com.