Susan Paige and her husband, Lt. Col. Barry Rosenblatt, are spreading their message that art boosts veterans’ morale by hosting exhibits at Paige Artists Studio/Gallery/Gifts in downtown Mesa’s OneOhOne collective.
The couple, contemporary artists will host an opening reception for their two-person art exhibit 2-8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. They believe that it is the only veteran-owned art gallery in the Valley.
Paige is a venue director for the Mesa Art League. Rosenblatt was in the military for 20 years and began painting four years ago, thanks to the Mesa Art League’s free veterans’ art program sponsored by The Arizona Art Alliance.
“My husband and I are exhibiting all of our work throughout the building,” Paige said. “It’ll be a pretty big show highlighting the things he does and the work I do.”
Paige has an extensive past with the Arizona art scene. In the early 1980s, she owned the only avant-garde art gallery in downtown Phoenix. She hosted emerging artists that Scottsdale galleries wouldn’t entertain because they weren’t well known.
“I did performance art, too,” she said. “I was the first gallery to do performance art and mixed media. It was a lot of fun. I’ve been doing art and been involved in the art world here and in Dallas and Chicago. Then I got into the healing arts and was a massage therapist.”
Rosenblatt was a dentist and engineer in the military. He learned that art and the creative process can ease post-traumatic stress disorder. Paige said her husband doesn’t suffer from PTSD, but he saw those who did. For him, art relieves the boredom of retirement.
“He took his first art class with the Tempe Artists Guild,” she said. “He goes to one in Apache Junction, too. He started painting and he’s really talented. He focuses on impressionist contemporary as well as military satire and political statements.
“I work with handmade papers, abstract art with an Asian flair and impressionist kinds of things. I urged him to pursue it.”
Paige, 64, said her gallery’s location is perfect. She believes that downtown Mesa will become the Valley’s cultural center.
“Guests see we have a working studio. We’re painting. We also have a gift shop because I create jewelry and we have art images on products. Kids come in and I ask them if they’re artists. It’s fun. There are diverse people who hang out downtown and we love that.”