Mesa Couple Open Arizona’s Only Veteran-Owned Art Gallery
January 9, 2019
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Mountain Bridge residents 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.
They said they believe it’s only veteran-owned art gallery in the Valley. From 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, February 2, the couple/contemporary artists will host an opening reception for their two-person art exhibit. Paige has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in art from Northern Illinois University and 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 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 added. “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 art and the creative process helps with post-traumatic stress disorder. Paige said her husband doesn’t suffer from PTSD, but he saw those who did. For him, it 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, as she believes Downtown Mesa will become the Valley’s cultural center.
“It’s going in that direction, with The Nile and all the venues with entertainment,” Paige said. “There are so many open mic nights. Susan Woodruff, who created the Second Friday Night Out, owns our building.
“Downtown Mesa has a great energy for creative people. I just wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to give my husband the opportunity to have goals and have something to do.”
Besides being a veteran, Rosenblatt, 69, is a hemorrhagic stroke survivor of eight years. He offers free classes on how to thrive after a stroke.
“He’s doing great,” she said. “He doesn’t act like he’s had a stroke. I feel we’re inspiring people.
“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 hangout downtown and we love that.”