With her new art gallery and event space, Xandra Doe hopes to empower women and give female artists an opportunity to show their work.
The Artemiss Art Gallery and Event Space will open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 7, during Tucson’s First Saturday Art Walk.
Doe said, as a woman she has often felt underrepresented in Tucson. This prompted her to create a gallery space highlighting female artists.
“Creativity and creation is probably the most loving thing that I’m connected to in my life,” Doe said.
“It brings comfort and makes me feel like I’m connected to the world at large, the universe and myself. Supporting art and making art are the only things I can think of that matter in this world, so I had to do it.”
The name Artemiss was inspired by the Greek goddess for the hunt, wild animals, fertility and childbirth.
Doe said that Artemis’ bow and arrow is representative of “taking action to achieve your goals even in dark forests of the unknown.”
The name also highlights art and women, which is why Doe uses “miss” in the name.
“It’s about reaching your goals, hitting your target. We want to live our dreams. We want to make art for a living. We want to make art around the clock. We want to make art when creation speaks to us,” Doe said.
The space will feature exhibitions of local, national and international artists, as well as alcohol-free events such as comedy shows. Educational workshops will be featured, too, about women’s rights, burlesque nights and multicultural live music events.
During the opening event, the gallery will host its first show, “The Empowered Woman Juried Art Exhibition.” It will be on display through Thursday, Dec. 7, and features oil and acrylic paintings, ceramics, sculptures, textiles, digital photography and miniatures/dioramas.
“I thought that would be a great way to show the public that this is what we’re focused on. It gave people an opportunity to express what the empowered woman means to them,” Doe said.
During the grand opening from 5 to 7 p.m., there will be live jazz music from vocalist and pianist Susan Artemis with a quartet.
The event will also feature refreshments and a special gift for the first 50 attendees.
Doe, an artist who creatures miniature dioramas and figurines, masks and oil and acrylic paintings, has plans to display her own work inside the space in the loft and downstairs gallery. She will also be selling her goddess pendants.
Along with being an artist, Doe is also a musician and comedian.
For her first exhibit, she has plans to showcase her collection “Mini Japanese Shinto.” She previously had the exhibition on display at the Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson.
Doe spent the past eight months getting the gallery ready. She has been doing the renovations mostly by herself, with some help from volunteers.
“I hand-built the entire path,” Doe said.
“I refinished the staircase by hand. I refinished the entire bathroom. I had three people help me with painting the walls of the gallery, but aside from that, I did all of the cleaning of the floors. They were splattered. All the polishing. The hand-built path was a huge endeavor. And then, I redid the entire façade.”
Doe works full-time as the head writer for a digital publication.
She has been funding the gallery with her own money.
“I’m putting all of my money, all of my time and energy into this. I’m doing it not just for myself but for other people,” Doe said.
Grand Opening for Artemiss Art Gallery and Event Venue
WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7
WHERE: 657 W. St. Marys Road Building C2, Tucson
COST: Free admission