"Anybody can do something with a million dollars. But it takes someone really special to make something out of nothing."

-Grandma Tressa Prisbrey, creator of Bottle Village in Simi Valley, California

LINKS Please Pardon Our Dust, eyelounge, September, 2014


ARID Journal

ASU Art Museum

Selected Artwork

MADE art boutique

Roosevelt Row

Brockway House

Facebook Profile





Art installation at eyelounge gallery, 2014.

  Hot Box Gallery

Hot Box Pop-Up Art Gallery

We are continuing to convert 20-foot long ocean-certified shipping containers into a pop-up art galleries with white walls, LED track lighting and 3/4-inch solid oak hardwood flooring. Each container gallery is designed as a portable, off-grid solution to activate vacant land and to provide incubator arts exhibition and programming opportunities. The project was made possible through support from ArtPlace America and Roosevelt Row CDC.

You can purchase a book of Instagram photographs documenting the work here and all proceeds support additional container renovations.

The first series of exhibitions are programmed by Ted Decker for Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA).

For more information on other projects visit the links to the left.


ArtPlace and Roosevelt Row


"borders are scars on the landscape"

borders are scars on the landscape

The quote is most likely attributable to a sage Native American early in the negotiation of the "resettlement" process in the formative years of U.S. history. Borders are a political construction, a human fabrication around geography, resources and power defined and re-defined through time by war, bloodshed and death. Borders are also a unifying construct that can bring people together and form deep bonds.

My community, my family, is comprised of individuals that live in places around the globe, across political and geographic borders. They are individuals that value creativity, risk, innovation. They are compassionate, hard-working people that want the best for themselves and for their friends and families.

In response to recent legislation and policy that seeks to reinforce the divisive aspect of borders, five individual artists from diverse cultural and geopolitical backgrounds have joined me in becoming a part of a new community that re-contextualizes the notion of community relative to borders and permanency. The artists currently reside in the bordering states of California and Arizona and reflect the symbiotic exchange that occurs between the cultural communities in these two states.

Each individual artist has one word of the quote tattooed on their body. The placement and design of the word was determined by each individual. The artwork, the community, is only complete when all six individuals are together to form the narrative of the text of the quote. The work was first presented in Long Beach in March, 2010 and was completed in Phoenix in April, 2010 with the live placement of the sixth tattoo with all six artists together.

Special thanks to the participating artists who are, in order of their appearance in the quote: Crystal Phelps, Yuko Yabuki, Greg Esser, Dominic Miller, Jay Lopez and Steven Yazzie.

final tattoo being finished


The Desert Initiative is building connections between desert communities regionally and globally through arts-based research and projects. The Desert Inititiave currently consists of four primary components: 1) Development of a Desert Studies curriculum based at the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and connected with partners globally, 2) ARID, a peer-reviewed on-line journal of desert art, design and ecology, 3) an international artist-in-residence (AIR) program based in downtown Phoenix, and 4) Desert Initiative: Desert One, a creative collaboration of more than sixty regional partners connecting the four desert regions of North America and exploring and presenting the desert as a site of investigation and creative inquiry.

I'm thrilled that my current work is a convergence of many of my passions including working with artists, connecting communities globally, arid land agriculture, and art and creative inquiry as means of positive social transformation.



All content on this site is copyright 1999-2014 by Greg Esser


Click the image above for more information about the renovation of the Dr. George M. Brockway House.