Editor’s Note: This is an installment in the series “The Art of Business,” which highlights the works of art found in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building and will be featured regularly on the Eccles Extra blog.
The Tempe, Ariz., bookstore started after a conversation with three volunteers at a local alternative school revealed they all dreamed of opening a bookstore.
Tom Brodersen, Gayle Shanks and Bob Sommer opened the Changing Hands Bookstore on April Fool’s Day in 1974, using all the money Brodersen had – $500.
The store has grown from 500 square feet to 5,000 square feet, adding a second location in Phoenix with nearly 16,000 square feet of space. But the mission of the shop has never changed. Part of every sale price goes to supporting local and national charities, and all the employees and owners of the stores are local.
The shop works to bring in hard-to-find books, and it has a robust author series, bringing in celebrities such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Keegan Allen and John Ennis in February 2015 alone. The shop also hosts multiple book clubs, with interests ranging from dream study to crime fiction to sci-fi and fantasy. The Phoenix location also houses the First Draft Book Bar, featuring coffee, bakery goods, beer and wine.
What charities do you support?
About the Artist
Gibbs M. Smith is an alum of the University of Utah, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history. He is the founder and president of Gibbs Smith Publishing, and the art he has loaned to the Eccles School demonstrates his passion for books and bookmaking. He has spent the past 35 years painting the bookstores he has visited around the country. Some have since closed, but many still thrive today. Hopefully, these paintings conjure up