The best thing is that you can touch them. "The gallery owners get really nervous when you pick them up," says McDonald, laughing, "but they really are meant to be held."

Aside from the art, what really stands out about Flight Zone is that, despite the airy warehouse-iness of the building itself, there is an intimate, almost clubby feel to the studio spaces. Screened panels line doorjambs, allowing you to see inside. The interior layout seems to invite the artists to hang out and bounce ideas off one another. You get the feeling that people don't lock their doors here. "It's true," confirms Gene Kadish, who co-directs the studio with Mary Statzer. "People who commit to working in this space know that they are coming into an existing community, and they have got to want to be a part of it to work here."

Flight Zone's closing reception for Art Detour is on Saturday at 7 p.m. And, of course, if you're an artist looking for studio space. . . .

Loose Ends
"Frank Lloyd Wright and Japanese Art" is a beautiful exhibit that is currently at Phoenix Art Museum. Wright was one of many artists caught up in the wave of japonisme that swept Europe and America at the turn of the century. The legacy of this passion for things Japanese is here on view. More than 200 Japanese Surimono prints (with which Wright was obsessed) cover the walls, as do Japanese ceramics, screens and textiles once owned by Wright--and subsequently by his fortunate creditors. Interspersed among the Japanese prints are pages from Wright's own oeuvre--architectural perspective studies, drawings, prints and furniture that clearly demonstrate the tremendous influence of Asian art on Wright's brilliant pre-1930s architecture, especially in its understatement and delicate linear rhythms.

Don't bypass the display cases that contain Wright memorabilia like yellowed receipts for Japanese print purchases, photo albums and other interesting items.

"Frank Lloyd Wright and Japanese Art" continues through June 11.

Your last opportunity to see much of the art featured during Art Detour has not rolled away like a tumbleweed into the Phoenix night, but will come around again on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Many of the downtown galleries and art spaces will be open for Phoenix First Fridays, the monthly downtown Phoenix version of Scottsdale's Art Walk. For information on participating venues, call 252-9851.

Take note: CRASHarts at the Icehouse, which usually doesn't participate in Phoenix First Fridays, will be open that night, as well.

"Con-Text," a juried exhibition at Galeria Mesa, definitely merits a trip to the 'burbs. Paintings, collages, sculpture and assemblages are represented in this exhibit, which features artists who utilize some method of written communication to convey their message.

The messages run the gamut from Annie Lopez's "Walking Home," an uncomfortable and disturbing mixed-media piece recalling a bizarre memory from her childhood, to Stephanie Speckhart's very clever "Untitled (100 Puzzles)." Speckhart's piece features 100 identical, heart-shaped jigsaw puzzles, neatly packaged in plastic and emblazoned with bits of vernacular.

The show also includes some of the art books by Max Lanier and Lora McDonald, so if you missed them at Flight Zone, catch them here.

Anyway, good show. Now go see it yourself.

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