By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
"Harvest" at eye lounge: Fall has arrived, and with it comes a fresh exhibition at eye lounge. Harvest, according to curators Carrie Bloomston and Greg Esser, is focused on both the literal reaping of botanical and horticultural bounty as well as the harvesting of the collective energies of the group. With 19 artists included, the show promises a variety of different approaches to the idea that you reap what you sow -- a concept that plays well alongside current politically based exhibitions at other venues. Although not all works are plant-oriented, many involve massings of small objects that, ironically, resemble rows of vegetation. Flowers, vessels, marks, boxes, photos -- all ready to be picked. eye lounge members in the field include Esser, Bloomston, Jennifer Kiraly, Kate Timmerman, Sue Chenoweth, Carolyn Lavender, Cindy Dach, Ted Troxel, and Joe Willie Smith. Two other downtowners, Mike Slack and Melissa Martinez, are joined by Christiana Moss, Chris Alt and Dan Hoffman, the three architects who make up Studio Ma. Couples Cyndi Coon and Jeremy Briddell, and Matt Moore and Carrie Merrill, along with Bloomston's husband, Kris Keul, round out the harvesters. Through October 30, eye lounge, 419 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, 602-430-1490 or eyelounge.com.
"Entwined" at Shemer Art Center: The term fiber art brings back memories of that macramé mandala I did in eighth-grade art class. But in the hands of artists such as those featured in this exhibition, fiber is really just another medium for contemporary expression. With works by a dozen Valley artists, the exhibition focuses on the wealth of possibilities for things like woven metal, buttons, beads and ribbon in addition to the expected fabrics. Some take a fairly traditional approach while others explore experimental options such as Deborah Salac's 3-D installation and Margit Moraweitz's Art Cloths. Larger wall hangings, including two Earth Quilts, by Meiny Vermas-van der Heide, and three by Shemer favorite Denise Currier, promise to dominate the intimate, former bedrooms that are the museum's galleries (finally lighted by a long-awaited new lighting system). eye lounge member Christy Puetz contributes some wild new beaded babes, and Barbara Brandel offers insight into one of my favorite obsessions -- buttons. A nice pairing is found with the front gallery solo showing of Kelly Barrett's exploration of the female role in historical and contemporary Arizona. Through October 22, Shemer Art Center and Museum, 5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-262-4727.
Xicanindio at Tempe Public Library: Tucked away upstairs in the Tempe Public Library are prints from local and regional Latino/Chicano and Native American artists produced at Mesa's tiny but vibrant Xicanindio Artes. Xicanindio is more than just a place for artists to make prints -- it's one of the surprisingly few local arts organizations dedicated to presenting indigenous art and culture. The City of Tempe's Cultural Services Division organized the show with Xicanindio's director, Dina Lopez. Highlights of the exhibition include Randy Kemp's intriguing Indian version of a centaur, Martin Moreno's funky Zoot Suit, and Baje Whitethorne's touching auntie-and-child scene. The works are all monotypes and mono silkscreens -- which means they're unique pieces, not multiples or editions. Most were produced during one of Xicanindio's group printing workshops which encourage artists to inspire each other's creativity by working together. Through November 15, Tempe Public Library, second floor gallery, 3500 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, 480-350-5500 or www.xicanindio.com.
Seventh Avenue Streetscape: The new light box installation on Seventh Avenue north of Indian School Road is not your typical public art project. Unlike most, its artwork will change twice a year, giving the neighborhood a vibrant boost and artists a round of opportunities to get their work out on the street. The revitalization project is one of the city's liveliest to date and proof that there is still creative energy -- and, more important, support for it -- in the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. Composed of three large, double-sided Plexiglas panels lighted from inside and placed within a newly landscaped plot, the artworks on display are actually reproductions of paintings by local artists Quetzal Guerrero, Elizabeth Pfeiffer and Erin Sotak. Selected by a panel that included the area's business owners and residents, the location has actual potential to become a local gathering spot -- especially as the panels change every six to eight months, earning the site its intriguing tag line of an ongoing urban gallery. Current works up through December, intersection of 7th Ave. and Glenrosa, Phoenix, 602-262-4637.