Art Scene

A peek at four Valley art exhibits

 Luis Carlos Bernal: "Barrios" at ASU Northlight Gallery: Though Luis Carlos Bernal died in 1993, his images are a timeless legacy. The exhibition of 82 photos, predominantly comprising color images, is a profound documentation of barrio life in the Southwest through the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a deeply affecting stylistic study guide for any aspiring photographer. Bernal champions regional diversity and the human spirit while symbolizing his own personal exploration of identity as a Mexican American. His work is included in the collections of the Oakland Art Museum, the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico. Pima Community College, where he taught for 17 years, has dedicated a gallery in his name. Through November 25, ASU Main Campus in Tempe; first floor of Matthews Hall, on the southeast corner of Tyler and Forest malls. 480-965-3468 or http://art.asu.edu/gallery/northlight/. -- A.Y.

Grand Opening at Red Dog Gallery: A combination of collective interests, including the cosmopolitan whimsy of gay Paree, the seductive power of the color red and, of course, the universal love of four-legged, drooly friends, has lent to the name of this new gallery in the ever-expanding downtown Phoenix arts district. In addition to the work of resident artists Randy Kinkel, Sylvia Frost, Robin Lieske and Shari Bombeck, the grand opening also features several guest artists representing various media. With glass and jewelry by Gail Bartlett, Marty Weslowski's architecture lamps, paintings by Mary Atkinson and Ron Floyd, Lisa Takata's puppy scarves and Steve Gompf's Televisor (courtesy of the Lisa Sette Gallery), Red Dog promises to be a hub for diverse talent and synergy. Through November, 812 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, 602-340-1838. -- A.Y.

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 XicanindioÕs 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 that 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. -- G.C.C.

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. -- G.C.C.

 
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