When the Diamondbacks best the Rockies in a home game or we score a gourmet dinner for peanuts during Restaurant Week, were proud to call Phoenix home. Other times, we wish we could go all Matrix on the citys ass, magically replacing strip malls with microbreweries, making the light rail free, and beaming that eyesore of a football stadium back to the mothership. But thats our dream.
For this years Best of Phoenix issue, New Times invited local artists and performers to show off their dream Phoenix. They did, and now the two-dozen-plus artists including Gregory Sale, Robyn Kingsley, Lisa Sette, Joe Willie Smith, and Hector Ruiz will put em up on the walls for all to see during the Wonderland: Art from New Times Best of Phoenix 2009 First Friday Reception.
While some artists opted to invent an idyllic version of the city, others, like Luis Gutierrez -- whose piece depicts Sheriff Joe as the Patron Saint of Clowns -- think Phoenix is perfect just the way it is. In my younger years, I always wished for it to be more cultural, he tells New Times. I left many times looking for culture and an arts scene. What I [found] was that Phoenix became the place I was looking for.
In addition to the art, the reception will feature a music video by rock band Psych 101 and a Wonderland-themed dessert by pastry chef Tracy Dempsey.