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10 Favorite Galleries in Metro Phoenix


Dozens of great places open their doors to cool shows by local, national, and international artists on a daily and weekly basis in Phoenix. Here are our favorite 10: 

10. Modified Arts
Modified Arts has been a staple in the Roosevelt Row community for more than a decade. The building, at 407 E Roosevelt, was founded by local music and arts maven Kimber Lanning as a space for local creativity (she even crafted her own invitations for art and music shows for more than 10 years). 

Throughout its time on the block, Modified (and later, Modified Arts) has launched the careers of handfuls of local artists and musicians and has made possible exhibitions by Melinda Bergman, Sue Chenoweth, Jon Haddock, Jen Urso, and Saskia Jorda, to name a few. We were happy to see the focus on local art when Lanning brought in Kim Larkin to direct and curate contemporary art exhibitions. And while we were sad to see Larkin leave at the beginning of the summer, we're looking forward to the continued focus on local art, as promised. 

10 Favorite Galleries in Metro Phoenix
photo by Claire Lawton, mural by El Mac, lettering by Lalo Cota

9. Por VidaThe creative force behind Por Vida (Pablo Luna, Lalo Cota, and Thomas Marcus) aren't quite ready to unveil their latest collaborative effort -- a full-fledged gallery on 16th Street with a promising lineup and an assortment of events. We've seen what they've done with the outside, including a mural by El Mac and members of the gallery, as well as a fashionable front window. And until February, we'll just have to see what goes up on the inside walls. 
8. Bentley GalleryIf you haven't met Bentley Calverley, your bound to know her name -- it hangs above her gallery in Scottsdale and project space in downtown Phoenix. Calverley moved to Phoenix in 1982 and moved her art gallery to Scottsdale from Philadelphia in 1989. She's known to feature high-end work at all sizes, including huge sculptures of local Pete Deise, mid-size wood bowls by the famous Moulthrop family -- even ancient Asian artifacts. It was Calverly who brought emerging artists to Scottsdale when she subleased vacant spaces owned by Scottsdale's Dewey Schade in early 2010. And while her pop-up bubble burst, the local art scene is better with her (and her galleries) around. 

10 Favorite Galleries in Metro Phoenix
photo by Ed Gomez for D-Block's "Save Our States" exhibition at monOrchid

7. monOrchidOriginally a warehouse constructed in 1937 by Del Webb, monOrchid has seen a few phases. Local artist Wayne Rainey purchased the building, at 214 E Roosevelt, and after 10 years of renovation, reopened the space as a gallery and studio space. In addition to its long history of  kick ass art exhibitions -- the reunion show of local art group 3CarPileUp, and the collaborative U.S./Mexico border show by California-based group D-Block come to mind -- monOrchid continues to be a home for tradition and experimentation on Roosevelt Row. 
6. Tilt GalleryJust off the main stretch of Grand Avenue and Fillmore Street is a home to historic format and alternative processes in photography, better known as Tilt Gallery. The intimate space, at 919 W. Fillmore Street, is owned and operated by local artists Michelle and Melanie Craven and Sabine Guedamour, who wanted to provide a home for local and national photographers to showcase their work as well as for the local community to learn from exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs. 

 

10 Favorite Galleries in Metro Phoenix
Callipepla Californica by Jacob Meders at the Berlin Gallery

5. Berlin GalleryIf you take a right through The Heard Museum's main gift shop doors and head straight through the merchandise, you'll find yourself in the well-lit, beautifully curated Berlin Gallery. The space, which opened in 2006, is a home for contemporary American Indian artwork that houses a collection of paintings, photography, and sculpture by artists who are breaking traditional grounds within their communities and their artforms. The gallery hosts regular conversations with visiting and local contemporary Native American artists and rare views into American Indian culture. 
4. The HiveOn any given Friday, we're pleasantly surprised by what's going on at The Hive. The gallery and studio space, owned and operated by Julia Fournier and Stephen Helffrich, is a working lab for a number of local artists and a space that welcomes exhibitions, films, speaker series, and very cool hangouts in the bone yard out back. Fournier and Helffrich opened the space, at 2222 N 16th St., just a year ago, and they've already made a mark (both with inside shows and outside wheatpastes by Jetsonorama, a large portrait by Chadwick, and a buzzing bee by Sakoia). 

10 Favorite Galleries in Metro Phoenix
from eye lounge's Sarah Hurwitz' "Sarah Hurwitz is Fearless" exhibition.

2. Lisa SetteIf you're headed out to see the latest exhibition at Lisa Sette, be prepared to drool. The local taste-maker has a long history of handpicking uber-talented artists that she represents and showcases to a loyal following and curious Scottsdale audience. More than two decades after opening her gallery, now at 4142 N. Marshall Way, Sette has represented artists including Matthew Moore, Mayme Kratz, Julianne Swartz, Enrique Chagoya, Binh Danh, Angela Ellsworth, James Turrell, and most recently, Rachel Bess. Drool, indeed. 

1. Northlight GalleryOne of the true incubators for future gallery owners, curators, and emerging artists is in the basement of one of the oldest buildings on Arizona State University Campus. Northlight gallery is dedicated to showcasing student work as well as photo-based work by underrepresented and internationally acclaimed artists. The gallery is open and free Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays and serves as a learning space for students, who take classes in curating, installing, cataloging, and maintaining the artwork that hangs on its walls and is stored in its flat files. 
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