As stores slowly switch out their stocks of beach towels and pool floaties for pumpkins, plastic ghouls, and even some fake snow-covered wreaths (for shame), something is happening in Phoenix that we care so much more about: Galleries and museums are presenting new exhibitions for fall.
It would be impossible for us to list every new exhibition cropping up in the Valley, but there are 10 shows that we are most excited to see this autumn.
Paper can be so much more than that annoying thing that jams up your printer, and Juror John Risseeuw is about to prove that with "Pushing Paper." Director of ASU's Pyracantha Press Risseeuw plans to showcase paper's versatility in shape, sizes, and uses with works that are woven, carved, collaged, cut, cast, and more but all made of paper. A $7 donation is suggested upon admission. For more information, visit www.shemerartcenter.org/ .
If you aren't already familiar with the work of Luster Kaboom (a.k.a. David Quan), just pick up any Best of Phoenix issue from the past few years or check out his Jackalope Ranch comic, and get ready to be transported to a whimsical and slightly creepy cartoon world. "Sideshow" at Mesa Contemporary Arts promises fright, monsters, and things that go bump in the night. Kaboom hints that there may be something more to these creatures than terror and fear. We guess you'll just have to go and find out for yourself. Admission is free to the public. For more information, visit http://www.mesaartscenter.com/.
Alejandro Almanza Pereda, an international artist in residence at Combine Studios, aims to create tension with "Down_Under_Side". He has taken everyday objects and created precarious situations with them, leaving the viewer to imagine what could happen if the object's positions shifted just so. Pereda also used underwater still life scenes to question various aspects of modern architecture, such as the relationship between beauty and functionality in a structure. Admission is free. Visit asuevents.asu.edu for more information.
"Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns" Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Now through January 11
Secrecy, subterfuge, and visual art? Count us in. "Covert Operations" showcases the works of 13 multidisciplinary visual artists and collaboratives, including Ahmed Basiony, Jenny Holzer, and Trevor Paglen, who used the democratic process to reveal previously unreported information and shed light on our threatened liberty. These threats include human trafficking, terrorist profiling, and nuclear weapons, to name a few. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students. Visit www.smoca.org for more information.
"The Jungle Box" Curated by Halt Gallery at Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market October 17 through November 9
In our eyes, local artist Sarah Hurwitz can do no wrong. So when we found at that she was teaming up with Halt Gallery and Greg Esser, we thought it was safe to assume that something phenomenal would ensue. And from the teeny-tiny preview we've seen so far, we're right. Billed as an interactive installation that will stimulate viewers' curiosity, "The Jungle Box" will fill one of Roosevelt Row's shipping container galleries with colorful flora, fauna, and whatever else Hurwitz's creativity births. Halt Gallery welcomes you to the jungle October 17 through November 9. For more information, keep an eye on www.haltgallery.com.
Editor's note: This post originally included "Cluster/Scatter," an exhibition from 2013. It has been replaced with "The Jungle Box."
Mail art, or arte correo, emerged in Latin America during the mid-1960s when artists started sending small works of art, often made from envelopes, stamps, and other postal paraphernalia, through the mail. Vanessa Davidson and John Held Jr. have a curated an exhibit full of international contemporary mail art submissions to accompany the museum's current exhibition, "Paulo Bruscky: Art Is Our Last Hope." International and local artists have sent the museum hundreds of pieces of postal art focusing on the challenges of artists living in Latin America and based on mail artist Bruscky's proposition that art is our last hope. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (65+), $10 for students, and $6 for youth (6-17). For more information, visit www.phxart.org.
Is it really any surprise that we are counting down the days until "Chaos Theory" returns? In its 15th year, this annual downtown Phoenix artistic mainstay is bringing the works of 68 artists, both "Chaos Theory" newbs and veterans alike, to us, their eager public. There are so many artists in the lineup this year that a few will present their work outside of Legend City. But we're happy to go wherever "Chaos Theory" takes us. Visit Legend City Studios' Facebook page for updates.
Daniel Funkhouser continues his autobiography through art with "The Terrible Mess We Woke Up In" at MonOrchid's Bokeh Gallery. Using paint and photographic portraits of himself and people close to him, Funkhouser explores the fuzzy areas of identity and expectations, including the distinctions of gender, sexuality, and public personas, while hoping to connect with his audience on a deeper level. For more information, visit monorchid.com.
When you think of Native American art, modernism may not always be the first thing that comes to mind. However, George Morrison, one of the most important 20th-century Native American modernists, has created works that balance natural landscapes and spiritual awareness with abstraction."Modern Spirit" showcases 80 pieces of Morrison's work that have been collected from public and private owners and the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, Minnesota. Admission is $23 for adults before September 28 and $18 starting September 29. Visit heard.org for more information.
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Residue doesn't usually have a positive connotation. It's usually something you throw out or wash away. But two ASU School of Art alumni, Mikey Estes and Kevin Moore, see it differently. They have created sculptural installations and process-based drawings using repurposed materials to show that residual matter can be something new and hold its own potential. Admissions is free. For more information, visit asuevents.asu.edu/residue.