7 Cool Things We Saw at Phoenix's First Friday in January

Detail of Mary Shindell drawing featured in "Inflection Point" at Five15 Arts.
Detail of Mary Shindell drawing featured in "Inflection Point" at Five15 Arts.
Lynn Trimble

Cold weather did little to deter the party atmosphere as colorful club-style lights and music blared along Roosevelt Row during the first First Friday of the year, although things were considerably calmer in some other parts of the Phoenix arts scene. Never fear if you missed it, because most of our cool finds will still be up when Third Friday rolls around -- so you'll have another chance to check them out.

Drawings by Mary Shindell

We loved seeing drawings by Mary Shindell featured in her solo "Inflection Point" exhibition at Five15 Arts, a galley that looks deceptively unassuming from the outside but drew a steady stream of people during much of our time spent in Roosevelt Row. Often gallery visitors asked about her process in creating the four large-scale and eight small-scale works on view -- including several that reflect a series of stages in working with a digital mash-up of topography for the Estrella Mountains and the moon. Our favorite hangs in the front of the gallery, lit from below by lights that capture the shadows of gallery goers as they make their way through the space.

See also: 5 New Year's Resolutions for Artists in Metro Phoenix

Jewelry by Tym Hall spotted at Marsiglia Gallery.
Jewelry by Tym Hall spotted at Marsiglia Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

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Jewelry by Tym Hall

We spotted plenty of intriguing jewelry at Gallery Marsiglia, where our favorites included this piece by Tym Hall. The Grand Avenue Arts and Small Business District was pretty quiet, which meant we had more opportunities to enjoy long conversations with artists and gallery owners. We loved learning how gallery owner Gloria Marsiglia makes some of her sparkling pieces, and hearing about her work with youth in the "Seeds for Autism" program that fosters job skills related to the arts.

 

One of several Mike Frick works we spotted at ThirdSpace.
One of several Mike Frick works we spotted at ThirdSpace.
Lynn Trimble

If you found something amazing by Mike Frick

Recently ThirdSpace decked the walls with whimsical, sometimes irreverent works by Mike Frick, which depict everything from a perfectly innocent-looking polar bear to a crowd of people coupled with text about passing a drug screening test. We were disappointed to discover that vendors who'd planned to ply their wares there during January First Friday had an apparent change of heart, but mostly bummed we didn't learn of ThirdSpace tomato basil soup and grilled cheese offerings until long after we'd walked our way through the coldest night of the year.

The Social Order by Brittany Butler spotted at Oasis on Grand.
The Social Order by Brittany Butler spotted at Oasis on Grand.
Lynn Trimble

The Social Order by Brittany Butler

After checking out Butler's funky jewelry at Oasis on Grand, we spent some time exploring her other works - including a nifty pair called The Social Order and Self-Portrait #1, which sport combinations of materials (think oil paint with wood chips or brushwood) we don't come across all that often. We also had fun watching Kristine Brambilla do some serious splatter painting on an interior wall of one of the studio spaces.

Works by Laura Cohen-Hogan spotted at Studio 6 at The Artery.
Works by Laura Cohen-Hogan spotted at Studio 6 at The Artery.
Lynn Trimble

Desert nudes by Laura Cohen-Hogan

We had a blast exploring The Artery, a collective gallery located at 623 East Indian School Road in Phoenix off the beaten path of First Friday staples like Roosevelt Row. Several artists have studio space in an adjacent upstairs space called Studio 6, where we got to poke around, chat with various artists, and spy all sorts of work in progress. Plenty of works intrigued us, but Cohen-Hogan's nude figures with a cactus vibe are especially cool. We're pretty keen on her round painted, resin-coated tabletops, too. And yup, they come in sans clothing varieties too. Cohen-Hogan says it bodes well for the local arts scene that folks are becoming more accepting of naked bodies depicted in art.

 

Untitled I by Dewey Nelson exhibited at {9} The Gallery.
Untitled I by Dewey Nelson exhibited at {9} The Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

Wood panels by Dewey Nelson

We found Dewey Nelson chatting with friends on a fab black modernist couch at {9} The Gallery Friday night, but eventually got a chance to talk with the artist while checking out several pieces of jewelry including rings, wrist cuffs, and earrings made with yellow feathers. Our favorite works in Nelson's solo exhibition included Dewey's Untitled I created with acrylic and graphite, but we also loved panels sporting geometric patterns -- including one made with gold leaf.

Works by Denise Fleisch spotted at Lotus Contemporary Art.
Works by Denise Fleisch spotted at Lotus Contemporary Art.
Lynn Trimble

Paintings by Denise Fleisch

Fleisch often exhibits works by other artists in her Lotus Contemporary Art gallery, so we were happy to find her own new works, including the trio spotted here, hanging throughout the space. The Phoenix native says she's smitten with sunsets, mountains, and desert textures, and prefers to use a "bright and healthy color palette." Typically she works in oil on canvas, applying many layers of transparent paint to create her abstract works.

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Related Locations

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Five15 Gallery

515 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-216-0150

www.515arts.com

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Gallery Marsiglia/Art in Jewelry
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ThirdSpace

1028 Grand Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

602-258-1536

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Oasis on Grand

1501 Grand Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

602-244-1006

www.oasisongrand.com

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9 The Gallery
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Lotus Contemporary Art

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