9 Cool Things We Saw During First Friday in Phoenix on May 1

Some of Julio Cesar Rodarte's tamer works are showing at Practical Art this month.
Some of Julio Cesar Rodarte's tamer works are showing at Practical Art this month.
Lynn Trimble

May's First Friday brought some pleasant surprises, from more time with the Hot Box Gallery and Halt Gallery shipping containers before their summer hiatus to an exhibition of artwork by students at New School for the Arts and Academics . The Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market was in full swing with food trucks, merchants, and music -- and we found a cool assortment of artwork in plenty of different places.

Bright geometrics

The display wall at Practical Art was lined with works in a fun variety of shapes and sizes by Julio Cesar Rodarte, who recalls finding beauty in small things even as a young boy on his parents' farm in Zacatecas, Mexico, where he collected organic matter and drew geometric sketches. His solo exhibition "Electric Love" continues through May 31.

See also: State of the Arts: 10 Things Phoenix Needs to Do

Work by Mark Lammie spotted at First Studio.
Work by Mark Lammie spotted at First Studio.
Lynn Trimble

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Famous faces

We found an interesting mix of partial portraits combined into a single array by Mark Lammie, whose line of portrayals led with Ted Cruz on the left (a first, for sure). He's one of several artists, including 2015 Big Brain Award finalist Jeff Slim, with work on view at First Studio -- where we also enjoyed revisiting the famous Wallace and Ladmo mural by Nomas, Casebeer, and Jenny Ignaszewski.

Off the Wall (acrylic on Vans shoes) by Ciara Bernal.
Off the Wall (acrylic on Vans shoes) by Ciara Bernal.
Lynn Trimble

Young artists rising

We're used to seeing Kyllan Maney in artist mode, but we stumbled onto Maney in art teacher mode during an exhibition of artwork by students at New School for the Arts and Academics, where she heads the art department. We're told the offer to use vacant gallery space at the corner of Roosevelt and Fifth streets came late in the game, but NSAA ran with it -- presenting an impressive array of paintings, photographs, ceramics, and mixed media works including painted Vans sneakers.



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