The 10 Best Things We've Seen in Metro Phoenix in 2017 — So Far

Steve Yazzie's 2000 mural for the Heard Museum, which was shown during his recent exhibition there.
Steve Yazzie's 2000 mural for the Heard Museum, which was shown during his recent exhibition there.
Steve Yazzie/Photo by Lynn Trimble

With half of 2017 behind us, it’s time to pause and consider some of the best things we've seen this year. Here are 10 of the best art exhibitions and works of art we've seen — so far.

Fear of a Red Planet
Heard Museum

When the Heard Museum underwent renovations, it removed a 2000 mural by Steve Yazzie from its original location in the museum. Yazzie is a Phoenix multidisciplinary artist of Najavo (Diné), Laguna Pueblo, and European descent. His mural, titled Fear of a Red Planet: Relocation and Removal, was preserved, and several panels were part of Yazzie’s “Black White Blue Yellow (BWBY)” exhibition, which ran from February 3 to March 12 and gave museum visitors a chance to see the mural up close for the first time.

Krista Elrick works featured in her "Retracing Audubon" exhibition at ASU's Northlight Gallery.EXPAND
Krista Elrick works featured in her "Retracing Audubon" exhibition at ASU's Northlight Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

“Retracing Audubon”
Northlight Gallery

ASU alumna Krista Elrick spent a decade retracing the path of famed naturalist and artist John James Audubon, where she found landscapes scarred by commerce and other human activity. Elrick’s work was featured in the “Retracing Audubon: Contemporary Views” exhibition curated by Liz Allen for Northlight Gallery. Inside a community gallery, they showed works that Phoenix artist Averian Chee created for the Standing Rock Sioux protest of the Dakota access pipeline, and involved other artists and advocates in addressing contemporary environmental issues.

Part of Porté par le vent's Les Luminéoles installation for Scottsdale Public Art's Canal Convergence 2017.EXPAND
Part of Porté par le vent's Les Luminéoles installation for Scottsdale Public Art's Canal Convergence 2017.
Porté par le vent/Photo by Lynn Trimble

Les Luminéoles
Canal Convergence

Light-infused kites resembling mysterious sea creatures filled the night sky over the Scottsdale Waterfront along the Arizona Canal as Scottsdale Public Art presented Canal Convergence from February 23 to 26. One of two installations by French artists Porté par le vent, the piece's balletic movements and primordial feel left viewers mesmerized along the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Works by Angela Ellsworth (left) and Claudio Dicochea exhibited at Lisa Sette Gallery.EXPAND
Works by Angela Ellsworth (left) and Claudio Dicochea exhibited at Lisa Sette Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

"Tell Me Why"
Lisa Sette Gallery

As artists across the globe created work in response to the shifting political landscape in and beyond America, Lisa Sette Gallery delivered an elegant exploration of issues at the heart of contemporary rhetoric. Her “Tell Me Why, Tell Me Why, Tell Me Why (Why Can’t We Live Together?)” exhibition ran from March 4 to April 29 and featured work by 12 artists “addressing narratives of difference and resentment as well as hope and beauty.”

Roda-Vida performance during Spark! Festival of Creativity at Mesa Arts Center.EXPAND
Roda-Vida performance during Spark! Festival of Creativity at Mesa Arts Center.
Lynn Trimble

Roda-Vida
Mesa Arts Center

The arts development group called [nueBOX], which relocated from Phoenix Center for the Arts to Mesa Arts Center in 2016, presented a collaborative performance called Roda-Vida during the center’s Spark! Festival of Creativity. It featured works by three [nueBOX] artists-in-residence, including choreographer Jenny Garcia, musician Chazmier Tyler, and visual artist Rossitza Todorova.

Read on for more of the best visual art of 2017 so far.



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