Big City Dreamer
Artist Catherine Slye wasn't always in love with Phoenix. She grew up in Wisconsin, later moving to Vermont and Washington, D.C., before relocating to her husband's downtown Phoenix condo in 2007. "I begged him to sell the property. I thought it was dismal here," she says. Slye's opinion changed when she started walking her dog around the neighborhood. She was inspired by the urban landscape and took hundreds of photographs of the city.
Slye traced the photos, pieced them together like a jigsaw puzzle, and stitched them onto hand-dyed fabric to create new, imaginary streets for the exhibit My Beautiful City, last seen at Practical Art in Phoenix. Her neighbors and artistic peers were so supportive of the project that she now feels better about staying in Phoenix. "Of all the places I've lived, I fit in the most here," she says. "I've created my own little universe of the things that make sense to me." — Wynter Holden
See Catherine Slye's work online at catslye.com
Phoestival on Roosevel Row
Downtown is packed with galleries and coffeehouses that spotlight local art. But not every artist has a gallery to call home. Luckily, there's one place that welcomes all artists: Roosevelt Row's First Friday Phoestival, a monthly street fair that features food, craft vendors, and works by local artists. It's the best place to score reasonably priced art in the Valley, as many of the vendors are up-and-comers who haven't broken into the gallery scene yet.
You never know what you'll find at First Friday — perhaps performance artist Lisa Corine von Koch in a bee suit or Michelle Katz of Desert Dragon Pottery throwing a ceramic bowl on her traveling potter's wheel. There are also a few regulars, including pin-up photographer Andy Hartmark and digital artist Maynard Breese. Pop by to peep the latest in urban art or just to watch the wild, colorfully dressed spectators.
First Fridays, Evening on Roosevelt St. between Central Ave. and 7th St., rooseveltrow.org
Entering painter Kyle Jordre's live/work studio is like falling down an artistic rabbit hole, with Jordre cast as the Mad Hatter. This quirky artist creates massive wall-size murals, forgoing traditional brushes in favor of wacky objects like high-top sneakers and kitchen utensils. Stop in during First Friday for a peek at his tea party.
1007 Grand Ave., 602-254-6303, jordre.com
Bokeh Gallery at Monorchid
Located inside the 12,000-square-foot warehouse of downtown's monOrchid building, Bokeh (a photographic term for "blur") is a sleek, white-walled space that provides the perfect backdrop for modern photography. This new gallery has already hosted the works of John Wagner and Bob Carey (his photo is pictured); co-founders Jacques Barbey and Wayne Rainey plan to showcase more major national photographers in the future.
214 E. Roosevelt St., 480-280-8000, bokehgallery.com
Artlink A.E. England Gallery
We love Artlink's new gallery because it's in a gorgeous historic brick building and because it's the only place in town you can view art after last call. Though the gallery is open only for special events, the artwork is visible 24/7 through the floor-to-ceiling windows that border the L-shaped space.
424 N. Central Ave., blog.aeenglandgallery.com
Quick PHX: Art
Once a cornerstone of the Valley's indie music scene, Modified Arts shifted its focus to visual arts when new directors Adam Murray and Kim Larkin took over the gallery. The pair knocked down walls and removed the awkward stage and, with a nod to the past, has created a large open space that's already attracted the likes of 3carpileup's Randy Slack, Bragg's Pie Factory owner Beatrice Moore, and painter James Angel.
407 E. Roosevelt St., 602-462-5516, modified.org
1221 N. Central Ave.
After Hours Gallery
116 W. McDowell Rd.
Alta Space Gallery
600 N. Fourth St.
1204 E. Roosevelt St.
ASU Galleria at the Mercado
502 E. Monroe St.
Bragg's Pie Factory
1301 Grand Ave.
Deus Ex Machina
1023 Grand Ave.
4225 N. 7th Ave.
419 E. Roosevelt St.
1015 N. 1st St.
515 E. Roosevelt St.
623 E. Indian School Rd.
Paulina Miller Gallery
817 N. 1st St.
1113 Grand Ave.
610 E. Roosevelt St., Unit 137
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave.
5070 N. Central Ave.
501 E. Roosevelt St.
Soul Invictus Gallery & Cabaret
1022 Grand Ave.
919 W. Fillmore St.
The Trunk Space
1506 Grand Ave.
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