LISA SETTE GALLERY
A staple in Scottsdale for over 25 years, Lisa Sette Gallery is a true original, showing a range of cerebral, highly detailed work that appeals to various contemporary aesthetics. Arizona-based artists represented by the gallery include Rachel Bess, James Turrell, Enrique Chagoya, Anthony Velasquez, Angela Ellsworth, and Matthew Moore. 4142 N. Marshall Way, Ste. G, 480-990-7342, www.lisasettegallery.com
SCOTTSDALE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
If you're short on time, Scottsdale's one must-see art destination is SMoCA. If you have time to spare, stick around in the evening hours to see what's happening at the SMoCA Lounge, home to lectures, film screenings, live music and dance performances, and anything else creatives can cook up. 7374 E. 2nd St., 480-874-4666, www.smoca.org
This worthy alternative to cowboys and couch art is home to a mix of prominent local, national, and international photographers, painters, and sculptors. Three things tie together the work you'll find at Gebert Gallery: unpredictability, abstraction, and quality. 7160 Main St., 480-429-0711, www.gebertaz.com
This gallery primarily represents art students. But that doesn't mean the work is immature. The gallery houses an eclectic mix of well-executed work by cutting-edge contemporary artists, including established locals like painter Eric Cox and young hopefuls like John Babbit. 4130 N. Marshall Way, 480-946-5076, www.artgalleryinc.com
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THE COSANTI FOUNDATION
If you can't venture north two hours into the desert to see Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti, you can at least stop by Soleri's gallery, studio, and residence. The site features terraced landscaping, earth-molded concrete structures, and his well-known bronze and ceramic wind-bells. 6433 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, 480-948-6145, www.arcosanti.org