Plenty of people are thrilled that the year 2016 has finally passed. Between the deaths of beloved pop culture icons and the dearth of civilized political discourse, last year felt downright brutal. And while the year ahead may not bring unyielding sunshine and roses, we feel reassured knowing artists have some exciting things in store for 2017. Here's a look at five exhibitions that can help you get 2017 off to a sweet start.
ASU Art Museum Project Space at Combine Studios
January 6 to 28
This multimedia installation features sculpture, video, and interactive audio components created by artists exploring the intersections of geological and human histories in the Southwest desert. It’s being presented by the Laboratory for Critical Technics at ASU, a transdisciplinary lab that addresses issues at the heart of living and dwelling together in the 21st century, in collaboration with Paul Harris and Richard Turner. Learn more on the ASU Events website.
The Gallery at TCA
January 13 to May 6
See works by 15 artists including Ed Mell, Douglas Miles, and Fritz Scholder in this exhibition that explores the history, mythology, and popular culture of the Western genre. The exhibition also features music, memorabilia, and historical displays that reflect the nostalgia for Western themes while addressing issues of morality, race, and economics in the complicated story of the American West. Get details on the Tempe Center for the Arts website.
“Nasty Women: Phoenix Unite”
January 14, 20-21
Local artists Meredith Drum, Patricia Sannit, Laura Dragon, Erika Lynne Hanson, and Colleen Donohoe have organized an exhibition tied to a larger “Nasty Women” art movement that’s using exhibitions in several cities, both here and abroad, to address concerns about possible rollbacks of rights for women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community under the incoming Trump administration. The group exhibition is a three-nights-only affair. Participating artists include Mary Hood, Kyllan Maney, Maggie Keane, Irma Sanchez, and Rossitza Todorova, to name a few. Find more information on the event Facebook page.
January 17 to February 25
Six independent artists affiliated with the Monterey, California, photography collective Salon Jane, including founder Jane Olin, are featured in this exhibition designed to illuminate the power of presence through photographic works created in diverse ways – from pinhole camera and darkroom alchemy to digital capture. Participating artists include Robin V. Robinson, Robin Ward, Martha Casanave, Susan Hyde Greene, and Anna Rheim. Learn more on the Art Intersection website.
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“The Kindness of Strangers”
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
January 21 to April 23
For “The Kindness of Strangers: Recent Acquisitions and Conservation Projects,” the museum is creating some surprising juxtapositions while spotlighting works in diverse media from its collection of 1,834 artworks by 640 artists. The exhibition will include exciting recently acquired artworks while exploring the ways museums build, document, and preserve collections that speak to the practices and ideas of contemporary culture. Featured artists include Paul Davies, Lyle Ashton Harris, Kelly Richardson, and Faith Ringgold, to name a few. Find details on the SMoCA website.