Visitors hanging around with art during the Mutant Piñata Show in 2016.EXPAND
Visitors hanging around with art during the Mutant Piñata Show in 2016.
Lynn Trimble

Your Guide to March 2017's First Friday in Downtown Phoenix

One of Phoenix’s quirkiest and most beloved exhibitions returns this month.

Chartreuse gallery hosts Beatrice Moore’s annual "Mutant Piñata Show," filled with piñatas created by dozens of artists and community members. That’s just one of several fresh art shows happening during March's First Friday.

Other offerings include Irish textile art, father-son street art, and samurais. Here’s a guide to navigating the local arts scene on March 3. It’s organized by region, with a special shout-out to shows for your must-see list.

See work by Molly Koehn at Step Gallery.EXPAND
See work by Molly Koehn at Step Gallery.
Molly Koehn

Must-See Exhibitions
‘The Physical Features of Place”
When Scottsdale dotted a small parcel of land with dozens of displaced Saguaros during freeway improvements, artist Molly Koehn took notice — and photographs. Her work is all about exploring “the human compulsion to meddle with and adjust the environment." For this exhibition, Koehn blends weaving, drawing, and sculptural installation to counter common narratives about desert cities. First Friday hours at Step Gallery are 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the artist's website.

“Mutant Piñata Show”
Go mutant, or go home. Consider that your First Friday motto this month, as you head to Chartreuse gallery to see what, and who, is hanging around looking delightfully kooky and creative. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the exhibition's Facebook page.

Art meets walking at ASU Art Museum's Combine Studios Project Space.
Art meets walking at ASU Art Museum's Combine Studios Project Space.
Angela Ellsworth

“Walking and Thinking and Walking”
ASU Art Museum and the Museum of Walking present this landmark exhibition curated by Bruce Ferguson, first presented in 1996 at the Louisiana Art Museum in Denmark. Featured artists include Maria Ambramovic and Ulay. First Friday hours are 7 to 9 p.m at the ASU Art Museum's Combine Studios Project Space. Learn more on the ASU Art Museum website.

See "Invisible Mexico" at monOrchid gallery.EXPAND
See "Invisible Mexico" at monOrchid gallery.
Courtesy of Hakeem Khaaliq and Queen Muhammed Ali

“Invisible Mexico”
Head to monOrchid to get a glimpse into everyday life for descendants of the African diaspora dubbed Afro-Mexicans. Hakeem Khaaliq and Queen Muhammad Ali present photographs, video, audio, and augmented reality technology reflecting their travels through Central America and the people they encountered there. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the exhibition Facebook page.

Unknown, eboshi kabuto (eboshi-shaped helmet) and menpo (half mask), late Muromachi to Momoyama period, late 16th century. Iron, gold lacquer, bronze, horn, horsehair. © The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas.EXPAND
Unknown, eboshi kabuto (eboshi-shaped helmet) and menpo (half mask), late Muromachi to Momoyama period, late 16th century. Iron, gold lacquer, bronze, horn, horsehair. © The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas.
Brad Flowers

First Friday at Phoenix Art Museum
Get free admission to the Phoenix Art Museum, where the newest exhibition features impressive samurai armor (special exhibit pricing is $5 on First Friday). Evening entertainment includes Japanese dance performance, traditional Taiko drumming, and a Shakuhachi flute performance. There’s even a special tea ceremony performance. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

See work by Malena Barnhart at Burton Barr Central Library.EXPAND
See work by Malena Barnhart at Burton Barr Central Library.
Lynn Trmble

“Thorny Blockade”
Contemporary art deals with some sticky subjects. And artist Malena Barnhart often tackles them, sometimes using sticky materials such as children’s stickers or other cultural ephemera. See her sticker collages and digital illustrations in The Gallery at Burton Barr Central Library. Live music is by Reid Riddiough and Max Beckman. First Friday hours are 6:30 to 8 p.m. Find more information on the library website.

Read on for more shows to see, organized by neighborhood.

See work by Danielle Hacche (detail shown here) at Practical Art.EXPAND
See work by Danielle Hacche (detail shown here) at Practical Art.
Danielle Hacche

Central Corridor
“Coalescing Form and Focus”
See works by Danielle Hacche, an artist inspired by the unique shapes and colors of Arizona’s organic and architectural landscapes, at Practical Art. First Friday hours are 7 to 9 p.m. Learn more on the Practical Art website.

See works by Steve Weiss and Leslie Barton at The Studio inside Found:RE Phoenix.EXPAND
See works by Steve Weiss and Leslie Barton at The Studio inside Found:RE Phoenix.
Steve Weiss

“It’s All About Us”
See paintings, photographs, and video works by Steve Weiss and Leslie Barton exhibited in The Studio, a street-facing art gallery at the Found:RE Phoenix boutique hotel. While you’re there, check out the wealth of other art offerings displayed in hotel common areas. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the event Facebook page.

See works by Brianna Voron and other artists at New City Studios.EXPAND
See works by Brianna Voron and other artists at New City Studios.
Courtesy of New City Studios

“Odd, Not Even”
If normal is your idea of weird, you’ll want to see this group show at New City Studios, where artists use drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic design to convey a central premise: Different is good. First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the exhibit Facebook page.

See quilts that capture Irish culture, including this piece by Linda Redwood Martinez. at the Irish Cultural Center.EXPAND
See quilts that capture Irish culture, including this piece by Linda Redwood Martinez. at the Irish Cultural Center.
Irish Cultural Center

“Crazy About Ireland”
Irish pride meets fiber arts at the Irish Cultural Center as the Arizona Quilters Guild presents a group show filled with diverse quilts by more than a dozen artists, including Pat Ansel, Laurie Fagan, and Linda Redwood-Martinez, to name a few. First Friday hours start at 6 p.m. Get details on the Irish Cultural Center website.

See new works by Jon Wassom at {9} The Gallery.EXPAND
See new works by Jon Wassom at {9} The Gallery.
Jon Wassom

Grand Avenue
“Heaven and Earth”
See new work by Jon Wassom, who layers images to create works meant to reflect life energy and the natural world. First Friday hours at {9} The Gallery are 6 to 10 p.m. Find information on the gallery website.

“Styles Family Values”
Father and son painters Such and Champ Styles are bringing their street-art sensibilities to a show inspired by their own family values, not those of finger-wagging politicians. See their work at Grand ArtHaus, where First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the Grand ArtHaus Facebook page.

“Wonderlandia”
Unexpected Art Gallery presents eclectic works by artists such as Jordan Fillers and Mark Greenawalt. But there’s also live body-painting and entertainment, including games, face painting, and food trucks. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the Unexpected Art Gallery Facebook page.

Get your bison fix in a shipping container gallery in Roosevelt Row.
Get your bison fix in a shipping container gallery in Roosevelt Row.
Rachel Srinivasan

Roosevelt Row
"Tatanka: Spirit and Sacrifice"
See works by Rachel Srinivasan, an artist inspired by bison roaming the Great Plains. For Srinivasan, whose paintings seek to subvert Western iconography, these bison occupy hybrid spaces between natural and sacred worlds. First Friday hours in the shipping container galleries in Roosevelt Row are 6 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art website.

Five15 Arts
See new works by members of the Five15 Arts collective at their temporary gallery space inside Phoenix Center for the Arts. Ten artists will show works in diverse media, including ceramics, photography, and printmaking. First Friday hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the Five15 Arts Facebook page.

"The Art of Judy Feldman and Archie Tucker"
Olney Gallery at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral presents works by photographer Archie Tucker, and painter Judy Feldman. Tucker’s work elevates human sensibility over machines, and Feldman’s work is infused with whimsy. See both during First Friday hours from 6 to 9 p.m. Learn more on the exhibition Facebook page.

See work by Onna Voellmer, and other artists, at The Icehouse.
See work by Onna Voellmer, and other artists, at The Icehouse.
Onna Voellmer

Warehouse District
“Songs Untitled”
Artist and Icehouse curator Joe Holdren is showing both his own large-scale paintings and works by several additional artists – including Onna Voellmer, Dan Pederson, and Carol O’Hara Sherwood. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the exhibit Facebook page.

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