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10 Art Shows You Should See in Phoenix This Week

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It’s all about first and last chances during August's First Friday in Phoenix. Bassim Al-Shaker is showing his first exhibition in his new Babylon Gallery, and Phoenix Art Museum is getting ready to close its “Defining Moments: 50 Years of Fashion” exhibition, which ends on Sunday, August 7. For those who haven’t been to Roosevelt Row recently, it’s also a chance to see Lauren Lee’s new Three Birds in Flight mural near monOrchid. But the night promises plenty of other exhibitions, too.

“Eldritch Introvert”
Artist Tom Ardans, who studied at Northern Arizona University and has more than three decades' experience with printmaking design, presents a solo exhibition of surreal fantasy giclée prints that show his whimsical side at Alwun House Gallery & Gardens. Expect works revealing the artist's interest in diverse subjects – including comics, homoerotica, the biological, and faux history. First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Alwun House website.

“City Lights”
Mesa artist Allen Garns traces his interest in art to receiving a book of 100 great artworks as a child. Garns was especially smitten with a work by Edward Hopper, an artist best-known for Nighthawks, a 1942 oil painting with people seated around a diner counter at night. Today, Garns does studio and plein-air (outdoors) painting, creating pieces that reflect his passion for light and shadow. Many depict iconic urban landscapes or familiar settings, such as DeSoto Central Market. See dozens of his watercolor, oil, and gouache works in Burton Barr Central Library's “City Lights” exhibition – and enjoy live music performed by Paul Garns and Rick Hale. First Friday hours are 6:30 to 8 p.m. Find more information on the Phoenix Public Library website.

Texas artist Angel Cabrales created a large-scale sculptural installation called Juegos Fronteras, which is being featured in the artist’s solo exhibition at monOrchid’s Shade Gallery. The installation explores the impact of borders being created in regions once infused with a free flow of cultures. Cabrales works reflect his by passions for science, math, engineering, pop culture, science fiction, machinery, and gadgets. Using industrial design and commercialism, the artist brings sarcasm to his treatment of social and political topics – including the current immigration debate. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the monOrchid website.

“Healing Waters”
Striking a delicate balance between abstraction and representation, Jessica Speer and Holly Anderson have collaborated to create works that suggest a multitude of terrains without incorporating distinct objects – leaving viewers to ponder both what they are seeing and what it might mean. Often their work, which is meant to conjure the feeling of movement and flow of both energy and spirit, involves layers of media that create an illusion of depth or reflection. First Friday hours, which include a dance performance by Nicole Olson, run from 6 to 10 p.m. at {9} The Gallery. Find more information on the {9} The Gallery Facebook page.

“Fishlipz Art”
Tempe artist Alexi Devilliers, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba when he was a young child, grew up with great home cooking often shared with friends and neighbors. Today, Devilliers and his wife cook up to 100 hot meals to feed the homeless every Saturday morning, reusing metal cans that once held ingredients for Devilliers’ art practice. Using the moniker Fishlipz, he creates and sells robot art – then uses the funds to buy more ingredients for his homeless outreach. See his robots, along with new works by Denise Fleisch, at Lotus Contemporary Art. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Lotus Contemporary Art Facebook page.

“Telecaster for Televisor”
Fresh off his recent solo exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa artist Steve Gompf will be showing a series of video works reflecting his art practice, which includes creating apparatuses he calls televisors from found and repurposed materials, then animating them with his own video creations inspired by the work of 19th-century British photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge. Gompf digitally manipulates Muybridge images to create ethereal creatures that inhabit a strange, dreamlike world. The one-night only showing, presented by Rhetorical Galleries, happens at the phICA shipping container galleries in Roosevelt Row. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Rhetorical Galleries website.

“Defining Moments: 50 Years of Fashion”
After Sunday, the “Defining Moments: 50 Years of Fashion at Phoenix Art Museum” is coming down. And unless you’re a member who always gets free admission, First Friday is your last chance to see it for free. It’s filled with all manner of clothing created with a diverse assortment of materials, including some with sculptural properties. But beyond that, it’s really the shoes, hats, and other accessories that give viewers the sense they’re undergoing a serious case of fashion time travel. Pay $5 discounted admission if you also want to see the “Water” exhibition featuring 40 large-scale aerial photographs of water in myriad global settings. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

Works by Bassim Al-Shaker
Phoenix artist Bassim Al-Shaker, who moved to Phoenix after participating in the ASU Art Museum’s International Artist Residency at Combine Studios, is showing the first exhibition of his work at his new Babylon Gallery (located at the former Drive-Thru Gallery site in Roosevelt Row). Al-Shaker, who has previously exhibited at the Venice Biennale, creates diverse works that reflect both his Iraqi roots and his concerns about contemporary culture. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the artist’s Facebook page.

“Art of Thrones”
In addition to showing art inspired by warriors and castles from around the world, Unexpected Art Gallery is presenting entertainment with medieval flair – including an authentic live battle inspired by period warcraft. Gallery-goers are welcome to don their period costume, have their face painted with a medieval design, or buy a turkey leg from the food truck pulling up for this event. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the event Facebook page.

Works by Greg Esser
See Greg Esser's body of small monoprint on wood works created entirely with reclaimed and recycled wood, which signal a return to his roots as a printmaker. Each Esser work being shown at MADE Art Boutique involved experimenting with new combinations of processes, and explores either desert imagery or other visual iconography. They were inspired in part by Esser's favorite times of day (just before sunrise and just after sunset), when "objects in the landscape turn to black silhouette against a sky of changing colors." First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the MADE Art Boutique website

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