10 Art Shows You Should See in Phoenix This Week

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.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble