But 10 metro Phoenix galleries stand above the rest. One sits inside an arts center, and two are located in former warehouses. Another is subterranean, and one sits on the second story of a quaint retail complex. One is owned by a city, and a couple are owned by community activists. Here are our favorites.
Art Intersection207 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert
Art Intersection, founded by Alan Fitzgerald in January 2011 inside a former dance studio, specializes in the intersection of photography with other forms of artistic expression. It exhibits works by established and emerging artists, including students, in two conjoined galleries with a total of 1,670 square feet on the second floor of the Heritage Court Building in downtown Gilbert. Notable artists who've shown works at Art Intersection include David Emitt Adams, Claire A. Warden, and Lisa Robinson. They also have a photographic lab, and offer a wide variety of classes for photographers with varying levels of experience. Art Intersection is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Art One Gallery4130 North Marshall Way, Scottsdale
Art One Gallery has been representing emerging and established Arizona artists since 1993. It also represents students of Arizona universities, community colleges, and high schools. The gallery was founded by Kraig Foote, who has helped local luminaries including Brian Boner launch successful careers. Located in the downtown Scottsdale arts district, the gallery is a fun place to hang out during Thursday night Scottsdale ArtWalks, when they're open from 7 to 9 p.m. Art One is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Bentley Gallery215 East Grant Street
Bentley Calverley founded Bentley Gallery in Scottsdale in 1984. In 2004, she went on to open a second art space in a warehouse that she dubbed Bentley Projects. In November 2012, the Scottsdale gallery moved to Bentley Projects, where it’s since been renovated. Bentley Gallery specializes in contemporary art, Asian antiquities, and works from the modern era. Previous exhibitions have featured works by renowned artists Keith Haring, Devorah Sperber, and Dale Chihuly — in addition to works by such local artists as Colin Chillag, Joe Willie Smith, and Denise Yaghmourian. Bentley Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Summer hours vary.
Fine Art Complex 11011101 West University Drive, Tempe
Fine Art Complex 1101 presents works by local, national, and international artists working in diverse mediums including video, neon, sculpture, painting, drawing. prints, fiber art, and more. Most group exhibits include works by emerging and established artists, and many address topics at the forefront of American culture such as racism, sexism, and climate change. Often, participating artists are accomplished art students and university faculty members. The gallery also does exhibition exchange programs with facilities in other states and countries. Gallery hours will resume after renovations are completed.
Lisa Sette Gallery210 East Catalina Drive
After decades in the downtown Scottsdale arts district, Lisa Sette Gallery moved in June 2014 to a semi-subterranean Al Beadle building in midtown Phoenix. Sette seeks out diverse artists "working on the leading edge of aesthetic, social, and conceptual investigation." She currently represents 42 established and emerging artists working in a wide variety of mediums, and presents several exhibitions featuring their works each season. The roster includes famed light artist James Turrell and William Wegman, best known to many for photographing his own Weimaraner dogs in various costumes and poses. Sette also represents several metro Phoenix favorites, including Rachel Bess, Angela Ellsworth, and Carrie Marill. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
Modified Arts407 East Roosevelt Street
Located in the Roosevelt Row arts district, Modified Arts was established by Kimber Lanning in 1999 as a visual and performance art space. Today, it's both an art gallery and office space for the nonprofit Local First Arizona, which Lanning founded. The gallery presents mostly local artists, but also national and international artists making contemporary art in a variety of mediums. Local First Arizona staff open the space Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery staff are on-site for First Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., for Third Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
The Sagrado Galleria6437 South Central Avenue
Established in south Phoenix in 2016, The Sagrado Galleria presents exhibitions featuring works in diverse mediums by Latino and indigenous artists, including renowned metro Phoenix artists such as Emily Costello, Lalo Cota, and Zarco Guerrero. The gallery also presents lectures, performances, and other programs designed to create economic development and foster youth development through the arts, even as it works to preserve and pass down ancestral knowledge and cultural identity. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday by appointment, as well as evening art openings and closings.
Step Gallery605 East Grant Street
Inside ASU's Grant Street Studios in Phoenix's warehouse district is Step Gallery, which opened in January 2014. The gallery presents solo and group exhibitions featuring works by ASU undergraduate and graduate students. Exhibitions rotate often, so it's a cool place to pop into on a regular basis for a taste of new works by emerging artists working in several mediums. While you're there, you can stroll halls lined with graduate student artist studios, often catching a glimpse of diverse works in progress. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. during the academic year. Opening receptions happen First and Third Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts700 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts, which includes 3,500 square feet of exhibit space, presents exhibitions that complement artworks with educational materials, artist demonstrations, and community events. The gallery frequently shows works by emerging and established Arizona artists working in diverse mediums, often organized around themes such as pop culture, identity, or water. Exhibits include opportunities to meet artists, watch artists work, and engage in related hands-on activities. The gallery also has an outdoor sculpture garden. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Summer hours vary.
Vision Gallery10 East Chicago Street, Chandler
Owned by the city of Chandler, Vision Gallery presents the works of more than 300 local and regional artists in rotating exhibitions. A percentage of artwork sales helps to fund free arts education workshops in which local artists work with local youth. The nonprofit gallery also has an exhibition space at Chandler Center for the Arts. Check out the main drag in downtown Chandler while you're there to explore a fun assortment of sculpture and other public art. Vision Gallery is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in April 2015.