Good things tend to happen on the metro Phoenix arts scene this time of year, as the Valley gets an influx of visitors, locals celebrate the onset of spring, and art students mount exhibitions highlighting their best works. Ten of our favorites works shown in April came from exhibitions in several cities — including Phoenix, Gilbert, Tempe, and Mesa. And the artists who made them work in a wide variety of media, including charcoal, wire, painting, and photography. Check out a sampling of some of the best pieces we spotted in April.
The Cuban Soup Homage Warhol Series
Alfredo Manzo Cedeño
One of two artists we spotted this month whose work references Andy Warhol's iconic 32-piece Campbell's Soup Cans series, Cedeño's work explores important aspects of Cuban culture. It's part of "Hat Tip: A Tribute to Arts Philanthropy" at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Bottled Rocket #5, Bottled Rocket #1, and Bottled Rocket #2
When photographer Susan Burnstine juried selections for this year's "Light Sensitive" exhibition at Art Intersection, works by Ryan Zoghlin made the cut. They're photographs created with an alternative process called Silvertone, and each depicts a rocket being launched into space.
Scottsdale Community College art student Gloria Langer created a colorful mash-up of social media with her own pop art take on an iconic trio of monkeys warning against seeing, speaking, and hearing evil — which is part of the 11th-annual "Best of Artists" on-campus exhibition.
Mutual Possession of Ten Worlds
For her ASU School of Art thesis exhibition, Swapna Das created three series of drawings using charcoal in grayscale and sanguine, which were exhibited at Harry Wood Gallery on ASU's Tempe campus. They're all rooted in her research about the Buddhist concept of 10 life states experienced by everyone, including hunger, anger, rapture, and realization.
Turner G. Davis
With Adversaries, one of several works featured in Turner G. Davis' final exhibition as a member of the Eye Lounge artist collective in Roosevelt Row, Davis gives issues of historical and contemporary significance the mixed-media treatment — using a style that elevates both comic and deadly serious aspects of human nature.
Playas de Tijuana
This photograph, which is part of the "Up Against the Wall" exhibition at Treeo in Roosevelt Row, was taken by Flo Razowsky along the U.S./Mexican border. It's part of a series of works exploring the physical evolution of borders imposed by nation-states in various regions of the globe.
This year's Arizona Artist Guild Scholarship Exhibition at Shemer Art Center includes this, and several additional works, by Jace Becker. This Mordancage film negative is one of several in a series that bring a ghostly presence to the natural world.
This photograph, featured in Parra's "Vivarium" exhibition at ASU's Northlight Gallery, is one of many exploring the role of agriculture in sustaining the masses. Each photograph features an edible, medicinal, and psychoactive plant native to metro Phoenix.
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Deborah Sperver often uses spools of thread in her works, creating subjects that get reveled to viewers once they look through the mounted clearn acrylic sphere that remove the distortion from the image. This iteration, made with 701 spools of thread, was on view in a small space off the main gallery at Bentley Gallery.
Recently, Lisa Sette Gallery presented an exhibition of works by Polish-Mexican artist and sculptor Xawery Wolski, whose suspended globes were created with wire. The artist often works with terracotta, using glazes that give his works the appearance of platinum, gold, or other materials.