17 Art Shows You Should See in Phoenix This Week

Consider this month's First Friday the art equivalent of training wheels. In the next few weeks, two multi-day art happenings go down in metro Phoenix. A mural festival and block party dubbed Paint Phoenix happens March 3 to 5, and the annual Art Detour event takes place March 19 and 20. You'll need serious stamina to see everything in those lineups — and this month's First Friday, with well over a dozen new exhibits to explore, is a fun way to practice your art hopping skills. Start early on Friday, and prioritize exhibitions at the top of your list in case getting to all 17 of these shows proves too much for a single outing.   

The Hive Art Gallery presents works by Karlito Miller Espinosa (a.k.a. Mata Ruda), a muralist who recently moved to metro Phoenix from the East Coast. Espinosa’s work, which includes a migrant mother and child painted last year for a collaborative mural in the Grand Avenue district, reflects the intersection of art with activism and social justice. This exhibition features the artist’s most recent series of paintings exploring contemporary cultural identity. First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the gallery Facebook page.

“Arizona Through the Lens”
Drive-Thru Gallery presents photographs by Gerry Groeber, who specialized in the American Southwest and is known for his strong composition and ability to work with light. Groeber’s work has been featured in several prominent publications, including Arizona Highways. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the event Facebook page.

The Herberger Theater Art Gallery presents an exhibition curated by Candace Greenburg, which features works created by 22 Arizona artists using diverse media including clay, colored pencil, oil and acrylic paint, metal, wood, and more. During First Friday hours, which are 5:30 to 7 p.m., gallery-goers can also experience live music by Nick Heward and a no-host bar. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on First Friday, Herberger Theater Center presents an adult coloring party (think crayons) and happy hour on its outdoor patio, which is graced by dancing John Waddell sculptures. Find more information on the Herberger Theater Center website.

“Intersections of (-isms)”
VelNonArt presents an exhibition of works designed to prompts reflection and discussion about “social justice and consciousness.” Participating artists include Abe Zucca, Angel Castro/Halo Movement Collective, Brenda Edwards, Bruce Nelson, Colorology, Douglas J. Proce, Gabriela Castro, Geoff Gildner, Heather J. Kirk, Joe Montaño III, Kim Lyle, Lucretia Torva, Marilyn Szabo, Rembrandt Quiballo, Salvatore A. Leo (S.A.L.), Stan Howard, Susan Naomi Bernstein, Valyntina Grenier, and Wrara Plesoiu. Friday’s exhibition takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Live on Central, located 710 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. The evening also includes live musical performance by Samuel Singz. Find more information on the event Facebook page.

“Tres Cabrones”
First Studio presents works by Gennaro Garcia, Frank Ybarra, and Joe Ray – as well as guest artist Emily Costello. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the event Facebook page.

“Now Thanks”
ASU School of Art presents an MFA thesis exhibition by Katie Horvat, who explores the intersection of human desires and a world filled with images while conjuring thoughts about the ways images of perfection influence human expectations and experience. First Friday hours at ASU’s Step Gallery are 6 to 8 p.m. Find more information on the ASU Events website.

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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