Visual Arts

5 Free Art Shows in Downtown Phoenix on Third Friday, August 21

Third Friday offerings are shaping up nicely this month, even as some galleries are in their final weeks of summer hiatus. A few of the new exhibitions merit excitement, but  August 21 is also a chance to get a final glimpse of a cool show that’s been up for a while at Grant Street Studios. Here’s your guide to must-see art on August's Third Friday.

“No Sense of Wonder”
The eighth solo exhibition for Tokyo-born and raised artist Takashi Hara is titled “No Sense of Wonder” and hits the main gallery at Eye Lounge on Third Friday this month. Hara focuses on the joy and sorrow of life, using pigs “as a narrative in his allegorical artwork to reflect on human society and its tendency to put ambition in a cage.” Hit the Eye Lounge project room while you’re there, where you’ll find Wil Munny’s only 2015 exhibition — described as a series of paintings “that represent the emotional place he was in at the time of these paintings.” Friday’s opening reception for both takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Eye Lounge website.

“New Order”
Sculptures by Tucson artist Joe Dal Pra, described by Modified Arts as “emotive yet playful,” are being featured in his solo exhibition opening Friday night. This is the first solo exhibition in nearly six years for the artist, who is on the art faculty at Pima Community College. His sculptures and installations feature ceramic and steel processes that allow “for both mechanized and humanized vintages to be presented with ease.” While you’re there, enjoy another solo exhibition titled “Fragments,” which features encaustic and painted works by Phoenix artist Sean Thomas, who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Friday’s opening reception for both takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the Modified Arts website.

“So Hot Right Now”
You’re running out of time to see the summer show at Step Gallery, which runs with the words “So Hot Right Now” — making them reference to both the sweltering heat and some things a tad more suggestive. Curated by ASU MFA candidate Courtney Richter, the national juried show includes works by 32 artists (16 women and 16 men). More than a dozen states, including Arizona, are represented. Local artists with works in the show include Josh Loeser of Mesa and nine artists from Tempe, including several familiar to folks who frequent the metro Phoenix art scene. Think Peter Bugg, Matthew Creech, Lisa Hoffner, and more. The closing reception takes place Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the ASU Events website.

“Of a Place”
Three local artists “respond to their place from distinct and varied methods” in the second trio of exhibitions presented in the Roosevelt A.R.T.S. Market shipping containers by Nic Wiesinger, who recently founded Rhetorical Galleries — which he dubs an exhibition “space without a place.” Artists Molly Koehn, William Legoullon, and Estrella Payton have created “unique statements of transplantation, environmental stewardship, and borders.” Payton created the base to a lookout tower that goes nowhere, Koehn is using eucalyptus leaves to explore the relationship of native to non-native species, and Legoullon is presenting a participatory experience involving clay pigeons used in skeet shooting. Friday’s opening reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Rhetorical Galleries website.

“Festivals Are Over”
Now that the summer music festival season is winding down, those eager to relive all those glorious festival moments can head to the Firehouse gallery, where 10 or so photographers are exhibiting their festival photographs. New Times contributor Jeff Moses, whose work is featured in the exhibit, curated the show — which also includes photographs taken by Joe Abbruscato, Devon Christopher Adams, Francisco Cordova, Troy Farah (also a New Times contributor), Ben Garcia, Rhondi Reardon, Jeff Schaer-Moses, Tony Ziemba, and New Times clubs editor Benjamin Leatherman. The opening reception takes place from 6  to 9 p.m. Find more information on the Firehouse Facebook page.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version to correct the spelling of Troy Farah's name.
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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