5 Must-See First Friday Shows in Phoenix on January 2

Once you've done the whole ringing in the New Year thing, it'll be time to jump back on the First Friday horse to show your love for local artists is still going strong. Weather and hangovers be damned. Make the year's first First Friday one to remember.

Art 360: Nicole Royse at Arizona Science Center

If you don't mind ditching the kiddos for a spell, you can hit the Arizona Science Center for Adult's Night Out, which includes an ART360 exhibition of works by Nicole Royse. Royse selected 15 of her latest works and music to accompany them as they're projected with a creative twist onto the ceiling of the Dorrance Planetarium.

See also: Your Guide to IN FLUX Cycle 5 Public Art in Metro Phoenix

The planetarium exhibition, which runs about 15 minutes, will be shown at various times during the event (the final run starts at 8:30 p.m.).The artist will be giving a brief talk about her artwork and process after the final show, and will also have six works on display at the Arizona Science Center that evening.

Look for works that include her floral, layers, and abstract series. Other Arizona Science Center offerings for January's First Friday include local DJ Dragon Lee spinning tunes, a nifty lecture and a cash bar for those of you who might not have imbibed adequately on New Year's Eve. January Adults Night Out runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Find more information on the Arizona Science Center website.


"Les Femmes Fierce" at Practical Art

You'll want to take the kiddos along for this one, which features watercolor paintings and embroidery badges by Jennifer Campbell paying homage to the accomplishments of seven women. Some will be familiar to you. Think Nellie Bly, who traveled around the world in 72 days in 1889, and Amelia Earhart, first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Others have names you may not be familiar with. Think the first women to ride around the world on bicycle, swim the English Channel, travel to space, and more. After a year filled with news dominated by triumphs and tragedies involving women, this exhibition is well-timed. "Les Femmes Fierce: an exploration of female trailblazers" at Practical Art is a great launching point for conversations with the young women in your life about their own dreams and heroes. January First Friday includes a 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. reception with the artist. Find more information on the Practical Art website.

"Don Coen: The Migrant Series" at Phoenix Art Museum

This is the last First Friday you'll be able to see "The Migrant Series," which features 15 large scale portraits, at Phoenix Art Museum. Coen's acrylic and pencil on canvas works for this series were created with a low-pressure airbrush and "upwards of 60 layers of paint." The exhibit is one of seven currently on view. Others include "Vanitas" featuring works from the Stéphane Janssen collection.The museum is screening the film Make It In America: Empowering Global Fashion at 7 p.m. in Whiteman Hall, and serving up complimentary cookies and cider while they last. They're also providing a family-friendly "make your own paper dolls" activity so museum visitors can create a portrait inspired by "The Migrant Series" or design their own creative paper fashion inspired by the "Fashioned in America" exhibit. Get the scoop when you arrive on how you can use your paper doll to enter for the chance to win a free Phoenix Art Museum membership. First Friday free admission starts at 6 p.m. Find more information on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

"AZ/NM Connection" at Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center

Looks like Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center will be first out of the gate on celebrating First Friday in 2015. Their group art and music show dubbed "AZ/NM Connection" opens at 3 p.m. and includes not only artwork by more than two dozen Arizona and New Mexico artists, but also several performances, and vendors selling assorted fashion, jewelry, and other wares. First Friday festivities continue through 10 p.m. Find more information on Monique Mochacha Sanderson Mata's Facebook page.

"Past Forgetting" at R. Pela Contemporary Art

"Past Forgetting" at R. Pela Contemporary Art features photographic art by Hector Raul Primero and Bobby Neel Adams. Primero's work, which was inspired by the World War II photography of Jo Teeuwisse, conveys his passion for the rich history of Phoenix. By superimposing images of building that no longer exist with images of what now stands in their place, Primero creates "a then-and-now commentary on what's happening downtown." Featured Adams works are taken from three series. In his "Submerged" series, which is a contemporary take on 16th century Flemish painting and 19th century American mourning portraiture, dead animals are "gracefully arranged either underwater or surrounded by flora." Photographs from his "Memento Mori" series feature "brightly colored insects manipulated into striking kaleidoscopic patterns." Large-format photographs drawn from his "Close to the Ground" series feature "commercial airliners flying past and quite near to large buildings." January First Friday includes an artist reception starting at 6 p.m. Find more information on the R. Pela Contemporary Art website.

Bonus: More Art with a Phoenix Twist

If seeing Primero's work at R. Pela Contemporary Art inspires you to check out more new exhibitions that rock the Phoenix vibe, check out these options:

"Phoenix: Photography by Joseph Podlesnik" at Bokeh Gallery

Photographs of Phoenix buildings, landscapes, people, and more are featured in the "Phoenix" exhibition at Bokeh Gallery inside monOrchid, where you can also get a copy of Podlesnik's new 88-page book of photographs that shares the exhibition's name. The opening reception takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on January First Friday. Find more information on the Bokeh Gallery Facebook page.

Works by Michael Walchalk at Skyline Art Gallery

The exhibition features illustrations of the Phoenix downtown skyline and historic buildings including The Westward Ho -- as well as "bold vector illustrations of pop culture figures" including local athletes. January's First Friday exhibit at Skyline runs 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Find more information on the artist's website.

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