5 Must-See First Friday Shows in Phoenix on July 4

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First Friday heats up tomorrow with creative works going up all over the city. This month, Phoenix's favorite art-filled evening falls on the Fourth of July. Artlink's First Friday Trolley Tour will be taking a brief hiatus for the holiday weekend, but don't let that deter you. Most galleries and art spaces will still be open.

Here are our picks for shows you will not want to miss this Friday.

Halt Gallery Summer Shows

Halt Gallery has two big shows up this month: Laura Spalding Best's "7th Street to 7th Avenue" at Hot Box Gallery and Elysia Holland Michaelsen's "Replan Your Work, Rework Your Plan" in the project room at Eye Lounge. We've talked before about how well these exhibitions are suited to their respective locations.

See also: Roosevelt Row Wins National ArtPlace Grant to Fund New Artist Spaces in Downtown Phoenix

What we haven't mentioned yet is that the artwork itself is to-die-for. Both Best and Michaelsen know how to bring out the little details in an artwork. Michaelsen's tiny sculptural pieces are full of texture and depth. And in Best's series of streetscape paintings, you can pick out the changing color of the sunset reflecting off of the light poles. This Friday's closing receptions for each show will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or check out haltgallery.com.

"Future Shock"

This group exhibition at Frontal Lobe Gallery has one of the best artist line-ups we have seen in a while. "Future Shock" features artwork from Tato Caraveo, JB Snyder, Joshua Rhodes, Oscar Chavez, KC MacGregor, Ishmale Dueñas, and Scott Biersack. Admittedly, we're going into this one a little blind, but we have high expectations. The opening reception will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. The show runs through August 15. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or check out Frontal Lobe.

"Look, Ma! No Rectangles!"

Samuel Dahl's latest solo exhibition at Five15 Gallery is pretty outside-the-box. Dahl moved to Arizona in 2010 after receiving his MFA in painting from UT Austin. He says he is moved by the desert of Arizona, where he can explore new forms and subtle palettes. "Look, Ma! No Rectangles!" is a showcase of the artist's latest work. The opening reception runs from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, check out samueldahl.com.

"Dry: A Summer Art Event"

R. Pela Contemporary Art invites locals to ponder desert life this month with "Dry: A Summer Art Event." The exhibition includes artwork from Fernando Pinal, Cindy Schnackel, Diane Sanborn, Catherine Slye, Brenda Edwards, Cory Slawson, Edward Kennefick, Lisa Albinger, Ben Peck, and Hector Raul Primero. Check out the visual component of the show this Friday, and then come back on Third Friday for a special storytelling series featuring an array of local talent. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or rpelagallery.com.

"Independents' Week"

In celebration of locally owned businesses, Modified Arts presents "Independents' Week." This group exhibition explores Phoenix's shift from a small town to the fifth largest city in America. Each artist takes a different look at how Phoenix has established and continues to expand upon its unique identity. "Independents' Week" features the work of Jeremy Rowe, Douglas Towne, Jon Arvizu of Trapdoor Studio, James Angel, and Arizona Contractor & Community Magazine. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

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