Visual Arts

7 Best Art Works at Third Friday in Downtown Phoenix on June 19

Third Friday has always been more laid-back than its First Friday counterpart. But June’s crowds were a bit thinner than we’d expected, even given the mass exodus that tends to occur this time of year. For those who braved the heat, lines at local coffee joints were shorter, and parking spaces easier to snag. Happily, art offerings were plentiful. These were a few of our favorite finds.

Art with a Jolt
After serving a decade or so in the U.S. Navy, Brandon Montgomery has turned his attention back to art. He enlisted after earning a BFA in sculpture at ASU, and his current art practice also includes painting and photography. Montgomery’s first solo exhibition, now up at Treeo in Roosevelt Row, includes works made with 15,000 volts of electricity. But his sculptures are just as cool.

Bits of BrokeBot
We spotted bits of BrokeBot artwork, created by collaborators Carol Roque and Aldo Jeffrey, dotting the walls at Jobot Coffee. Their blend of realism with fantasy is just right for the coffee shop’s funky vibe. Over on Grand Avenue, we got to see new miniature portraiture by Roque, who was featured in the “Solstice” show at Frontal Lobe Gallery.

A Thin Red Line
Inside the main gallery space at Eye Lounge, Mimi Jardine was busy passing out sticks of gum, inviting people to chew a while then place their wad in her eager palm. But the Project Room, she’d created a thin red line of connected straws that curved to and fro like something out of the classic children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Wood Misfits
Next door, at MADE Art Boutique, we spied small works made with watercolor on recycled wood by Whole Grain Flair artist Lora Barnhiser. Her pop-up display included blocks bearing localist themes from desert plants to the state of Arizona, reminding us that the National Independents Week will soon be upon us.

The Early Bird
Like the early bird that gets the worm, people who headed to Modified Arts for Third Friday got a little something extra. In addition to showing works by Lisa Olson and Terrry Pisel, the gallery is exhibiting works by graphic designer and printmaker Jake Early, an artist whose serigraphs nail that sweet spot between vintage and modern flair.

A Row of Ribbons
Nowadays we can heap praise on anyone and everyone by clicking a "like" button. But back in the day, it was all about ribbons, medals, and trophies. Apparently, humans give a lot of different color ribbons to animals deemed worthy in various competitions, which somehow found their way into a standout piece by Morgan Gilbreath that’s part of the “So Hot Right Now” exhibit at ASU’s Step Gallery.

Dozens of Decks
Skateboard decks abound at Frontal Lobe Gallery, where works by women artists in the “She Deck” show feature all kinds of media, including paint, fake fur, and glitter. They generated plenty of conversation between gallery-goers, who loved some but not others. It's always a good thing when people get revved up while talking about art.

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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