7 First Friday Art Shows to See in Downtown Phoenix on July 3

There's happy news this month, as galleries, museums, and other art spaces continue to offer an intriguing mix of exhibitions even as people are popping in and out of town for summer vacations. Take solace if you're among those who couldn't get away for the long holiday weekend. You'll be around for some cool art exhibits, including these seven that look especially interesting.

"So Hot Right Now”
Instead of traipsing around to different heat theme exhibits as in years past, you can find a diverse assortment of artistic riffs on heat at Arizona State University’s Step Gallery – where ASU MFA candidate Courtney Richter has curated a show that considers the meaning of “heat” way beyond its ties to temperature. The exhibition, which features works by 31 artists, explores the search for relief from summer heat – but also climate change, food, sexuality, and the concept of celebrity. Viewers will see a fun mix of sincerity, irony, melancholy, and kitsch. But alas, the pitcher of iced tea is an art object. Don’t even think about touching that straw. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the ASU Events page.

"Flora & Fauna"
{9} The Gallery presents a solo exhibition of 12 Brenda Edwards works inspired by flora and fauna, a painterly alternative to all those pictures of blooming cactus people have been sharing on Instagram for several weeks now. The photos are all good and fine, but seeing different takes on the desert landscape is always a good thing. And plant paintings don't need watering, which makes us appreciate them all the more. First Friday's opening reception takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. Find more information on the {9} The Gallery Facebook page.

“Power of Five”
Ten members of Five15 Arts are morphing into curator mode for a show called “Power of Five,” which opens on First Friday this month. Members Henry Bellavia, Sam Dahl, Deborah Hodder, Anne Howey-Falvey, Marlys Kubicek, Hallie Mueller, Mary Shindell, Michelle Terry-Helmick, Joan Thompson, and Wendy Willis each chose five artists for this show – which includes more than 70 12” x 12” works including ceramics, glass, printmaking, painting, found object art, sculpture, photography, and mixed media work. Exhibiting artists include Scott Cerasano, Jimmy Fike, Christopher Jagmin, Monica Aisaa Martinez, and Rossitza Todorova. Members are exhibiting two works each, adding to the ‘variety is the spice of life’ feel of this show. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Five15 Arts Facebook page.

Jeff Slim Series
Recent Big Brain Award winner Jeff Slim has been plenty busy lately — painting part of a collaborative mural on the north-facing exterior wall of Palabra, and showing works in several spaces including monOrchid and First Studio. Now he's hanging about a half dozen large-scale works, including at least four new pieces, at FilmBar. They're part of a series created in collaboration with Ryan Dennison, the local installation artist and musician who founded a small DIY record label called Deadrezkids. Works in the series reflect Dennison performances undertaken wearing scarf over his head. While you're checking out the work, you can linger over wine or beer at the FilmBar bar, or take in one of several films they're showing on Friday — when they're hours run all the way from noon Friday to 2 a.m. the next morning. Find more information on the FilmBar website.


If Friday's closing reception for "She-Deck" is anything like it's opening reception during June's Third Friday, the Frontal Lobe Gallery at Bragg's Pie Factory will be filled with energetic gallery-goers swapping explanations of why they love or don't love particular pieces in the show. "She-Deck" includes dozens of skateboard decks given the one-of-a-kind treatment by local artists, all women. Some made decks reflecting their characteristic style, while others took the opportunity to make something far outside their normal repertoire. Look for pineapples when you're there, and you'll see what we mean. You can enjoy a second exhibition called "Solstice" while you're there. If you're in the mood for a fun summer art romp, make sure you hit the gallery during First Friday hours, which are 6 to 10 p.m. for this show. Find more information on the {9} The Gallery website, as {9} owner Laura Dragon organized the show. 

“Turn Them Into Trees”
This month’s solo exhibition at Practical Art features works by Shannon Youso, who took inspiration in the words of spiritual guru-type Ram Dass, who noticed that people approach the differences between trees with appreciation even as they approach differences between humans with judgement. Calling on time spent with people facing mental illness, homelessness, or poverty, Youso created eight 14" x 20" watercolor and pencil works that bring a whimsical face to the internal struggle everyone faces. The works are meant to inspire compassion and appreciation as well as self-acceptance. First Friday's opening reception takes place from 7 to 9 p.m.. Find more information on the Practical Art website.

“The UnSeen”
July offerings at monOrchid include this solo exhibition of works by Tiera Allen, described by curator Nicole Royse as a “young emerging artist.” Allen captures the natural world through photography, creating images she says result mostly from the chemical reactions of the subject and photo paper or “based off a process that creates a result you can’t see naturally.” Allen’s work is being shown in the Bokeh Gallery, but gallery-goers can also pop next door to see a solo exhibition featuring works by Ryan Carey in Shade Gallery, who has an unusual painting process. Allen is attending the opening reception for “The UnSeen,” which takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday. Find more information on the monOrchid Facebook page.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.