7 Must-See First Friday Shows in Phoenix on April 3

April's First Friday has plenty to offer -- including vintage film posters, princess glam photography, and street art by metro Phoenix muralists. Take advantage of weather that's merely warm rather than blistering to explore a new film offering, celebrate the life of a local arts activist, and consider issues related to gender identity.

See also: Kristin Bauer on Using Text, Psychology, and Silent Films as Inspiration

"Sparkle Baby"

ASU student Samantha Lyn Aasen shares her ambivalence towards the princess industrial complex in her "Sparkle Baby" thesis exhibition that runs from April 2 to 11 inside the Step Gallery at ASU's Grant Street Studios. The exhibition considers "cultural ambivalence towards women's and girls' sexuality" while exploring gender, sexuality, and pop culture. Friday's open reception takes place 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the ASU events website.

8 Counts

Local filmmaker Perry Allen, film program coordinator for the Phoenix Art Museum, presents his new short film 8 counts from dreams I've collected Friday night at Nanogram Studio's Flatlot, a pop-up art space located at 813 North First Street. Allen describes the work as a "short dream film combining highly composed video tableaux, text, animated lines and blocks, and a moment of infinite running through the night streets of Phoenix." The film starts looping at 7 p.m. and continues until 10 or so. It's being accompanied by a live performance by local violist Allyson Wuenschel. Find more information on Perry Allen's website.

"Equal Parts"

Local artists Amanda Adkins and Ashley Macias curate this show at Frontal Lobe Community Space and Gallery, where works by 22 artists explore "how we relate or separate ourselves and what makes us different beyond sexuality and gender." Participating artists include Yai, Kristin Bauer, Daniel Funkhouser, and many more.The curators note that artists were asked to consider differences between genders "while considering their personal feelings with or without a political response" -- and invited to share

artwork capturing their own views on "both sexism and gender equality." Friday's opening reception takes place 6 to 11 p.m. Find more information on the Frontal Lobe Facebook page.

"Cult Movie Posters"

FilmBar presents a fun assortment of cult movie posters for flicks such as Gone with the Pope this Friday. You can also treat yourself to some film time, tamales made by Azteca Bakery, and craft beers. While you're there, check out new murals painted on the north exterior wall during Paint PHX 2015. Friday's poster show opens at 7 p.m. Find more information on the FilmBar website.

"Street Art Phoenix"

Nine Phoenix artists known for sharing the mural love are exhibiting new paintings on wood panels and canvas this month at the Shade Gallery inside monOrchid, an art space already graced by several murals on its own exterior walks. Featured artists include Andy Brown, Tato Caraveo, Lalo Cota, Thomas Breeze Marcus, Douglas Miles, Jeff Slim, JB Snyder, and father-and-son team Champ and Such Styles. Curator Nicole Royse notes that each artist will have a wall spotlighting his work. Friday's opening reception with artists takes place 6 to 10 p.m. A dance performance called 40 Love Letters is being performed by Grace Gallagher at 7 and 9 p.m. Find more information on the monOrchid website.


See collagraphs and monotypes by Sarah Kriehn exhibited with oil and mixed media works by Kathy Taylor in this exhibition at {9} The Gallery, curated by Laura Dragon and Lauren Lee, who note that the artists create "physical snapshots of change and evolution" through works inspired by nature. Friday's opening reception takes place 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the {9} The Gallery website.

"Buffalo Girl"

It's all about honoring the life and legacy of the late Jane Reddin, as Practical Art presents a group memorial show with 18 works honoring its founder. Featured artists include Christine Cassano, Randy Efros, Mayme Kratz, Lara Plecas, Joe Ray, Mary Shindell, Joe Willie Smith, Kate Timmerman, Denise Yaghmourian, and Frank Ybarra. Smith will be playing one of his funky musical found object instruments during Friday's reception for "Buffalo Girl: Celebrating Jane Reddin" taking place 7 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the Practical Art website.

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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