7 Things to Do in Downtown Phoenix on First Friday, December 4

Need proof that the Phoenix arts scene is filled with diverse and intriguing offerings? You'll find plenty of evidence during December's First Friday art walk, which features artworks exploring urban decay, ice, gender identity, light, and celebrity. Here's a sampling of shows, including one that couples visual art with dance, you can experience on December 4.

"5 Earths"
Chartreuse presents a 25-year retrospective featuring works by Chip Thomas (a.k.a. jetsonorama) – an artist, activist, photographer, and physician who has worked for nearly three decades between Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon in the Navajo Nation. Thomas coordinates the Painted Desert Project, which has placed numerous murals by local and international artists throughout the western Navajo Nation. He’s also a member of the JustSeeds Artists’ Collective, which recently participated in painting an immigration-theme mural in the Grand Avenue arts district. The opening reception on First Friday, December 4, takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Chartreuse Facebook page.

"Place Out of Time" 
The Icehouse welcomes an exhibition featuring recent abstract and figurative works by Jayme Blue and Constance McBride, which will only be view during First Friday, December 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. Painter and mixed-media sculptor Blue will be showing works inspired by everyday objects seen in the city, created with found objects to “portray loss and urban decay.” McBride will be showing clay figures with fragmented parts inspired by her mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease that “reflect a metaphor for loss of power and are symbolic of being incomplete.” The artists, who note that the exhibition “is expected to be the final art exhibition mounted in these historic rooms,” will be on hand for the show. Find more information on McBride's Facebook page.

"Tiny Works/Tiny Dances"
{9} The Gallery and Artelshow present a salon-style exhibition of small works (less than 12-inches by 12-inches) by more than 70 emerging and mid-career artists working in encaustic, oil, photography, sculpture, collage, drawing, and other media. During the opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 4, CONDER/dance is presenting four Tiny Dances performed by Elisa Marie Cavallero, Liliana Gomez, Amber Robins, and Nicole L. Olson on a 4-foot by 4-foot stage. Dance performances start at 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 p.m. Find more information on the exhibition Facebook page.

"Clean: Connectivity Issues"
ASU School of Art presents an intermedia exhibition by Chequamegon Bollinger at Step Gallery. The exhibition features drawing, collage, sculpture, video, installation, and performance art meant to "explore issues surrounding gender identity, sexuality, class, power, and technology." The opening reception on Friday, December 4, takes places from 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the ASU Events website

Denise Fleish of Lotus Contemporary Art presents an ice-theme exhibition juried by Travis Fields, which includes works in diverse media by artists A O Tucker, Geoff Gildner, Ann Osgood, Kerry Mitchell, Marco Farella, Michael Afsa, Brian J. Klein, Rachelle Olsen-Veal, Rembrandt Quiballo, Onna Voellmer, Dawn O'Doul, Valerie Hunt, Shannon Yousso, and Heather Kirk. The opening reception of First Friday, December 4, takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the exhibition Facebook page.

Shade Projects at monOrchid presents a group exhibition exploring celebrities “and how they are perceived in society.” The exhibition features Babe & Butter, DadSocks, Jeanna Delfin, Jesse Perry, Jon Wassom, and Larry Willis using various media to prompt consideration of “how we associate celebrity with glitz, glamour and the diverse creative worlds of television, film, fashion, and art.” The opening reception on First Friday, December 4, takes place from to 6 to 10 p.m. While you’re there, you can check out “Discovering Arizona” featuring photographs by Jim Bochenek in the Bokeh Gallery at monOrchid. Find more information on the monOrchid website.

Alwun House presents its annual light-theme exhibition, which features conceptual and functional works by more than 25 artists working with neon, LED lights, video, mixed media, and more. Featured artists include Holly Anderson, Tato Caraveo, Valerie Hunt, Steve Gompf, Mike Little, Kyllan Maney, Brandon Sullivan, and many more – including ASU’s neon art club. Free exhibition hours on First Friday, December 4, are noon to 6 p.m. The exhibition opening, which includes performance by the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, begins at 7 p.m. Tickets for the opening are $13 ($9 in advance). Find more information on the Alwun House Facebook page.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which included "Triumvirate," a show that opens Third Friday.
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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