Once the season of blooming cactus and spring breezes is behind us, it's time to trade the glorious outdoors for indoor experiences that offer the added bonus of air conditioning. Happily, metro Phoenix has all sorts of art spaces that fit the bill — including those offering this year's crop of must-see summer exhibitions.
This exhibition, which explores the human experience of crossing the border between Mexico and the United States, is a collaboration between photographer Richard Barnes, artist/curator Amanda Krugliak, and anthropologist Jason De León. More than 300 artifacts of border crossings, from backpacks to water bottles, form the heart of the exhibition — which originated at the University of Michigan. The exhibition also includes videos and images created on location along the Arizona border, which are designed to prompt reflection on the complexities of the objects that were found. The managing curator for ASU's presentation of the exhibition is ASU Art Museum curator Julio Morales.
"ARTillery: Contemporary Art Influenced by Weaponry"
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
Now through August 16
Recognizing the influential role firearms and weaponry have played in American culture, this exhibition explores the appearance and meaning of weapons in contemporary art. The exhibition includes works by more than 30 American artists, most based in California or New York, and one artist based in Norway. Most recognizable is the work of street artist Shepard Fairey, best-known for creating the Obama "Hope" poster. Most controversial may be a work by serial killer John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994). Two Arizona artists are also featured: Fred Tieken of Paradise Valley and Jackson Boelts of Tucson. Works range from a large revolver covered in glitter to a child's wagon converted into a military tank.
Works spanning the entire history of photographic processes are featured in this exhibition, which includes works by world-renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams, in addition to works by local artists including David Emitt Adams, Carol Panaro-Smith, and others. Several featured artists combine photography with other artistic processes including painting, drawing, sculpting and collage. In one case, a photographer used gun powder to create his one-of a kind image. Represented photographic techniques include daguerrotypes, tintypes, Polaroid prints, and several more. This exhibition was organized by The Center for Creative Photography and Phoenix Art Museum.
It's been nearly 50 years since artist William Copley (1919-1996) created something called SMS, intended as an acronym for "Shit Must Stop," which was a serialized publication of images and objects that gave artists a new creative space and viewers a new way of experiencing art. Only 2,000 or so of each edition were manufactured, and the series included exact loose-leaf facsimiles of works by many significant artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Sol Lewitt. SMoCA has organized a new exhibition around the six portfolios created for SMS — which include SMS, Issue 2, 1968, which is part of the museum's permanent collection. The exhibition lends insight into ways mid-20th century artists sought to bypass the vehicles of galleries and museums while reaching people with their work — addressing an issue that's just as relevant in today's arts and culture landscape.
Now through June 30
Works in diverse media by artists represented by Bentley Gallery are featured in this summer exhibition. Typically these artists work in media that include acrylic, cedar, oil, steel, stoneware, mixed media, and more. Featured artists for this exhibition include Jeremy Thomas, Charles Arnoldi, Denise Yaghmourian, Peter Millett, the Moulthrops, Robert Kelly, Ricardo Mazal, and Jill Moser. Steel sculptures by Thomas, which sometimes mirror shapes seen in fortune cookies, make for especially fun summertime viewing.
Juried exhibition featuring 86 pieces from 68 Arizona artists working in a broad range of media, including painting, ceramics, glass, wood, photography, fibers, and printmaking. Featured artists include Mariana Bartolomeo, Lexi Bowers, Tony Celentano, Bryan David Griffith, Karen Hymer, Jerry Jacobson, Lena Klett, Charles Kurre, Mary Meyer, Mark Peterman, Beth Shook, Rachel Srinivasan, Stephen Strom, Brianna Voron, and Danielle Wood.
Sette promises a summer exhibition comprising works by "a diverse range of artists working on the edge of aesthetic, social, and conceptual investigation." Featured works include Yao Lu's pigment print titled Landscape Part III - Dwelling in the Mount Fuchun, Xawery Wolski's Vestido Semillas III sculpture created with cast bronze pumpkin seeds, and Maximo Gonzalez's Curly Tree collage created with out-of-circulation currency.
"Birds of a Feather"
Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts
June 19 through September 19
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Local artists Jake Early, Vern E. Fetz, Edward Kennefick, Phil Lichtenhan, Farraday Newsome, Anne Peyton, Beth Shook, and Nathaniel Smalley are showing works in various media including ceramics, photography, mixed media, and many more during a summer exhibition celebrating birds that either make their home in Arizona or pass this way during migrations to other parts. The exhibition also includes works by Walter E. Bohl, Talmond Brown, Jack DeLap, Kojo Griffin, Ikki Matsumoto, Paul Pletka, and Wanxin Zhang. Related offerings include displays and presentations by exhibition collaborators including ASU Art Museum.
Artists from the Eye Lounge, a contemporary art space and artist collective in Roosevelt Row, bring their works to Shemer Art Center for a show Cherie Buck-Hutchison calls "a collaboration of Eye Lounge artists." Each artist was randomly paired with another artist in the group, and they'll all not only create one collaborative work but also show one of their own individual pieces. The artist pairs look like this: Cherie Buck-Hutchison and Keith Laber; Turner G. Davis and John Randall Nelson; Mimi Jardine and Merkel McLendon; Constance McBride and Ellen Bergstrom Nemetz; Chris Park and Abbey Messmer.