Here’s a look at fresh art news around metro Phoenix, from new dates for popular musicals at ASU Gammage in Tempe to FilmBar’s plans after it closes its indie movie house in Roosevelt Row.
New Broadway Season
ASU Gammage has announced the lineup for its 2021-22 season, which is scheduled to launch with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! in August 2021 and conclude with Come From Away in June 2022. The list also includes Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, The Band’s Visit, Tootsie, and Hadestown — plus the musical Hamilton, which is set to run from September 8 to October 3.
Modernist Art Exhibit
The Heard Museum will open a new exhibit titled “Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight” on February 5. The exhibit highlights ways the artist was “influenced by American Indian culture in his native Oklahoma” and later became “a founding icon of midcentury and modern art and design.” The exhibit continues through May 31, and is included with museum admission.
Arts and Culture Awards
The City of Tempe is accepting nominations for awards that will honor Tempe residents who have made significant contributions to the city’s arts and culture — including visual and performing artists. The city also seeks nominations in additional areas, such as cultural events, work and volunteerism in the creative sector, and activities focused on the city’s history, heritage, and culture.
New Resident Artists
A creative incubator called [nueBOX] has selected its first resident artists for 2021, who will each receive mentorship, access to free studio space, support for making new works, and a $250 stipend. Selected artists include Lawrence Fung/Kraken Still and Film, Zarina Mendoza, Ruby Morales, and Ty Muhammad. These artists will present work-in-progress showings for the public this year.
Outdoor Art Classes
Phoenix Center for the Arts will add outdoor options to its lineup of art classes and workshops beginning in February. Expect drawing, painting, and photography offerings taught in outside settings by professionals working in these fields. Remote locations will include Desert Botanical Garden. The cost starts at $45 and varies for each class.
Arizona Commission on the Arts is helping artists and other creators connect through a new series called 2021 Already: Dialogue/Exchange Sessions, which will explore needs facing artists during the COVID-19 pandemic and resources to assist them in navigating challenges such as isolation and loss of income. Participation is limited to 40 people per session.
FilmBar Closing Downtown Space
FilmBar is closing its indie movie space at 815 North Second Street in the Roosevelt Row arts district after the end of February, and plans to screen films in alternative settings moving forward — including outdoor spaces at The Pemberton and Phoenix Art Museum. FilmBar will also offer online screenings.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will open a new exhibition titled “Division of Labor: Women Shifting a Transnational Gaze” on February 20. The exhibit was curated by Arizona-based artists Gabriela Muñoz and M. Jenea Sanchez, in conjunction with Jennifer McCabe and Keshia Turley at the museum. Look for works by 10 artists revealing diverse Latinx explorations of labor, feminism, identity, and more. It’s free with admission, and runs through August 22.
Indie Lens Films
Project Humanities at ASU is partnering with PBS Indie Lens Pop-Up to present four feature documentaries addressing topics at the heart of contemporary culture — including sexual harassment, surveillance culture, civil rights, and more. Screenings will include conversations with experts in related fields.
Black History Matters Billboard
The anti-Trump Don the Con billboard created by California artist Karen Fiorito was deinstalled on January 27, and replaced with a new design featuring a Black History Matters theme. It’s the latest work to grace the Grand Avenue Billboard Project spearheaded by artist and historic preservation advocate Beatrice Moore. The new billboard was designed by Gizette Knight and James D'Angelico.
New Film School
ASU recently named its film school after the first Black man to receive an Academy Award for best actor. The Sidney Poitier New American Film School will operate out of three locations in 2022, including ASU Tempe, a new ASU site being built near Mesa Arts Center, and a Los Angeles site inside the historic Herald Examiner building in Los Angeles.
New Artist Opportunities
Several opportunities for Arizona artists have been announced recently, from grants for “We Are One” art projects to commissions for artworks to be installed at a business park in the West Valley. Interested artists can find details on the Arizona Commission for the Arts website.
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