Visual Arts

Becky Bartkowski Reviews "Creature-Man-Nature" at Mesa Contemporary Arts in This Week's New Times

Mary Shindell, Carolyn Lavender, and Monica Aissa Martinez are no strangers to working together.

The three Phoenix-based visual artists work in a variety of media, but with similar scientific and obsessive attention to detail. Shindell, Lavender, and Martinez have showcased their work around the Valley, including Modified Arts in downtown Phoenix, and their work is now on view at Mesa Contemporary Arts.

In this week's issue of New Times, NIght & Day editor and Jackalope Ranch contributor Becky Bartkowski takes an equally detailed look at the exhibition.

See also: - Modified Arts' "What Goes On and What Takes Place" Puts Process Before Product - Monica Aissa Martinez in Jackalope Ranch's 100 Creatives - Mary Shindell's Dynamic Dual Studios

Bartkowski writes:

In 2011, the group showed together in "What Goes On and What Takes Place" at Modified Arts. That show highlighted their not always riveting processes of creating the art that ended up on display. This time around, they've relegated recording the creative process to an ongoing blog, Formal and Informal ( There you'll find documentation of the artists visiting each other's studios, discussing the show conceptually, and chronicling how the exhibition came together.

But your time would be better spent in the gallery -- even though it's so crammed with art that it's tough to navigate. Because each artist has such a strong point of view and so much work to show, "Creature-Man-Nature" would have worked better broken into thirds. Still, all of its elements are worth investigating.

"Creature-Man-Nature" is on view at Mesa Contemporary Arts, 1 E. Main St., through April 28. For more information, visit or call 480-644-6560.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton