There was a lot to love in the local arts scene in May, as a new crop of exhibitions opened at both Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Several Arizona State University-trained artists showed impressive work at venues in the Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, and Warehouse District art hubs. But several of the best works showed up a bit off the beaten path.
Here's a look back at 10 of our favorite works spotted around the Valley in May.
One of two Esao Andrews murals painted for the "Flourish" exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, this piece reflects common influences in his work, including the grotesque, eroticism, and surrealism. Born and raised in Mesa, Esao now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Red label, or green label
For his solo exhibition titled "Buy One, Get One," Kazuma Sambe included several ceramic works that explore the focus in contemporary society on quantity rather than quality. The exhibition took place at Eye Lounge, where he also showed small vessels filled with desert succulents.
Adaptive Stacking Order
Christine Lee, an artist deeply committed to reuse and recycling in her art practice, created this piece using wooden scrims. They're placed to stay in order without glue, so Lee will be able to use the pieces for future art projects. This work is featured in the "Biomimicry: Nature Imitates Design" exhibition in The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts.
Ocean Light: Submergence
The installation created by an open group of collaborators called Squidsoup fills an entire gallery space at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The United Kingdom-based group includes Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Liam Birtles, Chris Bennewith, and Ollie Brown. The lights change color and design as gallerygoers move through them.
This pigmented inkjet print is one of many student works recently featured in the "2017 Annual Juried Art Student Show" at The MCC Gallery located at Mesa Community College. Works in this exhibition were selected by Patty Haberman, chief curator for Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Read on for more of May 2017's best art at Step Gallery, Grand ArtHaus, and The Hive.
For an exhibition called "It's a Process" at New City Studio that showed not only completed works, but also video and artifacts revealing the processes behind them, Chelsea Lyles created several pieces of fiber art that reflect complex forms and relationships present in nature.
For his solo "Cause and Effect" exhibition at ASU Step Gallery, sculpture John Tuomisto-Bell created several bronze and acrylic works inspired by his relationship with his own brother, using fraternal relationships as a metaphor for larger relationships on a global scale.
Using neon and etched acrylic, Laura Amphlett created a provocative piece that's especially relevant in today's political discourse centered around women's rights and women's bodies. Her work was part of the "Truth or Fiction" sculpture exhibition at Grand ArtHaus, featuring works by ASU students working in wood, metal, and other media.
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164K I and 164K II
These hauntingly beautiful works are part of Rigo Flores' exhibition of drawings and photographic works at The Hive, where he explored themes of migration and displacement. The exhibition is titled "#YaMeCanse2." These pieces were created using charcoal, gesso, and marble dust on paper.
One of many Jessica Joslin works exhibited at Lisa Sette Gallery, this delicate sculpture was created in 2017 with antique hardware and findings, including brass, silver, wood, cast plastic, glove leather, and glass eyes. It's part of an exhibition that continues through August 26.