Here Are the Best Works of Art We Saw in May

Work by Mesa-born Esao Andrews featured in "Flourish" at Mesa Comtemporary Arts Museum.
Work by Mesa-born Esao Andrews featured in "Flourish" at Mesa Comtemporary Arts Museum. Lynn Trimble
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.

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Works by Kazuma Sambe, who explored quantity versus quality at Eye Lounge.
Lynn Trimble
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.

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Work by Christine Lee exhibited at The Gallery at TCA.
Christine Lee/Photo by Lynn Trimble
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.

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Squidsoup installation at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Lynn Trimble
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.

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Work by Adella Helton exhibited at the MCC Art Gallery at Mesa Community College.
Lynn Trimble
Liquid Poetry
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.
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Work by Chelsea Lyles exhibited at New City Studio.
Lynn Trimble
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.

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Work by John Tuomisto-Bell exhibited at Step Gallery.
Lynn Trimble
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.

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Work by Laura Amphlett exhibited at Grand ArtHaus.
Lynn Trimble
Loose Lips
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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Work by Rigo Flores exhibited at The Hive art gallery.
Lynn Trimble
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.

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Work by Jessica Joslin exhibited at Lisa Sette Gallery.
Lynn Trimble
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.
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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