Best Phoenix Art December 2017: Saskia Jorda, Jake Early, Rossitza Todorova | Phoenix New Times

Here's the Best Art We Saw in Metro Phoenix in December 2017

Capping off a pretty stellar year for art in Phoenix.
Cacerolazo by Saskia Jorda.
Cacerolazo by Saskia Jorda. Saskia Jorda/Photo by Lynn Trimble
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The best art we spotted in December ranged from a small tarot card-size drawing to an installation featuring more than 100 pots and pans. One artist created work inspired by her father’s recent death, and another made art infused with Venezuelan culture. Here’s a look back at the best works of art we saw during December 2017.

Inspired by her family’s Venezuelan roots, Scottsdale artist Saskia Jorda created an installation for a Phoenix Art Museum pop-up space at CityScape. The title references a tradition of banging on pots and pans as a form of protest. The exhibition continues through Sunday, January 7, 2018.

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Bunny Ears Prickly Pear (detail) by Jake Early.
Jake Early/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Bunny Ears Prickly Pear
One of several works featured in Jake Early’s “Printed Desert” exhibition, which filled nearly an entire wall at Practical Art for the month of December, this piece reveals Early’s gift for imbuing everyday sightings with warmth and charm. The exhibition runs through Sunday, December 31.

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Work by the Fortoul Brothers at Shortcut Gallery.
Fortoul Brothers/Photo by Lynn Trimble
One of many small drawings in the Fortoul Brothers’ “Total Eclipse” series shown at Shortcut Gallery, this piece depicts a woman using what Gabriel Fortoul calls “the power of sound/speech to make change amongst the turbulent waters.” In doing so, he says, she restores “the balance of energies above the pyramid.”

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Windows by Aileen Frick.
Aileen Frick/Photo by Lynn Trimble
For a December exhibition called “Man + Man,” Aileen Frick showed several works exploring “peoples’ relationships with themselves and each other,” according to Found:RE Phoenix exhibition materials. The show includes several depictions of the Phoenix art scene, including this image capturing a familiar view of historic Grand Avenue.

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Luster 29 by Mary Meyer.
Mary Meyer/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Luster 29
This new piece by Mary Meyer was created using cast aluminum, wood, graphite, and sewing needle. It was one of several works featured in her solo exhibition in a gallery space at London Gold in Scottsdale. This year, Meyer’s work has also been shown at Phoenix Art Museum.

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Black Cloud (detail) by Carlos Amorales.
Carlos Amorales/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Black Cloud
Phoenix Art Museum brought back an installation by Carlos Amorales that comprises 25,000 black paper moths and butterflies based on 30 actual species. Amorales was inspired by a visit with his ailing grandmother, as well as the annual monarch butterfly migrations, according to museum materials. It’s on view through November 4, 2018.

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Losing Our Shirt by Ann Morton.
Ann Morton/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Losing Our Shirt
The “Blur” exhibition curated by Ted Decker of Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art for the Art Gallery at Mesa Community College includes this work by fiber artist Ann Morton, who hand-cut a found food worker’s shirt to create this 2009 piece. It’s part of her “Collective Cover” project, in which objects prompt reflection on their “origin, human connections and history.” The show is up through Friday, February 2, 2018.

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One of many geometric forms in Rossitza Todorova's Eye Lounge exhibition.
Rozzitza Todorova/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Rossitza Todorova coupled this geometric form with video for her “Distance is Measured in Time” exhibition at Eye Lounge, which grew out of the artist’s experience of her father’s recent death. The show includes pieces she describes as “simplified geometric sculptures that stand in for the fragility of grieving.” When the video isn't running behind this suspended form (as shown here), the viewer sees compelling shifts in light streaming through a round gallery window. The exhibition continues through Sunday, January 14, 2018.

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Precious/Unprecious by Karen Hunter McLaughlin
Karen Hunter McLaughlin/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Recently, Modified Arts put out a call for works created with a particular size postal box, and received an impressive array of works that show artists using simple boxes in myriad creative ways. Karen Hunter McLaughlin used rust and several postal box panels to create this monoprint. The “Flat Rate Box” exhibition runs through Friday, January 5, 2018.

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Work by Veronica Aponte at Step Gallery.
Veronica Aponte/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Guaicaipuro's Obelisk/Pendulum
For her ASU Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition at Step Gallery, intermedia artist Veronica Aponte explored the historical and cultural landscape of her native Venezuela. “Caracas, Tierre de Nadie” (or “Caracas, No One’s Land”) included the form of a monument, turned upside down and suspended from a chain, prompting reflection on the turbulent societal shifts wrought by inside and outside forces.

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