Visual Arts

Here's the Best Art We Saw In Metro Phoenix During March 2017

Let Them Eat Snake by Roy Wasson Valle.
Let Them Eat Snake by Roy Wasson Valle. Roy Wasson Valle/Photo by Lynn Trimble
We spotted most of March's best artworks in and around downtown Phoenix, although there was good art to be had around the rest of the Valley, too. Artists delivered intriguing works in diverse media, using traditional materials such as wood and fabric, but also less common ones such as handcuffs and seed pods. Several artists addressed social justice issues, from transgender rights to mass incarceration. And all added a little something extra to the Valley's evolving arts scene. Here's a look back at 10 of our favorites.

Let Them Eat Snake
Roy Wasson Valle put a new spin on the familiar expression "let them eat cake" — leaving viewers to wonder about the snake, a creature rich in diverse symbolism within various cultures, atop his meticulously iced confectionery sculpture. Created with Yarnell Red Oak, polymer clay, epoxy, and paint, this piece was featured in a recent exhibition at Grant Street Studios.

click to enlarge Transparency (detail) by Hailey Tang. - HAILEY TANG/PHOTO BY LYNN TRIMBLE
Transparency (detail) by Hailey Tang.
Hailey Tang/Photo by Lynn Trimble
These digitally-manipulated portraits of gender-bending individuals were created by Hailey Tang, a member of an ASU artist book coalition called A-Buncha-Book-Artists (or ABBA, for short). Recently, they were featured in an exhibition of artist books at Burton Barr Central Library.

click to enlarge Trois Temps 16 by Pascal Pierme. - PASCAL PIERME/PHOTO BY LYNN TRIMBLE
Trois Temps 16 by Pascal Pierme.
Pascal Pierme/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Trois Temps 16
One of many mixed-media works included in the recent Pascal Pierme solo exhibition "Verve" at Calvin Charles Gallery, this piece reflects the artist's focus on lightness, simplicity, and color. For this exhibition, he combined architecture, landscape, nature, and sensuality — hoping to inspire the sort of unexpected delight that comes from finding an intriguing mix of disparate objects at a garage sale.

click to enlarge Untitled works by Mel Roman. - MEL ROMAN/PHOTO BY LYNN TRIMBLE
Untitled works by Mel Roman.
Mel Roman/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Careful observers may have spotted these works while exploring Modified Arts' "Unity Through States of Being" exhibition. They're two of four pieces Modified showed by renowned artist, activist, and psychologist Mel Roman, who died in 2002 at his Scottsdale home. Last year, his work was featured in "Mel Roman: Coming Out Under Fire" at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

click to enlarge As I Cannot Write by Shannon Ludington. - SHANNON LUDINGTON/PHOTO BY LYNN TRIMBLE
As I Cannot Write by Shannon Ludington.
Shannon Ludington/Photo by Lynn Trimble
As I Cannot Write
Shannon Ludington created this silk embroidery on hand-woven linen work during 2016 durational performances tied to the "Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta" at ASU Art Museum. It recreates a sampler created by a 19th century woman, who used embroidery to recount her rape. Most recently, this Ludington piece was featured in "New Art Arizona" at Shemer Art Center.

Read on for the best works we saw at Lisa Sette Gallery, Bentley Gallery, and The Hive.
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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