Best of Phoenix

Best of Phoenix 2017: The Artists and Galleries You Need to Know

Community altar at The Sagrado Galleria.
Community altar at The Sagrado Galleria. Lynn Trimble
Phoenix New Times' Best of Phoenix 2017 is out now. Here's our list of the best art, galleries, and artists the Valley has to offer.

Best Art Gallery:
Lisa Sette Gallery
The closest you'll get to having a Lisa Sette-caliber eye is probably walking around the Valley art tastemaker's gallery. If you're lucky, perhaps you have pockets deep enough to purchase a piece from her stellar stable of artists. Assuming you're not ready to drop all the dollar bills on politically charged sculptures, paintings, and mixed media, you'll just have to settle for soaking up work by Carrie Marill, Angela Ellsworth, and Rachel Bess in a beautifully revamped subterranean Al Beadle building.

click to enlarge Community altar at The Sagrado Galleria. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Community altar at The Sagrado Galleria.
Lynn Trimble
Best Up-and-Coming Art Gallery: The Sagrado Galleria
The Sagrado Galleria first opened in 2012 in the Grand Avenue Arts District. But it closed for a time, and reopened in November 2016 at its new south Phoenix location. During its first year in the new space, the gallery presented works by dozens of local artists. But it's more than just an arts venue. The Sagrado Galleria is a place where visitors from diverse backgrounds enjoy visual art, music, workshops on topics such as ancestral birthing practices and colonization, film screenings, and performances.

click to enlarge See works by artists including Emily Ritter at Step Gallery. - EMILY RITTER/PHOTO BY LYNN TRIMBLE
See works by artists including Emily Ritter at Step Gallery.
Emily RItter/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Best Student Gallery: Step Gallery
The easiest way to check in on Arizona State University's mega-talented art students? Visit Grant Street Studios in the warehouse district south of downtown Phoenix. The former textile factory is home to master's candidates' studio spaces, and the Herberger Institute facility also has two galleries where grad students, alumni, and faculty regularly display art. Your best bet for variety is Step Gallery. The student-run space hosts MFA thesis exhibitions, work from alumni, and the occasional group show.

click to enlarge The Hive Art Gallery. - LYNN TRIMBLE
The Hive Art Gallery.
Lynn Trimble
Best Arts Enclave: The Hive
Julia Fournier thrifts Pucci dresses like nobody's business, but that's not the only reason to stop by this funky enclave, fronted by Fournier's vintage shop, The Bee's Knees. Fournier also shows local art, and The Hive houses Wasted Ink Zine Distro, billed as the hub for local DIY zinesters. Round things out with drinks from Silent Flight coffee and make a day of it.

Best Permanent Public Art: Her Secret is Patience by Janet Echelman
Janet Echelman, an internationally renowned sculptor, took the title for her monumental 145-foot aerial sculpture from poet Ralph Waldo Emerson's reference to the patience evident in nature. Installed in downtown Phoenix in 2009, the sculpture draws one's gaze up toward the sky, creating shadows that mirror the complexities of urban life.

click to enlarge Danielle Wood doing a demonstration during an ASU Ceramics Studio Tour. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Danielle Wood doing a demonstration during an ASU Ceramics Studio Tour.
Lynn Trimble
Best Temporary Public Art: Desert Playa by Danielle Wood
Once upon a time, Arizona was under water. These days, artist Danielle Wood uses ceramic sculptures to remind us of that fact. Calling to mind the interchangeability of cactus and underwater flora, she has created Desert Playa as part of the recent IN FLUX cycle of temporary, site-specific art installations across the Valley. Presented at The Arts at Marshall Square, Wood's work assembles a fired and glazed coral colony in a muted palette of off-white and gray.

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