“The road is endless for the true traveler,” says Thuong Nguyen, one of several dozen artists showing works at local galleries as part of July’s First Friday.
Head to Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, or midtown if you need a good place to start the journey. You’ll find works exploring everything from water-infused landscapes to outer space. The First Friday crowds thin out a bit this time of year, as students take time off and locals head to beach or mountain escapes. There's still plenty of vibrancy, but on a more intimate scale.
We’ve chosen 10 shows to help you get a head start.
“Support: something that holds up structure”
Practical Art presents works by artist Molly Koehn, who merges sculpture, drawing, and fibers in works exploring interconnections between humans and nature – prompting reflection on the question of what (or who) is supporting what. First Friday hours are 7 to 9 p.m.
“Nature of the Notion”
Chartreuse is showing works by Thuong Nguyen, a Vietnam-born artist who moved to Arizona as a refugee in 1975. Visitors can explore Nguyen's works inspired by Asian landscape black ink brush paintings, the teachings of Zen Buddhist philosophy, and the beauty of the desert wilderness. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.
“Five15 to the Fifth”
Five15 Arts, an artist collective in Roosevelt Row, is showing works by artists invited to participate by collective members – including Christine Cassano, Jeff Reich, Nick Shindell, and Farraday Newsome. Gallery goers can check out 12-inch square works in media including sculpture, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography, and mixed media. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.
"Space & Sci Fi”
180 Degrees Automotive, located at 545 West Mariposa Street, presents a nostalgic look at the Apollo space mission, plus science fiction and monster movies, as recalled by Manny Burruel from his own childhood. Burruel is showing mono-silkscreen prints, made by painting an image onto a mesh screen then transferring the image to paper using a squeegee. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.
“Seeing Arizona: Independents’ Week”
Modified Arts, the gallery space that’s also home to Local First Arizona, presents a trio of Arizona artists – including Rossitza Todorova, Laura Spalding Best, and Alexandra Bowers. Each explores different aspects of natural and urban desert settings, but using difference media from wood burning to painting on metal surfaces. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.
“Facts of Life Vol. 1”
The @Central Gallery at Burton Barr Central Library presents a series of paintings by Gloria Langer, who describes her work as “a reflection on a new reality of fast-paced images and information.” Langer hopes to prompt introspection and analysis within a culture obsessed with image and surface impressions. First Friday hours are 6:30 to 8 p.m., when Dale Yeoman and Johnny Carrasco will perform live music.
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“Edward Burtynsky: WATER”
Phoenix Art Museum opens its exhibition of large-scale, water-infused landscapes by Edward Burtynsky – and also presents a night of free admission that includes the free screening of a short documentary film titled Vermillion by Phoenix-based Kitchen Sink Studios and music performed by Soulective. Museum goers can explore additional exhibits and hit the cash bar during July First Friday hours from 6 to 10 p.m.
MonOrchid presents works by three artists who demonstrate the power of drawing as a means of discovery and creative expression – each using diverse alternative processes, techniques, materials, and styles. Featured artists include Travis Rice, Jessica Palomo, and AJ Nafziger – all of whom have studied art at ASU. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.
Rhetorical Galleries presents work by Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars, who explore the displacement, reintroduction, and loss of wildlife by reimagining traditional wildlife encounters within contemporary contexts. First Friday hours, at the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art shipping container galleries located in Roosevelt Row, are 6 to 10 p.m.
Warehouse 1005, located at 1005 North First Street in Roosevelt Row, presents artist Ciel Hendershot's first exhibition, which features abstract works blending collage, drawing, and painting. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.