Downtown Phoenix's First Friday: An Illustrated Guide to May 3

Art walks are more often about people watching and shenanigans and less about the actual art. We're here to guide you through both. Presenting our very own Field Guide -- an evolving guide to art walks around town.

From time to time, we'll introduce some of our favorite spots and dish out some insider information. If you have any tips or tricks, share 'em in the comments section.

Here's a peek at our guide to Downtown's First Friday for May 3 ...

More hints after the jump ...

See also: - Grand Avenue Get Down Brings Lowriders, Latino Art, and Customized Auto Culture to Downtown Phoenix This Weekend - Seven Must-See Cinco de Mayo Parties in Metro Phoenix

On the Map:

Mikey Jackson @ Palabra Collective Mikey Jackson was born in Seoul, South Korea and says he bounced around Japan, Hawaii, and California for a while before landing in Phoenix and made a go for it in the arts community.

"I've always had a creative urge to doodle and make things with my hands, but it wasn't until a couple years ago I decided to focus on art a bit more seriously," he says.

Jackson will show his latest series in a solo show at Palabra Collective that will be up through May 31. Palabra will be open tonight until 7 p.m.

Grand Avenue Get Down @ Grand Avenue When El Moisés began planning this weekend's Grand Avenue Get Down, he initially envisioned it as an stunning convergence of Latino culture, art, and automobiles of every shape and size. But one thing the 38-year-old artist didn't want, however, was for the two-day event to be considered "just another Cinco de Mayo thing," despite the fact it's occurring in the midst of the annual holiday.

"They've made Latino culture into a drinking cliché, so we wanted something to avoid all that and incorporate more of a celebration of art and culture," Moisés says. "Since it's going to be on Grand, I thought, 'What better place to line up all these cars from one side to the other?' And also line it up with this multicultural crossover between artwork, cars, lowriders, bikes, and all these other vehicles." -- Benjamin Leatherman Read more ...

Jake Fischer & Hank Fries @ R. Pela Contemporary Robrt Pela didn't intend to permanently open a gallery when he first used the space on McDowell and 5th Avenue to host The Joe and Jan Show this past March. But the veteran Phoenix New Times critic and contributor was encouraged by others who, like himself, recognized a need for quality in the downtown arts scene.

R. Pela Contemporary Art will host its grand opening exhibition of work by Jake Fischer and Hank Fries this Friday, May 3rd. And the show proves that Pela's commitment to quality isn't just talk. -- Katrina Montgomery Read more ...

Brian Brooks @ The Hive

Brian Brooks is a California based artist who grew up in Arizona and is returning home to put up an art show.

"Now That Looks Like Fun: The Colorful Claw, Woof & Feathers of Brian Brooks & his Spectral Friends" includes paintings, books, and prints that, according to the artist includes "dogs and cats in crazy pants bring life to black-and-white sidewalks, wear each other's portrait on T-shirts, and visit art museums; in the dogs' home interiors, bugs and furniture group together." The Hive will be open until 10 p.m.

The Sky is Falling @ Modified Kristin Bauer has been a busy woman for the past month. Immediately after de-installing Mixed Messages, a joint show of her and husband Emmett Potter's latest artwork, she began preparing the same space at Modified Arts for The Sky Is Falling: A Group Exhibition about the Gravity of Things. Though Bauer has shown her own artwork at Modified before (the gallery hosted her first solo show downtown in 2004), this is her first time curating there, she says. -- Katrina Montgomery Read more ...

3CarPileup @ Lux Since we can remember, the walls of Lux Central have been covered with the private collection of local artist Hector Ruiz, but tonight, they'll be getting a change of clothes. Local art group 3CarPileUp including painters James Angel, David Dauncey, and Randy Slack will install their latest work, that, according to Slack, will be updated periodically.

Useful Hints: • There is a ton going on, so get there early, find a parking spot, get a snack (and a water bottle), and pace yourself.

•The Phoenix Art Museum has great parking (and great art, go figure).

• On-street parking is limited along Fifth and Sixth streets. Or if you can nab a spot, check out the free street parking on Grand Avenue.

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