First Friday in Phoenix: Seven Must-See Exhibitions June 7

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First Friday heats up June 7 with creative works going up all over the city. Here are our seven picks for shows not to miss this artful evening.

What's on your to-see list?

See also: Phoenix to Launch Bike Share Program in December Five Must-See Movies in Metro Phoenix This June

"Thermal PHX" @ monOrchid Yeah, it's hot out. But that's not why monOrchid's new exhibition is titled "Thermal PHX." Instead, according to curator Justin Germain, it's a reference to thermal columns, which are upward streams of warm air that help birds and other flying objects reach higher altitudes. Up through August 31, Germain explains that the show is a thermal for local artists to display and elevate their work.

The group show opens from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 7, and includes pieces from Kevin Caron, Diane DiBernadino-Sanborn, Mary Bruns, Morgana Wallace, Jason Rusnock, Peter B Klein, Daniel Funkhouser, Sarah Kriehn, Sabrina Peros, Mano Sotelo, Lee Davis, Larry Willis, Josh Louchheim, Jeanna Voellmer, Jayme Blue, Jason Hugger, Jon Jenkins, Ivan Delvasto, Dan Pederson, Charmagne Coe, Anthony Vasquez, Rose Clements. -- Becky Bartkowski

"Chola Kitty Nueve Vidas Show" @ ALAC Hello Kitty is approaching 40, which might be a little early for a mid-life crisis, but if cats really do have nine lives, now is as good a time as any for reinvention.

Enter: Chola Kitty -- a feline with spunk.

Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, local artist Such Styles is unveiling his series of cat parodies at the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center in "Chola Kitty Nueve Vidas", a show he calls "a curious look at what didn't kill the cat." Read more. -- Katrina Montgomery

"Klown!" @ R. Pela Contemporary Art Oh, the clown conundrum. You either love them, hate them, or simply can't understand the point of them. From Barnum and Bailey Circus to Stephen King's IT, the clown has fallen on all points of the spectrum as friend, foe, and absolute freak show.

This month, New Times contributor Robrt L. Pela invites clown art lovers and haters to look, laugh, and leer at one of our most juxtaposed jokers in "Klown!," a new show at R. Pela Contemporary Art Gallery.

This exhibition of clown-centric paintings, sculptures, photography, and performance art will depict all angles of these beloved, belittled, and unbelievably loathed performers. Featured artists include Eric Cox, Kathleen Engstrom, Geoffrey Gersten, Todd Daniel Grossman, Michelle Legler, Cindy Schnackel, Chris Swanberg, Melany Teranova, Larry Willis, and Randy Zucker.

The opening reception for this circus of an art show happens Friday, June 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at 335 West McDowell Road. Visit www.rpelagallery.com or call 602-320-8445. -- Katie Johnson

"3CarPileUp" @ Modified Arts Don't bother to Google 3CarPileUp. Two reasons why: The search engine won't totally get it, and if you've paid any attention to Phoenix's art scene in the past couple decades, then you're already familiar with its members. Randy Slack, James Angel, and David Dauncey founded the artist collective in the late '90s. And, as stalwarts of Phoenix's downtown art scene, their new work is always worth a look.

Art fiends have a chance to do just that, as the threesome presents fresh pieces in the group exhibition "3CarPileUp" at Modified Arts through Saturday, June 15. The show also features an animated video installation from Perry Allen.

The free exhibition is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at 407 East Roosevelt Street. Visit www.modifiedarts.org or call 602-462-5516. -- Becky Bartkowski

"Poetic Topography" @ The Hive Calle 16's The Hive has become such a staple in the Phoenix art scene that on any given Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, you can pretty much count on finding some cool eye candy. The gallery, studio, and now coffee shop hybrid serves as a multifunctional space for working artists, exhibitions, films, lectures, and the casual cup of Joe.

This month's featured artists are no strangers to the local scene nor to the colorful building itself. At "Poetic Topography," visitors can study the romantic surfaces in works by Benji Sakoia, who christened the building's exterior early on with his notable bee mural, and enjoy the creative talents of Ashley Macias, whose paintings welcome open interpretation and emotional exploration.

The show closes Friday, June 7. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/The-Hive/199210706794015. -- Katie Johnson

"Five15 to the Fifth" @ Five15 Summer months at Five15 mean exponential growth for the art space. With the second annual edition of "Five15 to the Fifth," the gallery's 9 members each asked a handful of artists to contribute a 12-inch-by-12-inch piece in their medium of choice.

Let's do the numbers: That's 54 artists and more than 60 works of art that will be on view in the salon-style show throughout June and July. Count on catching the opening reception for the show, which features printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, drawing, painting, and photography, on Friday, June 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. -- Becky Bartkowski

"It's Taking Shape" @ Palabra Joshua Rhodes is a creator. The man behind Subtle Takeover went to school for graphic design, but he is making a name for himself in the Phoenix community as a man of many modes of expression.

On Friday, June 7, Palabra Studios hosts Rhodes's first solo exhibition in downtown Phoenix. "It's Taking Shape" will showcase mostly acrylic paintings on panel, but in typical form Rhodes doesn't limit himself to the medium -- there will also be some smaller block prints available. Read more. -- Katrina Montgomery

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