Art

Four Cool Museum Art Exhibitions You Can See Right Now in Phoenix

Justin Favela's Seven Magic Tires is on display in Phoenix Art Museum's "Desert Rider" exhibit.
Justin Favela's Seven Magic Tires is on display in Phoenix Art Museum's "Desert Rider" exhibit. Justin Favela
As temperatures heat up, it's good to know where to go to have some fun indoors. Even as we inch closer to summer, metro Phoenix museums keep providing new, exciting art to discover and enjoy.

Here are four exhibitions currently on display that you should check out.

'Desert Rider'

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Avenue
602-257-1880
The new "Desert Rider" exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum "explores the ways car culture in the Southwest has influenced the work of contemporary Latinx and Indigenous artists who are examining the intersection of movement and motion, migration, gender, sexuality, labor, and identity,” says Gilbert Vicario, who curated the exhibition. β€œIt’s important to acknowledge all of the artists represented who are members of communities that were forced to the margins of our geographic space, experiences that parallel the history of the lowrider itself. I hope guests see the impact that local culture has had on artists working in the Southwest and appreciate this piece of history from the land in which they were born.” Attendees will see work such as Justin Favela's rainbow-painted tires and lowrider-shaped pinata; Liz Cohen's photography; and Douglas Miles' political charged skateboard decks. The exhibit opened April 24 and continues through

When you're there, you can also check out "Figural Variations," a collection of interpretations of the human form; "Farewell Photography: The Hitachi Collection of Postwar Japanese Photographs, 1961-1989," which closes on Sunday, June 26; and "Generation Paper: Fast Fashion of the 1960s."

click to enlarge Lalo Cota, La Carrera, Mixed media, 79 x 52 inches. - LALO COTA/MESA ARTS CENTER
Lalo Cota, La Carrera, Mixed media, 79 x 52 inches.
Lalo Cota/Mesa Arts Center

'LALOLAND'

Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
1 East Main Street, Mesa
480-644-6560
The vibrant work of local artist Lalo Cota can be found in the form of murals all over metro Phoenix. But the new exhibit "LALOLAND" at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum gathers 20 years of Cota's work for a retrospective show full of color and energy. The show opened on April 15 and will continue through August 7.

While you're there, you can also see MCAM's other summer exhibitions, all of which close on Sunday, August 7: "Nothing In Stasis," a collection of Monica Aissa Martinez's depictions of the intricate structures and complex diversities of living organisms"; "Choice Cuts," in which Tucson artist Laura Tanner investigates the social constructs of gender and class; "Sanctuary," a site-specific installation by Texas artist Eliza Au about sacred spaces; and "Somos Southwest," a show featuring works inspired by the Chicano Art Movement.
An image from the new Heard Museum exhibition "Between the Lines: Art from the No Horse Ledger Book." - HEARD MUSEUM
An image from the new Heard Museum exhibition "Between the Lines: Art from the No Horse Ledger Book."
Heard Museum

"Between The Lines: Art From the No Horse Ledger Book"

Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue
602-252-8840
As Indigenous people were displaced from their native lands, traditional art forms like painting on rocks and animal hides evolved. Accounting or ledger books became an important medium for these artists, and one is the subject of the newest exhibition at the Heard Museum. "Between the Lines" is a collection of 28 drawings from a Cheyenne/Arapaho ledger book created between the late 1870s and 1882. Named after the man who is thought to have been the first artist to draw in the book, the book captures the work of up to six Indigenous artists who depict images of war, dances, and horsemanship. The exhibit opened on May 6 and continues through April 23, 2023.

Also at the Heard Museum right now are "Southwest Silverwork, 1850-1940" and "Remembering the Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art."

click to enlarge See Brad Kahlhamer's "Swap Meet" show in Scottsdale. - SCOTTSDALE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
See Brad Kahlhamer's "Swap Meet" show in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

"Brad Kahlhamer: Swap Meet"

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 East Second Street, Scottsdale
480-874-4666
Speaking of ledger books, that art form is one of Tucson-born artist Brad Kahlhamer's inspirations. The work in his "Swap Meet" exhibit at SMoCA reflects his two dominant influences: Indigenous iconography and the downtown art scene of 1980s and 1990s New York City. The two come together in the form of paintings, sculptures, and found objects, anchored by a trailer that Kahlhamer, who currently lives in the southeast Valley, bought at a Mesa swap meet. The show opened on February 26 and continues through October 9.

Other exhibitions at SMoCA right now are "Beverly McIver: Full Circle," which encapsulates 25 years of the artist's paintings; and "Teresa Baker: Capturing Space," which features large-scale mixed-media wall works by Los Angeles-based Mandan/Hidatsa artist.
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.