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See work by Claudia Martinez at Olney GalleryEXPAND
See work by Claudia Martinez at Olney Gallery
Courtesy of Olney Gallery

Here's Your Guide to May First Friday in Phoenix

Choices abound around downtown Phoenix this week, as diverse art spaces present new exhibits with themes including protests, nature, urban life, and family legacy. There's plenty of performance art happening as well, including dance, music, and storytelling.

Your best bet is starting early, and staying late. Here's a roundup of new art shows, organized into geographic areas to help you see the most art you can as efficiently as possible. They start as early as 5 p.m. and some run through midnight, which means you should be able to linger a while and take it all in.

Must-See Exhibits

“Earthly Commitments to the Land and Its Ghosts”
ASU Step Gallery
605 East Grant Street

See Krista Davis’ MFA thesis exhibition for ASU School of Art at Step Gallery, located inside Grant Street Studios. The exhibit comprises a multichannel video installation exploring “socio-political, environmental, and historical connections” with caribou herds in Alaska and Northern Canada. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

“Dualities”
Found:RE Phoenix
1100 North Central Avenue

Niki Woehler will be showing works created with textural canvas and high-gloss resin during the First Friday artist reception at Found:RE Phoenix, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

"Reflections on Nature, Entropy, Renewal"
Gallery 119
119 South 11th Avenue

See paintings by Joel Coplin featuring desert gardens and urban street life, all reflecting everyday life surrounding the Gallery 119 art space he shares with wife and fellow artist, Jo-Ann Lowney. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

Karolina Adams
Exposed Studio & Gallery
4225 North Seventh Avenue

Exposed Studio & Gallery is showing works by Karolina Adams, an artist whose whimsical works exploring human insecurities you can also spot walking along Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe. First Friday hours are 5 to 9 p.m.

See paintings by Joel Coplin at Gallery 119.EXPAND
See paintings by Joel Coplin at Gallery 119.
Courtesy of Gallery 119

Grand Avenue

“Sunset Time”
Five15 Arts at Chartreuse
1301 Grand Avenue

Five15 Arts is presenting its first solo exhibition for the newest member of its artist collective, Sylvia Frost. The ephemeral, multisensory exhibition will include a collaborative component, which will allow gallery visitors to help create sunset-inspired work. First Friday hours for Five15 Arts at Chartreuse are 6 to 9 p.m.

Batik/Cut Paper Show
TransAm Phx
1506 Grand Avenue

Pop into TransAm Phx to explore batik artworks by Peter Votichenko and cut paper artworks by Melissa Waddell. First Friday hours are 5 to 10 p.m.

“Gemini”
{9} The Gallery
1229 Grand Avenue

{9} The Gallery is showing acrylic paintings by Alana Christine, whose work reflects a recent period of “internal growth and personal struggle.” First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Neon Exhibit
Snood City
1018 Grand Avenue

One of Grand Avenue’s newest arts venues, Snood City, is showing works by Jordan Zee, Laura E. Amphlett, Julian Harr, and James White. First Friday hours are 7 p.m. to midnight.

“The 5 Percenter”
Abe Zucca Gallery
1301 Grand Avenue

Abe Zucca, an artist whose small-scale, sardonic street art installations appear often around Roosevelt Row, is showing works inside Abe Zucca Gallery, where First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m.

Group Exhibit
Unexpected
734 West Polk Street

See works by various artists at Unexpected, where First Friday hours this month are 9 p.m. to midnight.

Look for Hugo Medina's work at First Studio.EXPAND
Look for Hugo Medina's work at First Studio.
Courtesy of First Studio.

Roosevelt Row

“Foremothers”
Practical Art
5070 North Central Avenue

Creative collaborators Becky Friese and Jane Kelsey Mapel are showing mixed-media works inspired by their mothers and grandmothers. The artist reception at Practical Art takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on First Friday.

“Sobrevivir”
First Studio
631 North First Avenue

Hugo Medina, an artist whose murals dot the downtown Phoenix landscape, is showing a new series reflecting his ongoing study of the working class around the world. First Friday hours at First Studio are 6 to 10 p.m.

“My Black I: Home – Levings and the Art of Protests”
Larry Wilson Gallery
1202 North Third Street

Artist Alvin Galloway is showing photographs that tell the story of a protest in the Levings Lake region of his Illinois hometown. First Friday hours at Larry Wilson Gallery, located inside Phoenix Center for the Arts, are 6 to 9 p.m.

The Crafty Chica will be leading hands-on activities at Heard Museum.
The Crafty Chica will be leading hands-on activities at Heard Museum.
Courtesy of Kathy Cano-Murillo

Art + Performance

“Nature’s Universe”
Olney Gallery
100 West Roosevelt Street

Olney Galley, located inside Trinity Cathedral, is showing nature-inspired works by artists Bonny Stauffer and Claudia Martinez. The First Friday lineup also includes ASU music students performing in the cathedral, and Arizona School for the Arts students performing dance in the courtyard facing Roosevelt Street. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

“Circle of Life”
Herberger Theater Center
222 East Monroe Street

See a group exhibit of artworks with a nature theme, curated by Sandra Neumann for the Herberger Theater Center art gallery, where you can hear live music by Kenny Ingram during the 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. opening reception.

AOTA Friday Night Live
ThirdSpace
1028 Grand Avenue

Head to ThirdSpace for hip-hop performances by Lewis Santana, Terick Lamont, Emmitt Dupree, Quarter Water, Pariah Pete, Clay Adams, and more. Cannabis trivia time kicks off at 8:45 a.m. First Friday hours are 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Ages 21 and up only.

Sci-Fi Puppet Slam
Great Arizona Puppet Theater
302 West Latham Street

Explore the puppetry arts at Great Arizona Puppet Theater, where First Friday offerings include an adult puppet slam featuring guest artist Noah Ginez from Chicago. Tickets to the 8 p.m. performance are $15 at the door.

Part of Jeff Slim's mural painted behind Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.EXPAND
Part of Jeff Slim's mural painted behind Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
Lynn Trimble

Jeff Slim
Hosh Gallery
1738 East McDowell Road

Hosh Gallery, located inside Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, will be showing works by Jeff Slim, an artist whose paintings explore the intersection of his Native heritage and fascination with pop culture. The gallery will also have live music performances. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

The Whole Story
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Avenue

The Whole Story series, featuring stories reflecting the black perspective, returns to Phoenix Art Museum for a 7:30 p.m. performance. The First Friday lineup also include a live performance in the galleries by Gabriel Elisha Movement. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Crafty Chica
Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue

Make crafts with Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo, who enjoys a national following and co-founded the Phoenix art space Mucho Mas with fellow creative Emily Costello. She’s part of the First Friday lineup at Heard Museum, which also includes Cut + Paste Phoenix, and musical performance by the Rastafarmers. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Editor's note: This post has been updated.

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