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Here's the Best Art We Saw During April's First Friday in Downtown Phoenix

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April's First Friday in Phoenix was bustling as people descended on downtown to check out the latest Fortoul Brothers show in their 40 Owls pop-up gallery, hit a MOD-AZ show at Chartreuse that helped to usher in Modern Phoenix Week, and explore shoes decked out in everything from rhinestones to candy for the "Inspired Soles" show at Bentley Projects's Warehouse215 special events space.  

Roosevelt Row visitors saw a mini-makeover that includes wider sidewalks near the shipping container galleries, which offer more space for live performances and art-making activities. In the warehouse district, the studios of several artists were open in a building near Bentley Gallery. And on Grand Avenue, we spotted a Jeff Slim mural with a literary theme at Palabras bookstore

Phoenix debuted a new work of temporary public art called The Installation, which featured city scenes and landscapes that change in response to viewer movements, at the A.E. England building in Civic Space Park. And there was also an exciting variety of art, with local artists showing photography, mixed media, pantings, sculpture, and drawings. These are several of our favorites.

Urban landscape
Dewey Nelson works presented by Artelshow at Public Image included this piece showing the juxtaposition of wildlife and urban life, but also several large-scale symmetrical geometric pieces.

Art adaptations
Works by James Angel exhibited at Modified Arts prompted reflection on adaptive and non-adaptive systems within individuals, societies, the known natural world, and the greater universe. 

Desert wasteland
For a solo exhibition at The Chocolate Factory on Grand Avenue, Colin Chillag showed not only distressed and disappearing landscapes, but also imaginary worlds populated by an odd assortment of creatures and objects.

Light show
Photographs by Davo Laninga captured the beauty of desert storms inside Burton Barr Central Library's @Central Gallery.

Retro ride
Several works by Lucretia Torva, whose paintings capture the forms and colors that make a compelling case for automobiles as art objects, showed several pieces in the "MOD-AZ" show that kicked off Modern Phoenix Week at Chartreuse gallery. 

Anatomical orbs
Several shows featured the nude figure, but this piece by Dean Reynolds included in the "Psychopomp" exhibition at {9} The Gallery singled out various body parts by placing them in floating spheres surrounding the central figure. 

Stick figures
Christine You-sun Park's work at Eye Lounge prompted reflection on the nature, quality, and quantity of structures humans build, as well as the objects' relationship to the land on which they're placed. She's one of 11 Eye Lounge artists who partnered with Four Chambers Press for the creation of its latest literary volume, which includes poetry and prose inspired by the artists' works. 

Desert abloom
Original works by local artists dotted the plant-filled spaces at The Bosque, where we spotted work by Andy Brown — whose murals created under the name Soldier Leisure grace several buildings in and beyond Phoenix.

Stark reflections
Photography featured in a group exhibition at Drive-Thru Gallery, including this work by Adelaide West, explored the various lenses people use to create or assess both their own identity and the identities of others. 

Pollinators in peril
Markys Kubicek's solo exhibition at Five15 Arts showcases her facility for working with various styles and mediums, while highlighting the peril facing pollinators. 

Whimsical ways
Works of embroidery art by Cindy Dach spotted at MADE Art Boutique capture whimsical moments, memories of childhood innocence, and a touch of romance. 

Burning embers
Bobby Wilson is one of many Native artists whose work featured at 1Spot Gallery explores harms befalling the natural world, often wrought by human exploitation of natural resources. 

Still life
Along with paintings of strong figures and local urban landscapes, Abe Zucca showed this still life at the Abe Zucca Gallery that shares space with Abloom Salon in the Grand Avenue district. 

Living ghosts
Abbey Messmer works featured at monOrchid's Shade Gallery conjure ghost-like images of only seemingly idyllic life for those trapped by little bits of Americana. 

Color aberrations
Works by Denise Fleisch featured in her solo exhibition at Lotus Contemporary Art deviated from her characteristic uses of line and color, often including deep saturated colors delightfully different from this season's pastel-infused fashion palette. 

Desert embrace
A group show at The Lodge Art Studio included this work by Rebecca Green, a former artist at the studio and gallery who relocated a few years ago, but returned to create the desert animal theme mural that graces an exterior wall of the Grand Avenue art space. 

Paper metropolis
Travis Ivey, one of several ASU students with works featured in the Nathan Cummings Foundation Summer Travel Fellowship exhibition at Step Gallery, created this metropolis that offers ample eye candy for those familiar with the finer points of local landmarks, including the diagonal-running Grand Avenue.  

Twists and turns
In a lovely reminder that art is all about coloring outside the lines, Bentley Gallery showed this piece by Jill Moser — as well as other works including Devorah Sperber's spool-laden take on Andy Warhol's famous soup can pop art. 

Body mapping
Three shipping container exhibitions presented in Roosevelt Row by Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art included one featuring works by Monica Aissa Martinez, who married mapping with her drawings of the human form and its interior organs and systems. 

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