Here's the Best Art We Saw in Metro Phoenix in August 2016

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Closer Than You Think
Denise Fleisch

One of many paintings by Scottsdale artist Denise Fleisch, this piece recently made the journey from Roosevelt Row to Old Town Scottsdale, where it's currently exhibited alongside fine art jewelry created by the artist who just opened his self-named V. Tixi Gallery next door to Tilt Gallery. Fleisch lost her Lotus Contemporary Art gallery in downtown Phoenix at the end of August after the building that housed it was sold, but will be showing works at V. Tixi Gallery through November, and again next spring.

Fragmented Self
Michelle Startzman

Phoenix artist Michelle Startzman, who hails from Tucson and holds an MFA in metals from ASU, created this sterling silver, copper, brass, and enamel piece in 2013. Startzman uses photographs, microscopic forms, and layering to create forms representing unknown identities, which are meant to explore the complexities of relationships. It was featured in the "Artists: In Residence" exhibition of works recently presented by Rhetorical Galleries in ASU's Harry Wood Gallery.

Frank Gonzales

Tempe artist Frank Gonzales was born in Mesa, where he's now a preparator at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Adaptation, an acrylic painting created in 2012, is one of the artist's many works inspired by desert life and natural forms — including birds, flowers, and cactus. Classically trained in painting at Mesa Community College, he recalls being inspired at a young age by "the unbelievable stillness and separation" of taxidermy birds in natural history museums. This piece was recently featured in "Frank Gonzales: A Vivid Gaze" presented by Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Public Library in the Appaloosa Library exhibition space. 

Christy Puetz

Christy Puetz, a Phoenix artist who creates elaborately beaded creatures inspired by mythological settings and historical events, was recently featured in the "Hare" exhibition at Practical Art. The exhibition included more than a dozen works described by the art space as "tactile stories made of tiny glass beads." Puetz's works for this exhibition were inspired by the novel Watership Down, which explores themes of loss and youth. 

WOP 2-00633, WOP 2-00634, and WOP 2-00638
Hiro Yokose: New Work

Born in Nagasaki, Japan, artist Hiro Yokose lived and worked for many years in New York City before returning last year to Japan. He's been represented for more than two decades by Bentley Gallery, which continues its "Hiro Yokose: New Work" exhibition through September 10. Featured works include three new paintings and works on paper — including this trio revealing his nod to the Hudson River School of the mid-19th century.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version to note the name of Denise Fleisch's painting Closer Than You Think.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble