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Here's the Coolest Art We Saw in Phoenix and Scottsdale on February's First Friday

There was a lot of ground to cover during February's First Friday, as Practical Art showed work by Jennifer Gross in midtown, Kevin Caron exhibited work at Walter Gallery in Scottsdale, and dozens of art spaces in downtown Phoenix opened their doors. We spotted plenty of interesting work, including these favorites.

Surreal saints
Works by Aztec Smurf exhibited at The Hive included surreal twists on classic religious iconography, desert landscapes, and more.

Pattern play
Studio 6 artists showed an eclectic mix of drawings, paintings and mixed media works including this piece by Ann Osgood — and invited visitors to head upstairs to explore their art studios.  

Digital playground
Oscuro Collective showed images at Fifth Row Dance Studios created through months of back-and-forth editing between media artists Sam Angiulo and Michael Castaneda, who sought to take images grabbed from digital sources and manipulate them to hilarious and grotesque effect. 

Paint with personality
In some of Jon Wassom's works featured at {9} The Gallery, the paint looks like its about to pop right off the canvas. But he also showed mixed media works conveying a similar appreciation for the interplay between parts and the whole.

Man meets machine
R. Pela Contemporary Art (operated by longtime New Times contributor Robrt Pela) showed sculpture and jewelry created by Phoenix artist Kevin Caron at Walter Art Gallery in Scottsdale, where visitors got to chat with Caron as he created a new piece right on the spot using 3D printing technology.

Whimsical worlds
Practical Art showed whimsical mixed media works by Jennifer Gross, who imagines a world in which humans happily share the planet with a host of other creatures. 

Natural high
The desert's scope and scale was on full display inside the art gallery at Skyline Lofts in Roosevelt Row, where Juan Loza photographs lined the concrete walls. 

Origin stories
First Studio showed works by several artists working with digital photography, including Bobbi McMurry, who created images of Adam and Eve that run far afield from their traditional depictions. 

Desert glow
Works by Mary Shindell exhibited at Five15 Arts added the element of luminosity to her careful studies of desert life and topography.

Artful abstractions
Denise Fleish of Lotus Contemporary Art showed both her own abstractions in which bright colors and texture abounds, but also figurative works by James Hernandez, whose characters' eyes incite curiosity about what he imagines they might be feeling.

Rich and famous
Chartreuse gallery was awash with social commentary including F-bombs born of neon artist Micheal Flechtner, and cool variations on Fred Tieken's technique of blending imagery and text to shoot straight past subtlety to something far more substantial. 

Big and bold
Tall white walls at Public Image were covered in large-scale works by Joe Holdren, which present a refreshing counterpoint to the local trend of showing far smaller works.

Time capsules
Photographs by Cherie Buck-Hutchinson exhibited at Bokeh Gallery lure viewers into a different place and time, exploring themes of religion, family, and cultural expectations. 

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