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Seven Must-See Exhibitions this Third Friday in Downtown Phoenix

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Be it a ​First Friday or a Third Friday -- we're just excited about having an excuse (not that we need one) to see some great art exhibitions.

Some are opening tonight Downtown, others have opened this month throughout metro Phoenix. But you better believe that we're making the loop and stopping by these nine.

7. "Something Along These Lines ..." @ The Hive When Jenny Ignaszewski packed her bags and headed to Florida earlier this year, the art community lost one of its brightest, most energetic members. Ignaszewski (who also goes by Iggy) has a long history in the Phoenix art scene.

See also: - Creators of Ziindi Zine Open 1Spot, a Native Contemporary Art Gallery on Roosevelt Row - Jenny Ignaszewski's Grand Avenue Mural Love Map

For years, she was a graphic designer for the Arizona Republic. When she felt she needed to do her own work, she hung it in galleries across town and painted it on walls across the city. She joined Calle 16, a mural project that kicked off in 2010 with an aim to connect the neighborhood along 16th Street in downtown Phoenix with public art, and she painted and pasted her signature characters throughout the area.

Iggy says since relocating to Florida, her work has expanded to include kinetic sculpture and painting on found wood and old maps. And this December, she's re-packing and heading back to Phoenix (albeit temporarily) to show her new work at The Hive. "something along these lines ..." will include work by Iggy as well as photography by her daughter Emma and drawings by her daughter Abby.

6. New work by Dino Paul and Laura Spalding Best @ monorchid December is the first month for monorchid's new art program director/ curator, Justin Germain, who brings together the work of local creatives Dino Paul and Laura Spalding Best. Paul is a local illustrator, designer, and artist who recently began showing his work, which he describes as "perception of observation." Best graduated from ASU and has shown her work throughout Phoenix for almost a decade. Her current focus is on the local urban landscape -- architecture, power lines, and telephone poles -- that surrounds us.

5. "Vector & Wood" @ GreenHaus When Issac Caruso moved back to Phoenix after finishing school in Flagstaff, he jumped right into the local art scene. He's painted murals (one's in the works on Central Avenue) and hosted exhibitions of his artwork, which often involves collaborations with community members. In "Vector & Wood" Caruso creates portraits on wood, which will hang at GreenHaus through January 16.

4. SIGNS AND WONDERS The Ultimate Exhibit @ Deus Ex Machina For five years, Phoenix artists Michele Bledsoe, Richard Bledsoe, Jeff Falk, Steve Gompf, Dain Quentin Gore, Annie Lopez, Heather Smith-Gearns have showcased new work at Deus Ex Machina on Grand Avenue. And this month, they're saying goodbye to their space. "We exist in a web of signs and wonders that will always guide us, if we only have the eyes to see them. Now the synchronicities have aligned to show new horizons calling, and we must press onwards," Deus Ex members write. "December 7 will be the 5th anniversary of our original opening date in 2007. December 2012 will be our last show. Thanks to all who have supported us along the way-our patrons, guest artists and performers, gallery mates and partners, friends. You made it all worth while. Hope to see you all on First Friday as we celebrate the times we had."

3. Sue Chenoweth @ Modified Arts For five weeks, Sue Chenoweth lived and breathed creative culture in Rio de Janeiro. In 2012 the artist was chosen to participate in the abroad arts residency, sponsored by the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Arts, and reveals her work created in Brazil this December at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street.

Chenoweth is a painter who describes her work as a spiritual process: "I have to fall into an abyss of unknowing to get to a new place of understanding." She's shown in galleries and museums throughout Phoenix and across the United States, but her upcoming exhibition, titled "Sue Chenoweth: Real and Applied," is the painter's first international solo show. Read the full review by Kathleen Vanesian here.

2. New Work by Damian Jim @ 1Spot 1Spot Gallery was launched this month by Phoenix creatives Damian Jim and Michelle Ponce. The two took over the former Regular Gallery spot on 6th Street behind TH!nk Printing and Five15, and will host a grand opening celebration with work by Damian Jim. Jim and local creative Michelle Ponce are known for their artwork and for Ziindi, a zine distributed throughout Downtown and in Native communities that showcases indigenous artwork from the region.

Jim is an artist from the Four Corners. He describes his work as a blend of visual representations and influences from his childhood and Diné culture including rug designs, Navajo folk tales and symbols along with abstract, modern, and comic book influences, creating a flowing balance of old and new, chaos and order, color and line work, onto 2D and 3D paintings, drawings, apparel, and digital artwork.

1. FAMILY PHOTOS & HOMEWORLDS @ eye lounge Daniel Funkhouser's third and final exhibition at eye lounge will feature a new series Funkhouser describes as "saturated photographs weaving self-portraits together with portraits of friends and close relations rather than models. Simultaneously playful fantasy and familiar nostalgia, these images continue to address themes of family, gender, childhood, and questioning traditions." Funkhouser will host an opening reception at eye lounge tonight from 6 to 10 p.m..

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