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The 10 Best Artworks We Saw in Metro Phoenix in July 2016

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Due in part to a particularly robust lineup of local gallery exhibitions for July’s First and Third Friday art walks in downtown Phoenix, there was an abundance of great art on view during July 2016. We saw plenty of great art outside of Phoenix, too – especially in East Valley cities including Chandler and Mesa. But 10 works, pictured here, stood out from all the rest.

Moon Warrior
Lisa Telford

Born in Ketchikan, Alaska, artist Lisa Telford hails from several generations of Haida women who weave. Telford harvests and readies her own materials, including cedar bark and spruce root – then creates contemporary objects such as clothing and shoes, which reference her Native identity. Telford’s suspended Moon Warrior is featured in “Crafting the Collection,” an exhibition on view through September 13 at ASU Art Museum.

Thuong Nguyen

With a BFA in sculpture from ASU, Thuong Nguyen has been active on the Arizona arts scene for 15 years. Nguyen’s current body of work draws inspiration from Asian landscape paintings, Zen Buddhist philosophy, and the desert wilderness. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he came to the United States as a refugee in 1975. Nguyen’s Japan is part of the “Nature in Notion” exhibition that continues through August at Chartreuse.

The Ark of Nowhere
Gloria Langer

Scottsdale Community College art student Gloria Langer earned first place in a recent “Best of Student Show” for her WTF painting putting a social-media twist on the classic trio of "see, hear, and speak no evil" monkeys. Like The Ark of Nowhere, it was included in her recent solo “Facts of Life Vol.1” exhibition at Burton Barr Central Library’s @Central Gallery – which highlighted her attention to the new communal landscape of fast-paced information and images.

the dangling conversation
Tawny Kerr

Mixed-media artist and illustrator Tawny Kerr, a member of the Eye Lounge collective, trained at both ASU and Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. This 2016 work – created with piano player rolls and embroidery thread – is one of many meant to investigate memory and nostalgia. It’s part of Kerr’s solo “sub rosa” exhibition of ephemera and installation works that continues at Eye Lounge through August 13.

the little brain
Monica Aissa Martinez

Works by Monica Aissa Martinez, who focuses on human and animal anatomy, have been exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, and ASU Art Museum – and a host of galleries. This piece is part of an invitational group exhibition called “Five15 to the Fifth,” which continues at Five15 Arts through much of August.

Lemon Drop
Kevin Caron

With a background in trucking and longtime fascinations with motorcycles and machinery, Phoenix artist Kevin Caron has spent many years making large- and small-scale metal works. More recently, Caron has become skilled in using 3D printing technologies to make sculptures that include this piece, which is one of several of his works included in the “A Group Effort: An Exhibit with Arizona Art Alliance,” which continues through August 27 at Vision Gallery.

Salinas #2, Cádiz, Spain
Edward Burtynsky

Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky spent five years traveling the globe taking aerial photographs of water that reveal its stunning variations of line, movement, and color – even as they prompt reflection on humanity’s relationship to water and its implications for future generations and the environment. This is one of 40 large-scale works featured in the “Water” exhibition that continues through September 18 at Phoenix Art Museum.

Complication and Malfunction
Travis Rice

Currently an MFA in drawing and painting candidate at ASU, Travis Rice creates paintings, drawings, and installations that show strong choices of color and line. Often, he begins with a simple mark that gets repeated and progresses to a larger form – using 3D modeling software to create complexity and mass. These works were recently featured in the “Gray Area” exhibition at monOrchid.

Astro Burger
Tom Klare

Imaginary settings created using single or combined images reflect Tom Klare’s fondness for visually depicting ideas, and for infusing his works with bits of the unexpected. Klare teaches digital photography and computer graphics at Mesa Community College. This is one of several Klare works on view through September 11 as part of the i.d.e.a. Museum’s “Sci-Fi: Fantasy to Reality” exhibition.

DeSoto on Central
Allen Garns

Through studio and plein-air paintings, Allen Garns pays homage to Phoenix past and present – often with images of landmarks or other buildings that prompt reflection on the transitory nature of that which seems permanent. Garns is skilled at using light and shadow to evoke emotion. His oil, gouache, and watercolor works comprise the “City Light” exhibition that continues through August 26 at @Central Library inside Burton Barr Central Library.

Correction: This post has been edited to reflect that the name of Lisa Telford's work is Moon Warrior, not Moon Walker.

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