| Art |

The Best Things We Saw at October's Third Friday

Michael Massenberg's mixed-media portrait of Eulia Love, who was killed by LAPD officers in 1979.EXPAND
Michael Massenberg's mixed-media portrait of Eulia Love, who was killed by LAPD officers in 1979.
Lynn Trimble
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

There was some powerful work hanging in Phoenix art galleries on Third Friday. From portraits of "badass" women to exploring the impact of police violence on the black community, we were moved by the messages shared by local artists.

'The Spillover Effect'

A framed poem written by contemporary poet George Hammons hangs inside Modified Arts, referencing the first ship to carry slaves to America – and a long list of names including Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and Philandro Castile. Several artists gathered near the poem during Third Friday, talking with gallery-goers about their art featured in this exhibit curated by Emancipation Arts. The exhibit explores the impact police violence has on the mental health of black community members.

Participating artists include C.A. Hammons, Michael Massenberg, Nicholas Murray, and Leonard Wilson. Walking through the gallery, Murray paused over several of his paintings, elaborating on the feelings wrought by systemic racism – including the anger signified by his use of the color red. And Clottee Hammons, a longtime staple of the downtown arts scene, addressed the ways that Phoenix has long failed to elevate the work of black creatives.

'DisMantling Power'

There is something in the eyes of the powerful women local artist Phil Freedom captured in "DisMantling Power." The pupils inside these laser-etched stencil stack portraits pull you in and then follow you around the room. In a statement written by Freedom that hung on the walls of The Hive, he finds himself "drawn to celebrating those that challenge power."

The women he captured unquestionably fit that description. They include Opal Tometi, the founder of Black Lives Matter, activist Malala Yousafzai, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In addition to his written statement, Freedom also included etched quotes (or a tweet, in the case of Ocasio-Cortez) highlighting why they're, as he puts it, "badass." Their stories are worth celebrating, and Freedom will be donating a portion of the proceeds to their cause.

'For Her Time'

Samantha Lyn Aasen’s bold "For Her Time" exhibit was inside the renovated Eye Lounge. The artist once edited photos and video content for the porn industry, and she took pictures of the sex workers and models she became friends with. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of March 2018 has made it difficult for them to do their job, and Aasen wanted to show the vulnerability of that work.

The photos are open and intimate. The bold colors are amplified on satin and hang on the wall like flags. Some of the models are casual, with one taking a selfie with one breast out. Aasen is known for the strong feminist message in her photography, and "For Her Time" shows the lives of those behind the scenes.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.