Art

The Trumpocalypse Billboard Is Coming Down — Plus More Metro Phoenix Art News

IN FLUX artist Katherine Leigh Simpson with one of her previous artworks.
IN FLUX artist Katherine Leigh Simpson with one of her previous artworks. Lynn Trimble

Here’s a look at arts and culture news around metro Phoenix — from a new billboard that’s replacing anti-Trump artwork on Grand Avenue to a mural project in Roosevelt Row designed to highlight Latinx and indigenous artists.


IN FLUX Performances

The city of Phoenix recently announced the six projects it will present through a multi-city public art program called IN FLUX. First up is The Story of Our Journey, a film sharing several refugee experiences. Other projects will feature Barbershop Harmony Society, Whistling Moon, Erin V. Sotak, Katharine Leigh Simpson, and a collaboration between Patricia Sannit and Nicole L. Olson. Most will be presented online due to COVID-19.


click to enlarge The initial design for Karen Fiorito's anti-Trump billboard in downtown Phoenix. - LYNN TRIMBLE
The initial design for Karen Fiorito's anti-Trump billboard in downtown Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

Trumpocalypse Billboard

Several designs by California artist Karen Fiorito have graced a Grand Avenue billboard during the past four years, including a controversial piece called Trumpocalypse. Her latest design will be replaced in late January by a billboard set to include the text “Black History Matters.” It’s part of a Black History Month project being organized by Gizette Knight, whose plan to install a Black Lives Matter street mural in downtown Phoenix last year did not garner City Council approval.


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art recently received a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. - SEAN DECKERT
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art recently received a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Sean Deckert

Warhol Grants

The Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is awarding $3.9 million in fall 2020 grants to a total of 51 recipients, including Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum will receive $80,000 in program support during a two-year period. Funds will support solo exhibits (with accompanying publications) for artists Diedrick Brackens, Brad Kahlhamer, Beverly McIver, and Zineb Sedira.


click to enlarge Jesse Yazzie's work for the Uncontained Project in Roosevelt Row. - JESSE YAZZIE
Jesse Yazzie's work for the Uncontained Project in Roosevelt Row.
Jesse Yazzie

Uncontained Project

Four artists have been commissioned to paint murals on shipping containers in Roosevelt Row in 2021 as part of the Uncontained Project designed to highlight Latinx and indigenous artists. The first mural, a piece by Jesse Yazzie titled Triumph Over Tragedy, premiered on January 15. Future muralists will include Danny Upshaw, Zachary Justin, and Cora Jean Quiroz.


COVID-19 Relief

Arizona Commission on the Arts has information on several COVID-19 relief programs and resources of interest to artists and cultural organizations, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Save Our Spaces, and more. Details are available on the commission's website.


click to enlarge Christopher Gabbitas conducting the Phoenix Chorale during pre-pandemic days. - PHOENIX CHORALE
Christopher Gabbitas conducting the Phoenix Chorale during pre-pandemic days.
Phoenix Chorale

New Chorale Director

Phoenix Chorale has named Mary Deissler as interim executive director, and is preparing to launch a nationwide search to fill the position. The Grammy Award-winning choral group founded in 1958 is under the creative direction of artistic director Christopher Gabbitas, and reaches 7,500 people each year through performances and community outreach.


click to enlarge The Heard Museum is part of a new Masterpiece Moments program. - LYNN TRIMBLE
The Heard Museum is part of a new Masterpiece Moments program.
Lynn Trimble

Masterpiece Moments

Bank of America has launched Masterpiece Moments, a new series of videos featuring artworks in the collections of 25 museums across the country, including the Heard Museum. Videos will feature museum directors discussing select works and sharing tips for experiencing and appreciating art. The series continues through the end of 2021.


click to enlarge An earlier exhibit inside the WG art space next to Barrio Cafe. - LYNN TRIMBLE
An earlier exhibit inside the WG art space next to Barrio Cafe.
Lynn Trimble

House Studios Throwback

Jessica Abril curated an exhibit featuring work by Rose Johnson and other artists who once showed at House Studios. The art show will be on view through the end of February at the WalkBy Gallery next to Barrio Café. Featured artists include Robert Anderson, Jeff Cochran, Melanie Corradi, and others who were active in the early grassroots arts scene in Phoenix.


click to enlarge The Arizona State Capitol, where budget discussions take place every year. - GAGE SKIDMORE
The Arizona State Capitol, where budget discussions take place every year.
Gage Skidmore

State Arts Budget

The Arizona budget process is currently underway for fiscal year 2022, which begins on July 1, 2021, and continues through June 30, 2022. Governor Ducey’s proposed budget includes a $2 million allocation from the general fund for Arizona Commission on the Arts, which had requested a $5 million allocation. The legislature will propose a budget as well, and subsequent negotiations will determine the final total for the arts allocation.


Phoenix Art Museum is welcoming current and former military members for free. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Phoenix Art Museum is welcoming current and former military members for free.
Lynn Trimble

Military Access Program


Phoenix Art Museum
is offering free admission to veterans, active duty military members, and reserve members (as well as their immediate family members) through December 31, 2022. It’s part of a Military Access Program first launched in 2016, which was temporarily paused in May 2020 due in part to COVID-19.


click to enlarge The Arizona Science Center will open a new exhibit in early February. - ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
The Arizona Science Center will open a new exhibit in early February.
Arizona Science Center

'Astronaut' Exhibit

The Arizona Science Center will present a new exhibit called “Astronaut” from February 6 to May 31. The interactive exhibit explores the mental and physical challenges of space exploration while helping viewers imagine life beyond our own planet.


Write On

A journal called Write On, Downtown is looking for poetry, flash prose, and visual art to include in an upcoming issue. Editors are especially interested in pieces with 750 words or less that “celebrate the resilience of Phoenix.” They’re accepting submissions through February 14.
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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