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 PerformancesThe 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.
Trumpocalypse BillboardSeveral 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.
Warhol GrantsThe 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.
Uncontained ProjectFour 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 ReliefArizona 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.
New Chorale DirectorPhoenix 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.
Masterpiece MomentsBank 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.
House Studios ThrowbackJessica 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.
State Arts BudgetThe 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.
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.