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Your Guide to December 2016's First Friday in Phoenix

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You may be tempted to spend your First Friday holiday shopping, considering the many places holding gift markets – from Crafeteria at Frances to Shopping with Purpose at New City Studios. But make time for art, because local artists are presenting some intriguing works this month at galleries and other art spaces ranging from art museums to an eyewear shop. We’ve organized several of the newest shows by region to help you see more art in less time. Here’s our guide to December First Friday in Phoenix.

Roosevelt Row
“a solid home base builds a sense of self”
Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art presents new works by two millennial artists, Holden Brown and Jessica Machacek, who use familiar materials to build environments that address “the deceptive aesthetics of contemporary American domesticity.” First Friday hours in the Roosevelt Row shipping container galleries are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the phICA website.

“A Show of Hands”
Constance McBride creates clay and mixed-media sculptures that “punctuate the complexity of the human drama,” exploring topics that include the aging process and its effects on the human body. Often her works are inspired by the natural world, replete with beautiful imperfections. First Friday hours at monOrchid’s Bokeh Gallery are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the monOrchid website.

Explore paintings with a colorful palette created by Bobby Lee Krajnik, an artist inspired by the beauty of Southwest landscapes and traditional Mexican folk art. Her works reveal the weathered exteriors and hand construction of churches that date back centuries, and she’s mindful of the role they’ve played in the history. First Friday hours at Olney Gallery are 6 to 9 p.m. Find more information on the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral website.

Grand Avenue
“Resilient Bodies”
Bill Dambrova, who works from his Goat Heart Studio at Bragg’s Pie Factory, is showing pieces that “playfully ponder the balance of the delicate and the resilience within the biological systems of humans, animals, and plants.” Dambrova is especially intrigued by the inner workings of living things, and celebrates the myriad events that happen between and within human bodies. First Friday hours at Chartreuse gallery are 6 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the Chartreuse gallery website.

“Tiny Works|Tiny Dances”
See small-scale works by dozens of local artists exhibited salon-style along three gallery walls. Artists are showing works in various media, including painting, photography, collage, sculpture, and mixed media. Show up at 7:30, 8:30, or 9:30 p.m. to see Tiny Dances, short dance works performed on small stages, choreographed and performed by Elisa Cavallero, Liliana Gomez, and Nicole L. Olson. First Friday hours at {9} The Gallery are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on the {9} The Gallery website.

“Coalesce: A City Composed”
This new multi-media collaboration by emerging Arizona artists Megan Jones and Jordan Ignacio blends paintings with musical scores to explore “the excitement and monotony of life in the urban desert sprawl from the diverse perspectives of the native and the newcomer.” Visual artist Jones is an Arizona native. Musician Ignacio is a recent East Coast transplant. First Friday hours at Grand ArtHaus are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the exhibit website.

Read on for shows in the warehouse district and Central Corridor.
Warehouse District
“Ni De Aquí Ni De Allá/Neither Here Nor There”
Contemporary Mexican printmakers from both the U.S. and Mexico are showing works in “Ni De Aquí Ni De Allá/Neither Here Nor There: Contemporary Mexican Printmaking on Both Sides of the Border.” It’s part of a portfolio exchange designed to unite artists with similar cultural backgrounds despite efforts by politicians to divide them. Featured artists are traditional, nontraditional, academic, and DIY printmakers. First Friday hours at Step Gallery are 6 to 9 p.m. Learn more on the ASU Events website.

Eric Cox has compiled pieces that are loosely connected by “merging expressions with a free flowing technique.” They’re all grounded in Cox’s “perception that we are all diverse creatures.” Even so, they reflect his overall approach, in which he overworks lines until they’re perfect – yet recognizes they can never be perfect. First Friday hours at the Icehouse, which is also showing works by Eddie Sparr and Joe Holdren, are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Icehouse Facebook page.

Central Avenue
“The Big Robot Show”
See works by mixed-media artist Jordan Alexander Thomas, who enjoys making “curiously odd robots and sci-fi creations on a grand scale” using wood and up-cycled found objects. He’s showing at Practical Art, where the evening’s lineup also includes live music, Polaroid camera photo opps, holiday treats, and ornament-making with artist Christy Puetz. First Friday hours at Practical Art are 6 to 10 p.m. Find information on the Practical Art website.

“American Diaries”
Diego Pérez, whose mural graces a west-facing exterior wall just off The Studio gallery space at the Found:RE hotel, is featured in the second exhibition to happen at the new art boutique hotel. Pérez is one of more than two dozen artists whose work is on view throughout the hotel. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the Found:RE Facebook page.

"Kelsey Dake"
She's drawn for The New York Times, Nike, Variety, BBDO, McSweeney's, and HarperCollins. Now Kelsey Dake is showing 10 or so monkey drawings created for a color study. Dake admits she's not a big fan of monkeys, which made it easier to forget about trying to make them pretty. Instead, they reflect her characteristic wonderfully weird vibe. This is the first time she's shown them in public. First Friday hours at the Shortcut Gallery shared by Framed Ewe and Phoenix General are 6 to 8 p.m. Find details on the Framed Ewe Facebook page.

For one night only, you can see works created by senior photography students at ASU – including Emily Thomas, Kaela Hall, Kat Davis, Kaishun Huang, Lindsay Arnold, Nathan Heeney, Suemya Mazegri, and Taylor Schroeder. First Friday hours at First Studio are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the First Studio Facebook page.

Light the Night
Get free admission to Phoenix Art Museum during First Friday, when bringing three designated items for their holiday donation drive will even get you free admission to one of the ticketed exhibitions. One ticketed exhibition, titled "Emphatics," features fashion — and the other works by Kehinde Wiley. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Find details, including which perishable items count towards a free special exhibition admission, on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

More exhibits

“Lighthouse 9”
See the latest iteration of a light-infused exhibition, which is free from noon to 6 p.m. at Alwun House on First Friday. You’ll pay $14 ($10 in advance) to get in afterwards – because the DECKER concert, with Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, kicks off at 7 p.m. Look for functional and conceptual works, including works by artists in the ASU Neon Art Club. Learn more on the Alwun House website.

“The Hive”
See works by native Phoenician Geoffrey Bohm, who has been dabbling in many media for nearly three decades – bringing “raw, orchestrated, and spontaneous effort” to small- and large-scale works that explore “the struggles of everyday life in crude and biting light.” First Friday hours at The Hive are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on The Hive Facebook page.

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