Best Art Shows in Phoenix on First Friday, Feburary 3 | Phoenix New Times

Your Guide to February 2017's First Friday in Phoenix

Must-sees, plus a guide by arts district.
See works by Thuong Nguyen exhibited at the newly renovated monOrchid building.
See works by Thuong Nguyen exhibited at the newly renovated monOrchid building. Lynn Trimble

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Maybe you’re tempted to sit this First Friday out for some reason. Don’t do it, because we’ve found several must-see shows worth breaking up with your favorite couch for a night. Here’s a guide to February's First Friday, including tips for what shows to put at the top of your list and a rundown of other events happening in various parts of downtown Phoenix, where the ArtLink trolley now has five hubs. (The trolley now visits three areas: Roosevelt Row/Central Arts, Grand Avenue, and the Warehouse District/Downtown.) We’ve even thrown in a few shows opening Thursday or Saturday night, just in case.

Must-See First Friday Art Shows

See works by Vietnamese American artist Thuong Nguyen exhibited in the newly renovated monOrchid Gallery, where you can also meet Mark Freedman, the new aesthetic director, who is responsible for curating quarterly shows featuring works by Arizona artists and other artists with Arizona roots. First Friday hours are 6-10 p.m. Learn more on the Thuong Nguyen Facebook page.

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Work by ENUF, an artist featured in "AZ/NM Connection," that hangs inside the Dressing Room.
ENUF/Photo by Lynn Trimble
“AZ/NM Connection”
Created by Monique Sanderson-Mata, this art show (presented for several years now) is a way to highlight artistic connections between Arizona and New Mexico. Hit Grand ArtHaus from 6 to 10 p.m. for the opening, then head to Third Space for the 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. after party. Get details on the event Facebook page.

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See Halo Movement Collective première a new work at Unexpected Art Gallery.
Halo Movement Collective
Stop by Unexpected Art Gallery for the art, then stay for the dance, as Halo Movement Collective presents a première performance of a new full-length dance work by artistic director Angel Castro. Part art installation, part immersive visual and auditory experience, it’s designed to set the audience in the middle of the action. Dancers perform at 7:30 p.m. on First Friday. Find more information on the Unexpected Gallery Facebook page.

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See work by Travis Ivey, and his alter ego HANK, at ASU's Step Gallery.
Travis Ivey/HANK
“2-in-1: An Exhibition of Identities"
This exhibition features paintings, collage, and sculpture by Travis Ivey, whose unconventional materials include glitter and mailing envelopes. He’s showing two bodies of work in one space – including one featuring western landscapes painted by an alter ego he calls HANK, and another created with found and collected byproducts from society and his own life. It’s happening from 6 to 9 p.m. at Step Gallery. Get details on the ASU Events website.

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See panels from Steve Yazzie's Heard Museum mural that were de-installed during renovations.
Steve Yazzie/Photo by Lynn Trimble
“Black, White, Blue, Yellow (BWBY)”
Be among the first to see Phoenix artist Steve Yazzie’s multimedia installation and exhibition at the Heard Museum, which incorporates imagery and sound inspired by hikes through four different mountain ranges – each signified by a color in the show’s title. The Heard Museum is also showing several of the panels that comprise Yazzie’s mural previously installed inside a gallery currently undergoing renovation. First Friday admission is free from 6 to 10 p.m. The evening includes music mixed by DJ Fenix and an activity from the Museum of Walking, which Yazzie co-founded with artist Angela Ellsworth. Get details on the Heard Museum website.

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See DATURA perform at Phoenix Art Museum.
At Phoenix Art Museum you can explore three art exhibitions including photographs, mixed media, and fashion – in addition to seeing a multimedia performance by media ensemble DATURA. They’ll be using analog and digital instruments and processes to create improvisational performance happening episodically between 7 and 9 p.m. on First Friday, when museum admission is free starting at 6 p.m. Learn more on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

Read on for more of Phoenix's fresh art shows.
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See John Tuomisto-Bell's 1000 Cranes installation at New City Studio.
New City Studio
Roosevelt Row/Central Arts District

“The Peace Show”

Ever get the feeling that hippies are hip again, now that protests of Trump’s policies are a regular occurrence? See what artists are doing with the theme of peace at New City Studio, where “The Peace Show” includes works by 14 artists, including John Tuomisto-Bell, Amanda Johnson, Jared Aubel, and Janet Burruel. First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the New City Studio Facebook page.

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See works by Camila Galofre Ochoa and other artists at the Herberger Theater Center art gallery.
Camila Galofre Ochoa
Check out works by several MFA students at ASU’s School of Art during the opening reception for their show at Herberger Theater Center, which runs 5:30 to 7 p.m. Another Herberger Theater art gallery, located at Arizona Center, is doing a group show called “Tiny Art” featuring ceramics, encaustic, gouache, college, photography, painting, and mixed media from 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday Find details on the Herberger Theater Center website.

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See Sean Deckert photographs in a Roosevelt Row shipping container gallery.
Sean Deckert
"Inverse Universe"
Rhetorical Galleries presents works by Los Angeles-based photographer Sean Deckert, who merges science fiction with spirituality while exploring civilization, ontology, space, and time. During 6 to 10 p.m. First Friday hours for the shipping container galleries in Roosevelt Row, Deckert will be selling a hand-stitched zine in addition to talking with gallery-goers about his work. Learn more on the artist's website.

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See work by multiple artists at Found:RE Phoenix.
Courtesy of Found:RE Phoenix
“Butt Seriously”
Ever thought about dabbing your derriere with paint, then making marks on paper as if your body was a rubber stamp? We didn’t think so, but at we know at least one artist has tried it – in the spirit of helping Found:RE Phoenix set the stage for its February show, where art meets backside. We’re told it’s all tastefully done, but you can see for yourself 6 to 8 p.m. on First Friday. Get (G-rated) details on the Found:RE Facebook page.

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See works by Jane Kelsey-Mapel and Becky Frehse at Practical Art.
Jane Kelsey-Mapel and Becky Frehse
“Pursuit of Happiness”
See mixed-media assemblages by Becky Frehse and Jane Kelsey-Mapel, whose work together is meant to merge folk art with fine art. The artists use arts and crafts, including doll-making, puppeteering, and model-making – as well as painting and sculpture. See their work from 7 to 9 p.m. on First Friday at Practical Art. Learn more on the Practical Art website.

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See large-scale jewelry works at Babylon Gallery.
Lynn Trimble
“Babylon Jewelry”
Bassim Al-Shaker, an Iraq-born artist who now lives and works in Roosevelt Row, is showing jewelry created by his father, a well-known Iraqi artist who creates jewelry using copper and other materials. Al-Shaker will be showing large-scale versions of his father’s jewelry pieces, which contain iconic images including evil eyes and Hamsa hands – and sharing information on their cultural significance with curious gallery-goers at his Babylon Gallery. First Friday hours at Babylon Gallery are 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the gallery Facebook page.

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See work by Henry Leo Schoebel at the Icehouse.
Henry Schoebel
Grand Avenue Arts District/Warehouse District

"Full Circle"
Joe Holdren, an artist named curator for the Icehouse last year, is showing works by five artists he admires – including four ASU art professors who’ve provided inspiration for Holdren’s own art practice. Featured artists include Mark Pomilio, Ellen Murray, Henry Leo Schoebel, Janice Pittsley, and Laurent Teichman. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Get details on Joe Holdren's Facebook page.

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See work by Katia Lifshin at {9} The Gallery.
Katia Lifshin
“Reconstructed Perceptions”
Hoping to challenge viewers’ perceptions of self, other, and nature, artist Katia Lifshin creates portraits that combine parts of different people’s faces. See her show exploring similarities and differences between individuals in the context of uniqueness and identity 6-10 p.m. on First Friday at {9} The Gallery. Find additional information on the {9} The Gallery website.

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See work by Amanda Adkins and others at Chartreuse gallery.
Amanda Adkins/Photo by Lynn Trimble
"Phoenix Phabulous History Mural"
See several interior murals created by various artists, including Aileen Frick and Amanda Adkins, as part of the Phoenix Phabulous Murals project curated by Hugo Medina. Murals for the project, now on view at Chartreuse gallery, explore several time periods in Phoenix's history. First Friday hours are 6-9 p.m. Find details on the exhibition Facebook page.

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See work by 12 women artists at The Artery.
Charmagne Vasquez Coe
Other Areas

"Small Works Love Show"

Explore small works by 12 women artists including Charmagne Vasquez Coe, Carla Keaton, Cindy Schnackel, Tara Sharpe, and Lucretia Torva, to name a few. They're bringing the love to tumultuous times with a group show from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Artery. Learn more on the event Facebook show.

See photographs by Danny Neumann when his exhibit opens Thursday night at Walter Art Gallery.
Danny Neumann
Thursday and Saturday Art Shows

“Danny Neumann: The Super Neumanns”
R. Pela Contemporary Art presents photographs from a new series by Danny Neumann, who imagines everyday life for a family of superheroes. Culling inspiration from his own family’s experiences, Neumann shows that humanity and affection can imbue even the most mundane, ordinary tasks. The show opens at Walter Art Gallery with an artist reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 2. Find more information on the Walter Art Gallery website.

“AZ/NM Connections”
After you’ve hit Grand ArtHaus and Third Space on Friday night, enjoy another take on the Arizona/New Mexico show at Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center. It’s happening Saturday, February 4, from 3 to 10 p.m. Learn more on the event Facebook page.

“Forever Rising”
The Sagrado Galleria is showing works by elementary and high school students, who were asked to create art reflecting their perspectives and experiences living in south Phoenix. Expect to see paintings, photography, and block prints – as well as performance by spoken-word artist Mahogney Turner. Hours on Saturday, February 4, are 5 to 9 p.m. Find details on the event Facebook page.

Correction: This post has been edited from its original version to reflect the correct spelling of Katia Lifshin's name, and the correct title of her exhibition
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