Friends and fellow artists Bill Dambrova and Fausto Fernandez filled a gallery space with art this week, getting ready to open what’s become a rarity in recent months — an actual exhibition happening in a physical space rather than an online format.
Most metro Phoenix art spaces closed in mid-March due to COVID-19 public health concerns. Now, some galleries are putting an end to their pandemic pause, holding in-person opening receptions and gallery hours.
The artists wore masks while installing their work, and Dambrova says they’ll encourage social distancing during Saturday’s opening reception. Still, that’s not what he envisioned last year, when they began planning the exhibit, thinking it would be shown at a small gallery inside a public library.
That never happened, due to COVID-19. Now, they’ve got a new venue. And they’re part of a relatively small group of artists with works on view at local galleries. “We’re going with the flow and adapting,” says Dambrova. “This is a good test.”
It turns out that several galleries are opening new exhibits in coming days, even as most art spaces remain temporarily closed. Here’s a look at upcoming openings, along a few shows that opened in recent days and weeks. Also, a friendly reminder: Check gallery mask and social distancing policies before paying a visit.
'Elements of Style II'Royse Contemporary
7077 East Main Street, #6, Scottsdale
Explore works by 12 artists at Royse Contemporary, which is celebrating its three year anniversary. Featured artists work in various mediums, including assemblage, drawing, painting, photography, and more. Participating artists include James Angel, Charmagne Vasquez Coe, and Cam DeCaussin. The gallery will hold a virtual opening reception at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 13, and an in-person reception from 6 to 8 p.m. that evening.
'Inside Perspectives'Shemer Art Center
5005 East Camelback Road
Check out works by more than three dozen artists during the reception taking place at Shemer Art Center from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 13. The exhibit includes works in various mediums, including ceramics, drawing, mixed media, painting, and sculpture. Participating artists include Jane Kelsey-Mapel, Agustin Vargas, and Danielle Wood.
'WIP: Works in Progress'Eye Lounge
419 East Roosevelt Street
The Eye Lounge art collective is doing a three-day showing of works in progress, which will open on Friday, August 14. There’s no opening reception, but you can make an appointment to stop by the gallery and check out the exhibit. You’ll see works in various mediums created by artists with diverse styles. Christy Wittmer will open her solo exhibit “Impermanent Monuments” on Friday, August 21.
'Abstract Journeys of Mutation'Mood Room
Park Central Mall
3121 North Third Avenue, #100
See new works by Bill Dambrova and Fausto Fernandez, longtime friends and staples of the metro Phoenix arts scene who’ve been mixing it up in recent months by experimenting with everything from materials to scale. The artists visited each other’s studios, working together to choose pieces they’ll be exhibiting inside this Artlink exhibition space. The opening reception at Mood Room runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 15. The gallery will be open that day starting at noon.
'20,000 Leagues Under My Spleen'The Hive
2222 North 16th Street
The Hive is presenting graphic prints and other works by Loomis Henry, an artist who “casts a satirical, sacred and seething” eye on American culture with images that put a new twist on poets, politicians, pop culture icons, and more. The artist is doing a virtual opening reception, complete with cutout guests, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 21. You can explore the exhibit in person during limited gallery hours.
'Dyads: Altered Bodies, Converging Forms'Vision Gallery
10 East Chicago Street, Chandler
See Sumi ink on paper works by Sapira Cheuk, an artist who considers the ways people cope with trauma and change through androgynous figures that signal the human impulse to "control the uncontrollable." The exhibit opens at Vision Gallery on Saturday, August 29, and will be on view during regular gallery hours.
'Square Root of Negative One'Five15 Arts at Chartreuse
1301 Grand Avenue
Five15 Arts at Chartreuse recently opened the first solo exhibition of new collective member Michael Pierre Price, whose work reflects his interest in math, physics, and astronomy. The artist is showing surreal and abstract works that also draw from teachings of indigenous elders. Gallery hours are currently by appointment.
'Compass Collection'Walter Art Gallery
6425 East Thomas Road, Scottsdale
Lucretia Torva, an artist whose murals dot the downtown Phoenix landscape, is showing brightly-colored portraits of women who “take action and use their skill set to change the world” in this exhibition at Walter Art Gallery. You can view the exhibit by appointment.