Despite the challenges of dealing with COVID-19, metro Phoenix artists and arts spaces are continuing to create and share work. Here’s a look at culture news around the Valley, including news of upcoming exhibitions and opportunities for artists.
Change in Tempe Arts Leadership
Ralph Remington will be leaving his position as deputy director for arts and culture with the city of Tempe and producing executive director for Tempe Center for the Arts at the end of the year. A national search to replace Remington, who joined the city of Tempe in 2016, will be conducted. Remington has accepted a position as director of cultural affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Mesa Museum Plans Reopening
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, which temporarily closed earlier this year due to COVID-19 precautions, plans to reopen to the public on December 22 (members will have access starting on December 18). The museum will reopen with a trio of exhibits showcasing Arizona artists. “Forbidden Colors” features Harold Lohner works exploring male identity. “History Repeats” is a retrospective spanning textile artist Ann Morton’s career from 2006 to the present. A pop-up exhibition curated by Clottee Hammons will showcase five artists whose work prompts reflection on intersectionality.
Call for Mural Art
Downtown Phoenix Inc. is working with Artlink to present a call for mural artists. They’re seeking individual artists to create two murals in downtown Phoenix as part of a project called #DearDTPHX. The selected artist or team will receive $5,000 to create a pair of window murals measuring 14 feet wide and 9 feet tall. Submissions are due on Tuesday, December 1.
Latinx Playwriting Award Extends Deadline
Arizona Theatre Company has extended its deadline for the 2021 National Latinx Playwriting Award to December 1. Latinx playwrights living in the U.S., its territories, or Mexico can submit unpublished full-length or one-act plays in English, Spanish, or both languages. The winning playwright will be notified in fall 2021.
Fashion at Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum will pair fashion and visual art pieces in its collection for an exhibition titled “Collective Inspiration,” which is scheduled to open on December 12. In other fashion news, longtime Geoffrey Beene patron Patsy Tarr recently donated more than 350 garments to create a new archive of the designer’s work at the museum. Look for an exhibit featuring his work during the 2022-23 season.
More Murals Coming to Roosevelt Row
Two eateries getting ready to open in Roosevelt Row are planning to include exterior murals. La Gattara Cat Café will be creating a cat mural to replace the current mural with a bicycle theme at its building formerly occupied by The Velo. Tap That Downtown will have a mural painted by Hugo Medina at its location on Fifth Street.
Several museums have recently announced exhibitions planned for early 2021. The Heard Museum will open “Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight” featuring works by the modernist painter who grew up in the Southwest on February 4. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will show works that explore narratives addressing Black bodies in “Diedrick Brackens: Ark of Bulrushes,” which opens on February 6.
In-Person Art Classes Return
Several art venues have reintroduced in-person art classes after taking a pandemic pause or shifting to virtual offerings. Phoenix Center for the Arts is now offering in-person and virtual classes. Mesa Arts Center will begin reduced-size art workshops on December 11 and art classes on January 11. Shemer Art Center is also offering in-person classes.
Writing Conference Announces Lineup
The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writing Conference is going virtual from February 18 to 20, 2021, at Arizona State University. Organizers recently announced the lineup of presenters — including sci-fi/fantasy author Alan Dean Foster and poet Cynthia Pelayo — as well as information on more than 50 craft talks, panels, workshops, and other offerings addressing a diverse spectrum of genres and forms. Participants who register for the full conference before December 31 can save $50.
Arts in the Parks
The National Parks Service offers artist-in-residence opportunities in several fields, including visual arts, writing, music, and more. Interested artists should consult the National Parks website to locate specific artist programs in various parks and get details on how to apply.