This year’s Phoenix Festival of the Arts became the latest casualty of rising COVID-19 numbers this week, signaling the fact that we're likely to see additional cancellations in the coming days and weeks.
Here’s a look at other recent developments on the metro Phoenix arts scene, ranging from plans to replace an iconic mural to changes in the current Broadway season at ASU Gammage.
For news involving events or venues, check with organizers about mask and social distancing guidelines before heading out.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts Postponed
The planning committee for the annual arts festival scheduled to happen on December 12 and 13 this year has decided to cancel the event “in the interest of public health and safety.” The cancellation notice was published on the event Facebook page on November 19. Event organizers plan to present the next festival December 10 to 12, 2021.
Call for Art to Replace Rose Johnson Mural
The Civitan Foundation, which bought the building where Rose Johnson painted her iconic mural titled The Prayer of St. Francis in 1998, has issued a call for mural art to replace it. The foundation plans to cover the existing art with panels painted with new artwork. Artists can apply through Sunday, December 6. The foundation plans to install the mural in late March 2021.
More Changes to ASU Gammage Season
ASU Gammage, a Tempe venue that presents Broadway touring productions and other performance art, has announced more changes to its 2021 schedule. My Fair Lady, originally scheduled for February 2021, and Tootsie, originally set for March 2021, have been postponed. New dates have not been announced. Other Broadway shows with Tempe dates affected by COVID-19 include Hamilton, Hadestown, Mean Girls, Oklahoma, and The Band’s Visit.
Artist Emergency Relief Fund
Southwest Folkways Alliance is accepting applications for a grant designed to assist traditional artists and culture bearers impacted by COVID-19. The alliance plans to present up to twenty $500 awards before December 30. Applications are being accepted through December 15. Artists receiving grants from Arizona Commission on the Arts will not be eligible for this award.
Phoenix Children’s Museum Reopens
Phoenix Children’s Museum is reopening on Friday, November 20, after being temporarily closed during early COVID-19 days. The museum will have limited capacity and timed-entry. Visitors can explore 20,000-square-feet of outdoor space, which includes areas for kids to build, play in a ton of corn kernels, paint rocks, explore a straw bale maze, and more. Admission is $14.95.
Jetsonorama Creates Art for United Nations
Artist, activist, and physician Chip Thomas, who uses the creative moniker Jetsonorama, is one of nine artists whose work was recognized by the United Nations as part of its 75th anniversary commemoration. He’s best-known for a multi-artist mural project called The Painted Desert, but has worked more recently on imagery encouraging mask-wearing on the Navajo nation, where he has lived and worked for more than three decades.
Desert Botanical Garden Plans New Exhibit
Desert Botanical Garden just announced plans to show three-large scale installations created by California-based artists and married couple Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz of Waterlily Pond Studio, who specialize in forms made of florals and other plant materials. Their works titled Wind, Water, and Earth will be shown in different garden locations, during different multi-week periods beginning on January 19.
Battery Apartments Seek Artwork
The Battery Apartments located in the Warehouse District in Phoenix have issued a call through Artlink for works to become part of its public collection. The call notes that they are seeking mural art, as well as works in other mediums, and have a budget of $52,000 to purchase artwork for four spaces. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 8.
Pueblo Moves to Grand Avenue
The Grand Avenue strip best-known for arts and historic preservation is now home for a creative space called Pueblo, which is owned by Michael Lanier and Coby Bruckner. It’s the latest local venture for the pair, which previously operated Bosque inside the monOrchid building in Roosevelt Row and a Pueblo shop in the Garfield neighborhood. The new shop, which officially opened on November 16, specializes in plants — but also features work by local artists.
“Violet Protest” Deadline Extended
You’ve got more time to submit one or more pieces of blue and red fiber art for the “Violet Protest” project organized by Phoenix artist Ann Morton, who hopes the project will help to overcome bipartisan division and foster increased unity. Submit work by February 1 to have your work included in her 2021 exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum, or by August 1 to have your work sent to a member of Congress in late 2021. Artists and other community members can participate.
Museums Announce New Exhibits
“Voice Over: Zineb Sedira,” which opens at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on February 20, will feature works that reflect the artist’s exploration of “her own identity and history in relationship to the African diaspora.” Phoenix Art Museum’s “Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich,” which explores the artist’s gender-fluid, body-positive designs (including the thong), opens on March 11.
New Art Celebrates Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Phoenix artist Lucretia Torva recently painted a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feminist icon who died in September while serving as associate justice for the U.S. Supreme Court. The commissioned mural, located in the Oak Street alley off 14th Street, is one of many pieces inspired by Ginsburg. Others include stencils of her iconic collar painted by Saskia Jorda on sidewalks in front of several women-owned businesses including Barrio Cafe and Practical Art.
Mesa Launches STEAM-Based Educator Resources
The arts and culture department for the city of Mesa has announced a new virtual learning portal, which is designed to provide easy access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) resources for educators and home-schooling parents. Learning Reimagined participants include Arizona Museum of Natural History, i.d.e.a. Museum, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa Historical Museum, and Southwest Shakespeare Company. Many resources, which can be accessed through the Mesa Art Center website, are free.
Film Festival Adds Virtual Lineup
The Sedona International Film Festival, which draws viewers from around the state, is adding virtual offerings to its festival scheduled for February 20 to 28, which had already been scaled down to accommodate social distancing measures related to COVID-19. Films will be screened live and online. Virtual screening passes will be available. Film selections will be announced in early 2021.
New Exhibits at Western Museum
Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West has reopened after taking a pandemic pause, and is now presenting several new exhibitions and artworks. Two exhibits have audio tours accessible by cell phone. Look for a mural by Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, whose work dots the downtown Phoenix landscape, painted near an art show featuring Hopi masterworks. The museum is home to art by dozens of Arizona artists, including Ed Mell and Melanie Yazzie. Adult admission is $20.