The downtown arts community is emerging from its pandemic pause, which means you’ll start to see more and more exhibits happening on First Fridays. On June 4, the lineup ranges from a pop-up vaccination clinic at a new art park to a museum exhibit meant to promote unity and bipartisan collaboration. Several venues continue to require masks, by the way. Happily, most First Friday exhibits are free.
Head to Exposed Studio & Gallery in the Melrose district between 5 and 8 p.m. on First Friday to explore works by Aaron Marner, an artist whose body of work includes primarily figurative paintings on canvas, wood, and metal. Several themes in his recent works reflect issues raised within the Black Lives Matter movement.
Artist Lena Klett will be at Eye Lounge in Roosevelt Row from 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday, where her exhibition “Kiss the Earth/Touch the Sky” includes works on paper, video, and installation art. The exhibition addresses several themes, including chance, intentionality, and transformation. The show continues through June 8.
Make your way to First Studio for the “5 Star Invitational Art Show” that includes prints, drawings, paintings, mixed media artworks and more. Featured artists include Kimberley Boege, Barbara Dahlstedt, Carlos Encinas, Louis Giordano, and Hristi Wilbur. First Friday hours will be 6 to 9 p.m.
Five15 Arts at Chartreuse is presenting a group exhibition called “Creatures of Habit,” which features works by artists in the Arizona Print Group. The exhibit was curated by Marlys Kubicek. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum will have pay-what-you-wish admission from 3 to 7 p.m. on First Friday, when you can explore more than a dozen exhibitions, including “Ann Morton: The Violet Protest,” which includes textile works made by community members around the country as a means to promote unity and bipartisan collaboration. Another exhibit features works by five emerging artists based in Arizona, including Danielle Hacche and Lena Klett.
Heard Museum will have free admission from 4 to 8 p.m. on First Friday, when you can see both ongoing and changing exhibitions featuring painting, jewelry, sculpture, textiles, and several additional media. Look for a small exhibition of artist-decorated face masks called “Behind the Mask: Indigenous Artists Speak Out,” as well as the collaborative wheatpaste mural Sonnet of Lament by artist Chip Thomas (a.k.a. Jetsonorama) and poet Esther Belin.
The Art Park next to Alwun House will be holding a free First Friday event from 6 to 10 p.m. The lineup will include art vendors, food trucks, and DJ Scapegoat. Embry Health is scheduled to be on-site from 5 to 9 p.m. for a free community vaccination event.
Navy veteran and artist Christopher “Boats” Oshana will be showing a selection of photographs from his “Invisible Scars” series featuring veterans with PTSD from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on First Friday. Look for the artist and his work on the lawn near the House of Representatives building at the Arizona State Capitol complex.