The Best Things We Saw on March First Friday

Lynn Trimble
Baby Trump drew the selfie crowd on Grand Avenue.
The city came alive Friday night, in creative spaces ranging from galleries to coffee shops.

Some got their first look at FOUND:RE Phoenix art changes while others gathered across the street at Fair Trade Café to meet artists in the Phoenix Frida collective.

Music fans went to the M3F Festival at Hance Park wandered over to Phoenix Public Library, where they caught Jeff Falk’s artwork complete with busts of Beethoven and Bach.

Hundreds of people headed to Phoenix Art Museum, while hundreds more hung out near a giant Baby Trump balloon on Grand Avenue — revealing the many ways Phoenicians like to experience their arts and culture together.

Here’s a look at three of the best things we saw during our March First Friday travels.

click to enlarge Gallery visitor with work by Marcela Erives at ASU Step Gallery. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Gallery visitor with work by Marcela Erives at ASU Step Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

‘Hermosa Beleza’

We found people milling around ASU Step Gallery wearing 3D glasses, eager to see how the red and blue lenses would change the appearance of artist Marcela Erives’ whimsical sculptures made with fiberglass, resin, and foam insulation.

Erives’ was there to talk about the works she calls “wobbles,” including the way their folds and contortions reflect the human body. Gallery-goers were intrigued by both her creations and how they were painted using household and automotive paint.

Some sculptures, including one with a pink bubblegum vibe, towered over the people who circled around it to take selfies. Other smaller pieces appeared like odd entities sitting on wire stands. For people who caught the show, it was a night that perfectly married fun with fine art.

click to enlarge Exploring Andy Brown's work at Sisao Gallery. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Exploring Andy Brown's work at Sisao Gallery.
Lynn Trimble

‘Eye Level’

Most of the Grand Avenue foot traffic was centered about Snood Neon, where graffiti artists were painting live near the Trump Baby balloon. But just up the street, a quiet show at Sisao Gallery rewarded people who made their way to the area's other creative spaces.

Gallery walls were filled with drawings, paintings, and sculptures by Andy Brown, an easygoing artist best known to most locals for murals that feature colorful abstract patterns or imagery from the urban landscape, such as cactus and bicycles. Those who looked carefully saw nods to Brown’s wider art practice, which includes encouraging emerging artists who don’t have formal art training.

click to enlarge Checking out mixed media works by Jeffrey Falk at Burton Barr Central Library. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out mixed media works by Jeffrey Falk at Burton Barr Central Library.
Lynn Trimble

‘Déjà vu View’

As massive shifts are happening on the Roosevelt Row arts scene, it’s worth taking the long view to consider not only the short-term impacts of new developments but also the many changes that transpired decades before.

They’ve all contributed to the current state of arts and culture, which artist and poet Jeffrey Falk has been witnessing for some time now. Falk was part of the MARS arts collective that elevated the presence of Chicano artists from the early ‘70s through the ‘90s.

Now, he’s showing work in a solo exhibition that drew a steady stream of people to the Central Gallery at Burton Barr Central Library Friday night, where they saw Falk’s wry, insightful mixed-media works that play on art history and contemporary culture.

Collectively, these exhibits highlighted the diversity of art happening in Phoenix and the vital role of both emerging and established artists.