12 Places to Go During April First Friday in Downtown Phoenix

It's no joke: The monthly First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix takes place on April Fool's Day. And we're not kidding when we say there's plenty to take in at galleries around town. Here are a few suggestions.

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A piece from Aimee Ollinger's "Microcosm" exhibit at Sisao Gallery.
Aimee Ollinger/Sisao Gallery

Sisao Gallery

Sisao Gallery will present "Microcosm," the first solo show by artist Aimee Ollinger.

"Ollinger’s intricately crafted works explore multiple layers of nature through microscopic lenses,"  says curator Laura Dragon. "By resurfacing these delicate details of the natural world through an abstract interpretation, she subtly creates narratives that expose the complexity of our organic landscapes and elements."

Sisao is located at 1501 Northwest Grand Avenue. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Northlight Gallery

When Northlight Gallery opened 50 years ago, it was on the Arizona State University Tempe campus. Today, it's located at the school's Grant Street Studios downtown, and it's celebrating the milestone anniversary with "VISIONS: 50 Years of Curating." The show will feature works by past Northlight curators and on First Friday, you can hear gallery talks by contributors including James Hajicek, Liz Allen, Stephen Marc, and Richard Laugharn.

Northlight Gallery is located at 605 East Grant Street. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m., and artist talks begin at 6:30.

Vikki Reed's mandalas can be seen at Olney Gallery.
Vikki Reed

Olney Gallery

Tucked in the beautiful Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is Olney Gallery, which this First Friday will be showing "Sacred Harmony" featuring works by Jessica Gentilé, Mitra Kamali, Marcia Losh, and Vikki Reed. The four artists explore concepts like spirituality, the body, and humanity.

Olney Gallery is located at 100 West Roosevelt Street. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum is the ideal place to start your First Friday explorations. Tonight, you can see the museum's permanent collections, plus check out temporary exhibitions such as "Farewell Photography: The Hitachi Collection of Postwar Japanese Photographs, 1961-1989" and "Clay and Paper: Japanese Ceramics and Screens," which is leaving the museum later this month.

Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 North Central Avenue. First Friday hours are 3 to 9 p.m., when admission is pay as you wish.

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Work by Safwat Saleem is part of "Tense," now on display at Modified Arts.
Safwat Saleem/Modified Arts

Modified Arts

The idea of the American Dream is a long-debated concept. The question of whether it is achievable for everyone is the subject of "Tense," the new exhibition at Modified Arts. Renowned local artists Christopher Jagmin, Ann Morton, and Safwat Saleem "examine their own past histories, current anxieties, and future hopes," says the gallery statement. "Using words, graphs, charts, video, and sound — each from their own perspective — remind us all of the powerful connotations of these symbols while also showing the weaknesses in their facade."

Modified Arts is located at 407 East Roosevelt Street. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

Cahokia PHX

This month, Cahokia PHX, the Indigenous-led social and art space, will host an Indigenous Women's Pop-Up Market. Come check out and purchase beadwork by Shiyoo Designs, tea and other goods by Blue Corn Custom Designs, tamales and blue corn cookies by Local Matriarch, and more. DJ Muchacho Mike will provide the tunes.

Cahokia PHX is located at 707 North Third Street, #130. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

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Daniel Friedman uses paint over old family photographs in his work.
Daniel Friedman/Five15 Arts

Five15 Arts Gallery

"See/Saw," a two-person exhibition about observation and memory featuring the work of Daniel Friedman and Daniel Prendergast, is the new exhibition at Five15 Arts Gallery @ Chartreuse. Friedman paints over enlarged family photos to apply new layers of meaning. Prendergast paints intensely realized images of home and garden.

Five15 Arts is located at 1301 Northwest Grand Avenue. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

FOUND:RE Contemporary

Tonight, FOUND:RE Contemporary and FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel will debut "UPCYCLE: RE:cycle. RE:purpose. RE:imagine." The sustainability-based show will feature works by Arizona artists "who use their craft to explore a variety of ways to reuse and repurpose materials and or found objects in an electric and artistic manner," says the gallery statement.

FOUND:RE Contemporary is located at 1100 North Central Avenue. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Ryan Casillas' shot of Jerome is included in "Copper State: Bust and Boom" at Phoenix Film Revival.
Ryan Casillas/Phoenix Film Revival

Phoenix Film Revival

Arizona is dotted with old mining towns, some of which continue to exist and some that have long been abandoned. These towns are the subject of "Copper State: Bust and Boom," a photo exhibition at Phoenix Film Revival featuring the work of Ryan Casillas. Casillas, who comes from a family of miners, says, "ever since I was a kid, I’ve had an obsession with old mining towns, both in their aesthetics, their often wild and wooly history and a certain melancholy feel that is almost indescribable."

Phoenix Film Revival is located at 1023 Northwest Grand Avenue. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Heard Museum

The world-renowned Heard Museum offers free admission during First Friday, so it's your chance to see current exhibitions such as "George Catlin on Indigenous Land," a collection of 19th-century paintings of a variety of Native tribes; "Remembering the Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art," a collection of 20th- and 21st-century work; and "Southwest Silverwork, 1850-1940."

The Heard Museum is located at 2301 North Central Avenue. First Friday Hours are 4 to 8 p.m.

Alwun House

The Alwun House Art Park will become a market with artists selling their wares this First Friday. DJ Scapegoat will be spinning tunes as visitors shop, enjoy adult beverages, and check out the Crazy Lime Salsa Kitchen Food truck.

Alwun House is located at 1204 East Roosevelt Street. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Howland Studios Gallery

If you head a little farther north from the Roosevelt Row area of First Friday, you'll find the "Glassy and Glossy" exhibition at Howland Studios Gallery inside The Hive. There will be art, music, and food for everyone to enjoy.

Howland Studios Gallery is located at 2222 North 16th Street. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.