Visual Arts

Here's the Best Art We Saw in Metro Phoenix During September 2016

As a new academic year got underway for ASU, the impact of ASU's School of Art on the local arts scene was on full display — in galleries located not only on the Tempe campus, but in other arts spaces around metro Phoenix.

Here's a look at ten of the best art works we spotted this month, which includes a strong showing by ASU students and alumni, but also works by several additional artists — including artists working in California and New York. 

Sugar Tree
Michael Marlowe

It’s been more than two decades since Michael Marlowe earned his MFA in set direction for theater from Arizona State University, but it’s clear he still has a flair for the dramatic – creating works of art that blend botanicals with the biological, often giving nods to what he calls “the naughty bits” of human anatomy. This oil and charcoal on paper piece is featured in the “Hello!” exhibition, spotlighting seven artists newly represented by Bentley Gallery, which continues through October 15.

Amphora: Axis Mundi, Amphora: Night Sky
Adam Shiverdecker

California artist Adam Shiverdecker creates ceramic works that explore his “ambivalence to icons of military might.” Often these works reference historical Greek vessels, which represent for the artist a culture that venerates war and conflict, even as it foreshadows aspects of “our own bellicose culture.” Both works were featured in the recent “Prime Ceramics” exhibition curated by Heather Couch for ASU’s Harry Wood Gallery.

Together With Ourselves
Sky Black

Born in Flagstaff, California artist Sky Black creates paintings that mix nostalgia with adventure — using classical and Old World themes and techniques, and the odd coupling of animate and inanimate objects to address enigmatic themes prevalent in contemporary culture. This work was part of the recent “Our Other Selves/Sky Black” exhibition at {9} The Gallery.

Ronna Nemitz

Ronna Nemitz, who holds an MFA from ASU, created this installation using found and made objects including a travel trunk, sculpture, piano rolls, braille paper, scissors, and string. The work, which references her aging parents’ frailty, explores the way time has both changed their purpose and shifted the artist’s own perceptions. The installation is featured in the “Biennial Art Faculty & Staff Exhibition” that continues through October 7 at the MCC Art Gallery at Mesa Community College.

Erasure 1, Erasure 2
Ana Teresa Fernandez

These hyperrealist oil paintings by San Francisco artist Ana Teresa Fernendez are part of a larger body of work titled Erasure, which is rooted in a performance referencing the 2014 disappearance of 43 young male students who’d staged a protest in their small town of Ayotzinapa, Mexico. Like much of Fernandez’s work, these paintings prompt reflection on social injustice while honoring those who fight against it. Several of her Erasure works are featured in the “Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta,” which continues through December 31 at ASU Art Museum.