Here Are the Best Works of Art We Saw in May

Lynn Trimble
Work by Mesa-born Esao Andrews featured in "Flourish" at Mesa Comtemporary Arts Museum.
There was a lot to love in the local arts scene in May, as a new crop of exhibitions opened at both Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. Several Arizona State University-trained artists showed impressive work at venues in the Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, and Warehouse District art hubs. But several of the best works showed up a bit off the beaten path.

Here's a look back at 10 of our favorite works spotted around the Valley in May.

One of two Esao Andrews murals painted for the "Flourish" exhibition at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, this piece reflects common influences in his work, including the grotesque, eroticism, and surrealism. Born and raised in Mesa, Esao now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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Works by Kazuma Sambe, who explored quantity versus quality at Eye Lounge.
Lynn Trimble
Red label, or green label
For his solo exhibition titled "Buy One, Get One," Kazuma Sambe included several ceramic works that explore the focus in contemporary society on quantity rather than quality. The exhibition took place at Eye Lounge, where he also showed small vessels filled with desert succulents.

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Work by Christine Lee exhibited at The Gallery at TCA.
Christine Lee/Photo by Lynn Trimble
Adaptive Stacking Order
Christine Lee, an artist deeply committed to reuse and recycling in her art practice, created this piece using wooden scrims. They're placed to stay in order without glue, so Lee will be able to use the pieces for future art projects. This work is featured in the "Biomimicry: Nature Imitates Design" exhibition in The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts.

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Squidsoup installation at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Lynn Trimble
Ocean Light: Submergence
The installation created by an open group of collaborators called Squidsoup fills an entire gallery space at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The United Kingdom-based group includes Anthony Rowe, Gaz Bushell, Liam Birtles, Chris Bennewith, and Ollie Brown. The lights change color and design as gallerygoers move through them.

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Work by Adella Helton exhibited at the MCC Art Gallery at Mesa Community College.
Lynn Trimble
Liquid Poetry
This pigmented inkjet print is one of many student works recently featured in the "2017 Annual Juried Art Student Show" at The MCC Gallery located at Mesa Community College. Works in this exhibition were selected by Patty Haberman, chief curator for Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.

Read on for more of May 2017's best art at Step Gallery, Grand ArtHaus, and The Hive.