Hayden's Ferry Review


So, What's There to Do in Phoenix? (Art-Wise)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Phoenix may not be New York or San Francisco, but we've got our fair share of fun art and literature events. We'll keep you posted of these events (and more!) in our sporadically updated review "So, what's there to do in Phoenix?"

This post will be a bit of a mash-up. Reason? Because, if I may say so, there’s a buttload (e-mail us for definition) of art stuff and things going on around Phoenix. Not only do you have the always popular First Fridays coming up this Friday, October 3, but there are tons of new exhibits all over the Valley.

The ASU Art Museum has just opened their exhibit “The Other Mainstream II: Selections from the Collection of Mikki and Stanley Weithorn” which runs from September 27, 2008 through January 4, 2009. The exhibit is based on the collection of the affluent Phoenix art collectors Mikki and Stanley Weithorn and focuses on the “narrative forms of figurative paintings, drawings, and sculpture” all of which has been created post-September 11 and many of the works reflect the changed nation and world.

Mesa Arts Center has some really interesting exhibits up right now which might appeal to an audience not normally into “stuffy” contemporary art (of course, of course I joke, but there is some truth to it, right? I can’t imagine I’m the only one who has looked at a sculpture piece comprised of nails, pieces of yarn, and recycled Funfetti cake boxes which is supposedly questioning American individualism and asked WTF?). Their exhibit, “Low and Slow” looks at the art of pin-striping and car customizing. At the heart of the exhibit is a “fully customized 1979 Monte Carlo with a one-of-a-kind flake paint job and muraled frame and chassis” by artist Mister Cartoon. The exhibit runs from September 12, 2008 to January 11, 2009. There are also a couple of exhibits showcasing tattoo art: “Beneath the Skin: Artwork Inspired by Tattoos,” “Arizona Wheels and Ink,” an exhibit of local Phoenix artists, and on every second Friday from September 12, 2008 to January 9, 2009, the Project Room of the Mesa Arts Center will be transformed into a makeshift tattoo studio, with live tattooing by local artists, and tattoo art and history lining the walls.

SMoCA, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art recently opened the exhibit, “Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting” which is really a lot cooler than those mashed-up itchy knitted sweaters from Grandma you’ve tucked in the back of your closet. Think itchy ugly sweater for the twentieth century art scene. It runs from September 20, 2008 to February 1, 2009. From SMoCA’s newsletter, a smidgen of a preview: “They [the works] serve as commentaries on the traditional—and sometimes stereotypical—roles associated with craft… Yoshiki Hishinuma uses industrial knitting machines to create three-dimensional sculptures, some of which are also wearable and based on the forms of flowers. Industrial designer Neils van Eijk uses lace techniques to create a lamp of optical fibers.” There are also accompanying workshops and lectures devoted to the craft, as well as “Stitched” a night of art, music, and fashion based on the exhibition on November 13, 2008 from 9:00 PM to midnight.

Finally, if you’re itching to see some Western American fine art, the Phoenix Art Museum is exhibiting “one of the country’s premier Western American art events” from October 18, 2008 – November 16, 2008 in their 43rd Annual Cowboy Artists of America exhibit.

So, there ya go. Don't complain when you can't think of anything to do for Friday date night. Your boyfriend/girlfriend can thank me later for the injection of "culture" in your life.