There are plenty of reasons to check out local artwork beyond it being one of the designated "days" our community has become so fond of. First Friday, Third Friday, Final Friday, Third Thursday, Second Saturday -- just leave the house already.
|photo by Claire Lawton|Dozens of great places open their doors to cool shows by local, national, and international artists on a daily and weekly basis in Phoenix. Here are our favorite 10: 10. Modified Arts
Modified Arts has been a staple in the Roosevelt Row community for more than a decade. The building, at 407 E Roosevelt, was founded by local music and arts maven Kimber Lanning as a space for local creativity (she even crafted her own invitations for art and music shows for more than 10 years).
Throughout its time on the block, Modified (and later, Modified Arts) has launched the careers of handfuls of local artists and musicians and has made possible exhibitions by Melinda Bergman, Sue Chenoweth, Jon Haddock, Jen Urso, and Saskia Jorda, to name a few. We were happy to see the focus on local art when Lanning brought in Kim Larkin to direct and curate contemporary art exhibitions. And while we were sad to see Larkin leave at the beginning of the summer, we're looking forward to the continued focus on local art, as promised.
|photo by Claire Lawton, mural by El Mac, lettering by Lalo Cota|
9. Por Vida
The creative force behind Por Vida (Pablo Luna, Lalo Cota, and Thomas Marcus) aren't quite ready to unveil their latest collaborative effort -- a full-fledged gallery on 16th Street with a promising lineup and an assortment of events. We've seen what they've done with the outside, including a mural by El Mac and members of the gallery, as well as a fashionable front window. And until February, we'll just have to see what goes up on the inside walls. 8. Bentley Gallery
If you haven't met Bentley Calverley, your bound to know her name -- it hangs above her gallery in Scottsdale and project space in downtown Phoenix. Calverley moved to Phoenix in 1982 and moved her art gallery to Scottsdale from Philadelphia in 1989. She's known to feature high-end work at all sizes, including huge sculptures of local Pete Deise, mid-size wood bowls by the famous Moulthrop family -- even ancient Asian artifacts. It was Calverly who brought emerging artists to Scottsdale when she subleased vacant spaces owned by Scottsdale's Dewey Schade in early 2010. And while her pop-up bubble burst, the local art scene is better with her (and her galleries) around.
|photo by Ed Gomez for D-Block's "Save Our States" exhibition at monOrchid|
Originally a warehouse constructed in 1937 by Del Webb, monOrchid has seen a few phases. Local artist Wayne Rainey purchased the building, at 214 E Roosevelt, and after 10 years of renovation, reopened the space as a gallery and studio space. In addition to its long history of kick ass art exhibitions -- the reunion show of local art group 3CarPileUp, and the collaborative U.S./Mexico border show by California-based group D-Block come to mind -- monOrchid continues to be a home for tradition and experimentation on Roosevelt Row. 6. Tilt Gallery
Just off the main stretch of Grand Avenue and Fillmore Street is a home to historic format and alternative processes in photography, better known as Tilt Gallery. The intimate space, at 919 W. Fillmore Street, is owned and operated by local artists Michelle and Melanie Craven and Sabine Guedamour, who wanted to provide a home for local and national photographers to showcase their work as well as for the local community to learn from exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs.