Rebecca Green Returns to Phoenix to Paint New Mural at The Lodge on Grand Avenue

Lynn Trimble
Rebecca Green working on her new The Painted Desert mural at The Lodge Art Studio.
Although New Times named Rebecca Green's The Storybook at The Lodge Art Studio the best mural of 2013, Green was never fully satisfied with the work. "It wasn't really planned," she says. But the open wall was there, so she went for it.

"I'll just give it a shot," she recalls thinking at the time. "It took a lot longer than I expected." Green described the mural as "unfinished" when we spoke with her on Saturday, February 14, admitting she "cringed when people took photos of it."

"The whole top part of the mountains was raw," she explained. "A tree wasn't painted, and there was a whole outline of cactus underneath that was only roughed in like a sketch." But that's no longer an issue.

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Arizona Artists Featured in New Exhibitions at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum

Categories: Visual Art

Courtesy of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum
Detail of Fuoco by Prescott artist Julie Comnick exhibited at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Prescott artist Julie Comnick spent nine months asking musical instrument shops across the country for violins deemed beyond repair. After gathering close to 100 violins, she took them to a mountaintop clearing and then set them alight at dusk. For 12 hours, she watched them burn -- and recorded what transpired.

Comnick's video became the source material for a series of large-scale paintings featured in "Arrangement for a Silent Orchestra" now on view at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, which is located on the Mesa Arts Center campus. The exhibition also includes her video.

You can see them Friday, February 13, when Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum presents a free reception celebrating new and continuing exhibitions. "Arrangement for a Silent Orchestra" is one of five exhibitions you'll be able to see Friday night. And we have the rundown on them all.

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2015 Arizona Governor's Arts Awards Nominees Announced

Categories: News, Visual Art

Nominees were announced this week for the 34th Arizona Governor's Arts Awards.

A total of 65 individuals and businesses who have made a major and statewide impact on the arts and culture will be considered for the awards, presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the office of Governor Doug Ducey.

And the nominees are . . .

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The I Have A Name Project Presents Photography at Phoenix's MonOrchid, Seeks Funding for Brian Boner Mural

Photo courtesy of Nicole Royse.
Artist Jon Linton.

He is the man with the cardboard sign. She is the woman with the blanket and bedroll. She pushes the shopping cart. He is sleeping in the shadow of the church.

We see them everyday. Yet, it's easy to forget one simple truth: They have names.

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PhotoTapas 2015 Events Aim to Enrich Metro Phoenix's Photography Community

Categories: Events, Visual Art

Dan Budnik
See more shots by Dan Budnik of pivotal Civil Rights marches in "Marching to the Freedom Dream."
Sometimes, you walk into a gallery and it's like you've bitten off more than you can chew. We get that it can be overwhelming, and so do the people behind PhotoTapas. In its third year, this series of events, overseen by Art Intersection, aims to give guests smaller tastes of Arizona's local photographic talent that may be easier to digest.

Just like traditional Spanish tapas, the more intimate setting of PhotoTapas events is meant to encourage discussion and a deeper appreciation of the art. The events once again spread across the Valley with one in Tucson and are sure to give a sampling of the various flavors of Arizona's photography. Though some events may be subject to change, here's what PhotoTapas has going on so far this year:

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Phoenix Artist Joseph Shetler on Minimalism, James Turrell, and Mennonite Culture

Joseph Shetler standing in front of "Defining Ethos," his MFA Thesis Exhibition in Drawing.

What happens in the studio, shouldn't always stay in the studio. Studio Visit is a weekly series that profiles artists in their studios. Up today: Recent graduate from ASU's MFA Drawing program, Joseph Shetler.

Joseph Shetler, a 30-year old artist currently based in Phoenix, comes from a fairly diverse background. He was raised locally in a Mennonite family, worked in construction over his summer breaks from school, and held a position as a guard for a private art collection in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he presented his MFA Thesis Exhibition, "Defining Ethos," which ran in early of December 2014 at ASU's Step Gallery. For this current body of work, all of these defining characteristics, the artist's ethos, coalesce and inform the work itself. He walked us through his exhibition while it was still up and we chatted about the work back in his studio at Grant Street Studios.

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Valentine's Day Weekend in Metro Phoenix: 10 Artsy Things to Do

Categories: Events, Visual Art

Lynn Trimble
Alwun House is all decked out in hearts for this year's Exotic/Erotic Art Show.
Whether you're more into opera or erotic/exotic art, we've got a fun selection of ways to spend that special day -- plus the night before and day after. Think theater, circus arts, museum play date, ballet, and more.

Exotic Art Show
February 13
Alwun House

Fetish attire is welcome, but not required, for this blend of "exotic-erotic" visual and performance art that's been a metro Phoenix tradition for more than three decades. It's a naughty mix of projected "phantasmagorical" images, body painting, and roving performers doing their aerial, fire hoop, cabaret, and comedy thing -- plus outdoor entertainment that includes a jazz fusion band and exotic bondage demo. This is the show that sends parents scrambling to find their grown children's middle school sex ed textbook so they can share impassioned reminders about the many perils of having body parts. Due to mature content, this event (and the exhibition of erotic art) requires that those under 18 be accompanied by an adult. Find more information on the Alwun House website.

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5 Cool Things We Saw at Phoenix's First Friday in February

Lynn Trimble
Soul Matrix installation by Tara Logsdon at Frontal Lobe Gallery and Community Space.

Artwork, street performers, food trucks, and super-size boom boxes made this month's First Friday an especially lively affair. Folks visiting Roosevelt Row had fun with way-finding, thanks to towers of arrows pointing the way to local art venues and local businesses, and signs signaling nearby sources of artwork, coffee, beer, and little black dresses. We found our February favorites in a fun assortment of places from a pop-up gallery to a photography studio.

Soul Matrix by Tara Logsdon

We were drawn by a rainbow of cascading colors to Tara Logsdon's Soul Matrix, an installation featured in her solo exhibition "Bearial Ground" at Frontal Lobe Gallery and Community Space -- where 10 repurposed teddy bears mounted on gallery walls are dressed according to social justice themes such as race, torture, money, and poison. While making our way from a teddy bear sporting a white hooded KKK robe to a teddy bear attached to a mock torture device, we spotted various gallery-goers interacting with Soul Matrix, going inside the circular space for a bit of conversation or meditative time. The installation really drew people in and kept them engaged with the exhibition.

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[nueBOX] Launches with Evocative Works from Emerging Phoenix Performance and Installation Artists

Photo courtesy of Jacob Daniels.
We're excited to see how Jordan Daniels' choreography will evolve throughout his [nueBOX] residency.

Phoenix's premier performance and installation art platform, [nueBOX], hosted its launch party on Thursday, February 5, at First Draft Book Bar.The event served as an introduction to the organization, and featured both live and recorded performance and installation art by current and future [nueBOX] artists-in-residence.

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6 Must-See First Friday Shows in Phoenix on February 6

Categories: Visual Art

Courtesy of monOrchid
Fun with Fred Tieken's genetically modified birds.
After whooping it up in Super Bowl mode during recent days and weeks, we figure it might be tough for some of you to do the quiet, contemplative art thing during this month's First Friday. So we're thinking it's a good week to check out shows with a heavy entertainment beat -- including five that made our "must see" list. For those who never tire of the contemplative vibe, we have a final pick that'll give you plenty to ponder as Phoenix continues to grapple with growing pains.

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