When the summer heats up, keep it cool at these upcoming Phoenix art exhibitions and evening events.
Through July 16
Step back in time to feudal Japan in Samurai, an exhibit showcasing 140 helmets, weapons, masks and more intricate battle armor. Through showcasing the evolution and elegance of this ancient equipment, the exhibition examines the stories, pageantry and culture of Japan's revered warriors.
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix 85004
Samurai at Phoenix Art Museum
Through August 20
Works by famed Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are on display at the Heard Museum, including Kahlo's Self Portrait with Monkeys and Rivera's Calla Lilly Vendor. In addition to paintings, the exhibit offers visitors a chance to see more than 50 photographs taken by Frida Kahlo's father, among others. It's the exhibit's only North American stop on a world tour.
Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave, Phoenix 85004
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at Heard Museum
Through September 4
Everything from fierce dragons to sprawling vines glimmer from these mother-of-pearl inlays on fretboards and guitar bodies. In the Musical Instrument Museum’s ongoing special exhibit, you can see masterful inlay design work up-close on the bold collection of instruments from the personal collection of Pearl Works’ owner Larry Sifel.
Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix 85050
Dragons and Vines: Inlaid Guitar Masterpieces at Musical Instrument Museum
May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4 and September 1
As the sun sets on the first Friday of the month, the streets of Downtown Phoenix fill with thousands of art enthusiasts, culture-lovers and those seeking to quench their thirst at a local watering hole. Join in for a self-guided art gallery and studio tour (by foot or by free trolley) with the map available on Artlink’s website. Spaces such as Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum also host special First Friday events and free museum admission.
May 6-September 24
Dive into UK-based collective Squidsoup's Ocean of Light, a light-based data visualization installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA). The project, a space of hanging, individually controlled LED lights, invites viewers to interact in a playful convergence of real and virtual space, as lights react to visuals and sound to invoke properties of a watery surface. (Tip: You can visit SMOCA's galleries for free on Thursday, and after 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.)
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street, Scottsdale
Ocean of Light: Submergence. Photo: Paul Blakemore
May 12-August 6
Discover a showcase from the New Contemporary Art Movement—defined by everything from muralism to pop surrealism—in a new exhibit at Mesa Arts Center. Flourish is curated by Los Angeles' Thinkspace Gallery and brings works from dozens of its most compelling artists into three galleries. The Mesa Arts Center's museum is always free to visit.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa
Artwork at Flourish at Mesa Arts Center
Second weekend of each month: May 13-14; June 10-11; July 8-9; August 12-13
Got a kid that loves art? Then they'll love scavenger hunts and story time in the Phoenix Art Museum (and you'll love the free general admission the museum's galleries and exhibits). Each weekend features themed hands-on activities, live performances, free tours and opportunities to learn from artists themselves.
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
Free Family Weekends at Phoenix Art Museum
Taliesin West Tours: Private Collections & Night Lights
While you're at his house, you might like to take a peek at his personal art collection. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and architecture school is open year-round for tours, but there are only a few special occasions to view his personal art favorites, including Japanese prints, textiles and books, during a monthly Private Collections Tour.
During a Night Lights Tour held every Friday evening, guests can discover the artistry of Taliesin West at its most enchanting as it glows under the starry desert sky. Enjoy a night exploring the romantic rooms and don't miss the garden's fire-breathing dragon.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, 12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale
Heard Museum Free Summer Sundays
Explore the renowned collections of American Indian history and art with free admission to the Heard Museum on the fourth Sunday of each month. Each event weekend also features free native and cultural performances, artist demonstrations and fun for the family.
Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix