Tempe’s Art Exhibitions

If you enjoy the visual arts, you’ll want to explore Tempe’s art museums and galleries. From paintings, to sculpture, ceramics to photography and film, Tempe offers a range of exhibitions in beautiful spaces, both inside and outdoors.

Interested in checking out some live music in Tempe  We have you covered. Tempe offers just about every type of event possible. Browse our event calendar to see what’s coming up!

Check out the list below of current and upcoming art exhibitions on display in Tempe:

ASU Art Museum
The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America magazine, is recognized for its cutting edge exhibits and innovative programming that is interdisciplinary, educational and relevant to life today. A visit to the ASU Art Museum, at 10th Street and Mill Avenue, and the Ceramics Research Center & Brickyard Gallery, located at 7th Street and Mill Avenue, is always an energizing experience.
51 E. 10th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 965-2787
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. during academic semesters; closed Sunday, Monday and university holidays. Free admission.

“Decomiso: Faivovich and Goldberg” –  Through May 4, 2019
Decomiso is an installation-based exhibition by the Argentinian contemporary artist duo Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg. Since 2006, the artists have been engaged in an intensive and wide-ranging research project — A Guide to El Campo del Cielo — that forms the basis of their practice. El Campo del Cielo, located in northern Argentina, was the site of a meteor shower an estimated 4,000 years ago.  More recently,Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg have been in residence at ASU Art Museum, working with the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies using microphotography to produce images of thinly sliced sections of a meteorite. For Decomiso (which translates to seizure) the artists have designed a multimedia installation featuring video, sound, sculpture and 410 photographs.

“Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas” – February 9-July 6, 2019
This exhibition investigates contemporary, community-based social art practices from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and the U.S. Featuring drawings, archival documents, sculptures, installations, films and videos, the artists’ practices blur the lines between object-making, activism and community organizing to address critical social-political issues.

“Metzilocan: Claudia Peña Salinas” – March 23-August 3, 2019
“Metzilocan” is an installation-based solo exhibition by artist Claudia Peña Salinas, who lives and works in New York City. The exhibition expands the artist’s research on the Aztec deities of water, Tláloc and Chalchiuhtlicue, relating this ancestral symbolism and knowledge to modernist and contemporary structures. Through travel, documentation and collection, Salinas generates a poetic personal and political narrative.  The works in this exhibition address topics ranging from the proliferation of images, the myth and the construction of national identity, to gender issues and the current water crisis in Mexico City.

“Clayblazers: Women Artists of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s “- April 20–August 10, 2019
With more than 100 artworks, “Clayblazers” celebrates women in the ceramic field during the mid-20th century. Legendary artists like Maija Grotell, Susan Peterson and Marguerite Wildenhain were educators, mentors and masters of their craft and inspired future generations. All of the works are drawn from the ASU Art Museum’s ceramics collection of 3,800 objects, representing the full range of technique, aesthetic approaches and possibilities within the field. The exhibition also includes photographs and materials from the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center’s Susan Harnly Peterson and Studio Potter archives.

Artists: Laura Andreson, Sascha Brastoff, Cynthia Bringle, Rose Cabat, Virginia Cartwright, Betty Davenport Ford, Stephnie De Lange, Dora De Larios, Ruth Duckworth, Viola Frey, Andrea Gill, Judith Gilmour, Maija Grotell, Vivka Heino, Catharine Hiersoux, Hazel Johnston, Karen Karnes, Janet Leach, Marilyn Levine, Lucy Lewis, Emma Lewis Mitchell, Mary Lindheim, Janet Mainsfield, Irene Mark, Maria Martinez, Nan McKinnell, Nancee Meeker, Fannie Nampeyo, Gertrud Natzler, Minnie Negoro, Susan Peterson, Elsa Rady, Lucie Rie, Mary Rogers, Mary Scheier, Nancy Selvin, Frances Senska, Susan Stephenson, Toshiko Takaezu, Patti Warishina, Mary White, Marguerite Wildenhain, Paula Winokur, Beatrice Wood, Betty Woodman and Bernice Zielke.

Change Agent: June Wayne and the Tamarind Workshop” – June 1-December 31, 2019
“Change Agent” highlights June Wayne’s legacy as an artist, print-maker, educator and activist. Wayne refused to follow a signature style, taking on a variety of themes such as personal history, modern science and social issues. In the Dorothy Series, she narrates the life of her mother, a Russian Jewish immigrant and traveling saleswoman for a garter company. In the Stellar Winds and Solar Flares Series, she mines natural phenomena as metaphors for the human condition.

Wayne was a catalyst for the revival of fine art lithography in the United States, a medium which had nearly vanished by the 1950s. She championed lithography as an art form as vital as painting after studying the technique in Paris with the printer Marcel Durassier. With a grant from the Ford Foundation, Wayne founded the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles in 1960. The experimental workshop created a pool of printers and apprentices, as artists from across the country were invited to master the process of lithography. Now known as the Tamarind Institute of the University of New Mexico, it continues Wayne’s visionary plan as a major training center for fine art printers.

“Change Agent” also features lithographs by internationally-known artists who trained at Tamarind such as Ed Ruscha, Matsumi Kanemitsu and Fritz Scholder. All of the works in the exhibition are drawn from the ASU Art Museum’s Jules Heller Print Study Room, which houses a collection of 6,000 prints from throughout history and around the world.

ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery
The Ceramics Research Center has one of the largest 20th century and contemporary ceramic collections in the United States. It’s holdings demonstrate the full range of technique, aesthetic approaches and possibilities within the medium. In addition to displaying it’s permanent collection, the Ceramics Research Center features three to five exhibitions on important movements and artists who have made significant contributions in the ceramics field.
699 S. Mill Ave., Suite 108, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 965-2787
Hours: Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | Free admission

“Rogue Objects: Koki Tanaka and Kumie Tsuda” – March 2- June 1, 2019
“Rogue Objects” highlights more than one hundred ceramic works that have never been  shown publicly, along with new artwork by Japanese-based artists Koki Tanaka and Kumie Tsuda. Tanaka and Tsuda are the first visual artists to work with the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramic Research Center archives, specifically focusing on the archive of artist and historian Susan Peterson. Both artists were influenced by the correspondence between Peterson and Japanese ceramic artist Shōji Hamada.  Tanaka has created a new experimental video titled “Mashiko, Arizona,” based on the relationship between Peterson and Hamada. Tsuda researched ceramic pieces from the ASU Art Museum’s 5,000 plus collection to develop an installation entitled “Still There” that questions museum practices on caring for a collection.

“Rogue Objects” is part of ASU Art Museum’s Encounter series, which invites artists and scholars to re-imagine and re contextualize the museum collection to address larger issues related to the current social and cultural climate of Arizona, and the world at large.

Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park
The Arizona Heritage Center focuses on  the contemporary history of Metropolitan Phoenix from the early 1900s to the present through interactive exhibits, guided tours and a research library.
1300 North College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 929-0292
Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–5  p.m.; Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Admission: Adults $12; Ages 65+ $10; Ages 7-17 $8.00; Ages 6 and under Free; Military and Veterans Free

“A Place for All People” – January 23 – December 31, 2019
This exhibition explores the African American experience, evoking the power of oration and freedom stories, the brilliance of artistic achievement, and the soaring heights of cultural expression, philosophy, sports, and politics through a series of posters from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture. The posters serve as the backdrop for displays telling the story of African Americans in Arizona. From the churches and schools to the boardroom; to the battlefields and to the neighborhood barbershops and beauty shops where important news of the day was discussed – the stories weave a rich tapestry of African American heritage.

“I Have a Name” – February 8- October 5, 2019
Through this dramatic collection of black and white photographs of the people on the street photographer Jon Linton puts names to the faces of the people who live in and around our communities, who have no home to call their own. This exhibition will be accompanied by extensive programming exploring the many facets of the homeless population, from the demographics of the homeless, to their impact on communities, to the service organizations who serve them.

Gallery at the Tempe Center for the Arts
The Gallery at the TCA is located in the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts. Rotating exhibitions by local and nationally known artists and a variety of visual arts workshops and events have made The Gallery at the TCA a favorite of locals and visitors to Tempe.
700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 350-2822
Hours:  Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Free admission

“ReTrO REACTION” –  January 18 – May 11, 2019
The word “retro” describes things like clothes, cars and music that reflect styles and design elements from the past. Artists are often asked, “where do you get your ideas?” While the creative spark is different for every individual, this exhibition explores the inspirations and art-making processes of ten Arizona-based artists. Through personal retrospection, these artists give us a glimpse into how each of them absorbs, filters and reacts to ideas from the past to make relevant work in today’s rapidly changing world.

Grotto Gallery
The Grotto Gallery is operated by the Arizona Artisans COLLECTIVE, a professional fellowship of Arizona makers and artisans.
132 E. Sixth St., Tempe, AZ | (480) 442-2349
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday 2-7 p.m.; other times by appointment

Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is home to one of the most extensive living collections of the world’s desert plants. Unusual plants including giant cacti, century plants and others in a natural setting create a striking visual treat. The Garden also features world-class art exhibitions, festive events,  outdoor concerts and fascinating classes.
1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | (480) 941-1225
Hours: Open daily 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. October – April; 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. May – September
Admission: Adult: $24.95 | Youth (3 – 17) $12.95 | Children under 3 are admitted free.

“Electric Desert” –  October 12, 2018 – May 12, 2019
“Electric Desert ” is a light and sound experience by Klip Collective. Cactus and desert become a living canvas in this nighttime exhibition,which takes visitors on an immersive journey through the garden using light and original music. “Electric Desert ” features six site-specific locations, with each experience inspired by and related to the Garden.

“New Bloom: Industrial Nature” by Michelle Stitzlein –  February 1-May 5, 2019
Michelle Stitzlein creates sculptures from found materials. The impressive, large-scale works promote recycling through transforming simple objects into dynamic, natural forms. Through her many efforts to promote sustainability, Stitzlein teaches art workshops at elementary schools, art camps and festivals.

Pueblo Grande Museum
Pueblo Grande Museum features a 1500 year old Hohokam site and three galleries focusing on the Hohokam people who populated the area from A.D. 450 to 1450 and the archaeological methods used to learn about these ancient farmers of the Salt and Gila River Valleys. The museum also features revolving exhibitions that reflect Southwest history, culture and art.
4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85034 | (602) 495-0901
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday 1-4:45 p.m.
Admission: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children $3 (6-17) Free on Sundays, Children under 6 Free

“Fragments: Broken Bowls Tell More Tales” – October 26, 2018-August 31, 2019
Using local and traded examples, Fragments invites visitors to see how sherds help archaeologists piece together new ideas about the ancestral O’Odham people, more commonly known as the Hohokam. This exhibition features pottery sherds that connected the Hohokam with their neighbors across the Southwest and northern Mexico during the time of the European Renaissance.

Visitors typically see the most unique and complete pottery vessels of a museum’s collection on display. They seldom see, or know about, the thousands of broken pottery fragments called ‘sherds’ that are preserved in storage. Sherds can be used by researchers to reveal a variety of details, such as how the pottery was made, used and where it was produced. These details aren’t always obvious during examinations of gorgeous whole pottery vessels.

Phoenix Zoo
With exciting experiences like Stingray Bay, Giraffe Encounter, Monkey Village, 4-D Theater and more, your visit to the Zoo will be memorable for the entire family. The Zoo is one of the nation’s largest non-profit zoos, committed to conservation and inspiring people to care for the natural world. Unique indoor and outdoor venues are available for events of all sizes.
455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | (602) 286-3800
Hours: January 14 – May 31 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily; June 1 – August 31 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily;  September 1 – October 31 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily; November 1 – January 13 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily
Admission: Gate Price: Adults (ages 14 +) $24.95, Child (ages 3 – 1) $16.95 ; Children ages 2 and under are free
On Line Price: Adults (ages 14 +) $22.95, Child (ages 3 – 1) $14.95 ; Children ages 2 and under are free

“Bugs. BIG BUGS!” – October 27, 2018 – April 28, 2019
Something is buzzing at the Phoenix Zoo. And it’s big. Really big. “Bugs. BIG BUGS!” The Zoo’s latest can’t-miss animatronic exhibit has twenty-one gigantic bugs that you really need to see to believe, encounters with real live bugs and tons of activities for the entire family.

Beautifully detailed, the bugs are made from a combination of steel, fiberglass and skin material made from a special urethane compound that protects them against sun, rain and snow, making them prefect to display in their natural environment. The realistic movements on the bugs are powered by pneumatic system that enables smoother and finer movements. Entrance into the exhibit is $5

“Art on the Wild Side” – February 1,- May 31, 2019
“Art on the Wild Side” features artists Tania Bolin, Lawrence Finkel and April Howland. The exhibit showcases their unique vision of wildlife and conservation via photography, paint and mixed media. Through this exhibit, visitors can engage in the Zoo’s mission to care for the natural world while being inspired by nature and animals. Art is available for purchase and Zoo admission is required to visit the Savanna Gallery. The Savanna Gallery is located in the Savanna Grill.




Free Visitor's Guide

Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.

Free Visitor's Guide
Request Guide

Stay Connected with Us

Tempe Tourism e-Newsletter

Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter to learn what’s new in Tempe.