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.

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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.

“Indwelling” – July 28-December 15, 2018
Yuri Kobayashi’s  solo exihibition, Indwelling combines traditional woodworking practices and refined Japanese aesthetics to create sculptures that reflect her identity, experiences and thoughts.  In the five artworks that comprise Indwelling,  Kobayashi has striven to embody the surprise and wonder found in the impalpable and often illogical world in which we live. With multiple wooden components, handcrafted with close attention to detail, each work represents an attempt to decipher and represent, in abstract form, this perpetual desire to represent the ineffable. The most recent installation was created while Kobayashi participated in ASU Art Museum’s Artist Residency.

“Pop/Funk: Warhol and Frey” –  August 25-December 29, 2018
Two artists, two coasts, two media — Andy Warhol and Viola Frey were central to two movements which reinvented art in the 20th century by embracing popular culture, mass-produced images and objects, bold silhouettes and colors. The pop and funk movements, although deeply linked, predominantly took place on opposite coasts where the artists resided (Viola Frey in the Bay Area and Andy Warhol in New York). Both of these solo exhibitions feature Warhol’s prints and photographs and Frey’s ceramic sculptures and are drawn entirely from ASU Art Museum’s permanent collection.

“A Bigger Plan – Side A” –  September 15-February 23, 2018
A Bigger Plan – Side A by Euan MacDonald features an immersive video installation that layers pre-psychedelic patterning from the end pages of 18th, 19th and early 20th century books from the open stacks of ASU Hayden Library. Euan MacDonald is a Los Angeles-based artist whose works span a wide range of artistic disciplines, from video to painting.

“Decomiso” –  October 20, 2018-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.

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

“From Darkness to Light: Figurative Works from the Permanent Collection” –  October 6, 2018-February 9, 2019
Drawn from ASU Art Museum’s permanent collections, From Darkness to Light highlights the work of 31 internationally and nationally known artists who represent the human form in order to convey a vast range of emotions. The emotions explored in the works on display range from lightheartedness and humor to anguish and despair. The exhibition features ​both ceramic and print media, representing two of ​ASU Art Museum’s ​largest and ​strongest holdings. Notably, the prints selected for the exhibition are all by artists who​ work primarily in ceramics.

Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park
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
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.

“Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors” –  October 19-December 29, 2018
Portraits of Courage brings together 66 full-color portraits and a four-panel mural, painted by President George W. Bush, of 98 service members and veterans who have served our nation with honor since 9/11, and whom the President has come to know personally since leaving office. 

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

“Monster Stories” –  September 14, 2018-January 5, 2019
Monster Stories  is an exhibition that celebrates the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking novel, Frankenstein, by exploring the monster genre in popular culture, literature, mythology and the idea of the “other” in society. Though published in 1818, Frankenstein continues to spark relevant discussions about science, technology and humanity. Inspired by the ongoing popularity of the genre, the exhibition features works from local and national artists, toys and memorabilia from private collections and a range of public programs that reflect on timeless questions such as “who is the real monster?” Exhibiting artists include Manny Burruel, Anne Coe, Fausto Fernandez, Matthew Hoelscher, Molly Idle, Chuck Jones, Ed Kennefick and Joe Ray. Also featured are Enrique Arciniega Campos, Earl Staley and Bob Camblin, Allan Otho Smith, Enrique Chagoya, Alejandro Colunga and David Botello from the ASU Art Museum. Special collection pieces courtesy of Dr. Larry and Holley Thompson, Mike McEwin, Emmett Potter and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.  Free public reception on September 14, 6-9 p.m.

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

“Falling in Love” –  October 12-December 21, 2018
Falling in Love  celebrates small treasures and autumn with works by eight emerging Arizona artists.

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.

“Untamed: Wild Compositions by Frank Gonzales” – September 21, 2018-January 6, 2019
This thematic, compelling exhibition explores pollinators and natural elements from the Sonoran Desert, playfully arranged in dynamic and fantasy-rich compositions. Known widely for his vivid avian subjects, Gonzales is a classically trained painter with a fresh, contemporary perspective. His work is truly inspired by his natural surroundings and many of his subjects were realized from his many visits to Desert Botanical Garden.

“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.

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.

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