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.

“Funk: Viola Frey” – Through March 23, 2019
This exhibition features work by Viola Frey, who worked on the fringe of the Funk Art movement, which she called a “boys club.” Frey’s brash, figurative sculptures are larger than life. Drawing inspiration from art history, her collection of flea market treasures, and her personal experiences as a woman in the male-dominated art world, Frey helped elevate ceramics from “craft” to fine art.

“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.

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
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.

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.

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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