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: Summer hours through Aug. 15: 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Thurs. | Free admission
Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m. -5 p.m.
Thurs. 11 a.m. -8 p.m. (during academic semesters)
Closed Sunday, Monday and university holidays

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.

“Juntos Together” –  August 17, 2019-January 4, 2020
“Juntos Together” presents films, videos, sculpture and site-specific installations by Colombian-born, Paris-based artist Iván Argote. The exhibition includes Argote’s first film and video survey (2007–2019), featuring experimental films that range from the documentation of public interventions to subtler gestures that push the boundaries of the moving image. The exhibition also features a site-specific, sculptural installation that considers the current cultural climate of Arizona. Argote’s sculptures blend references to pre-Colombian art and brutalist architecture, and often contain texts that embody what the artist calls “Ternura Radical (Radical Tenderness).” This strategy uses affection, emotions and humor as subversive tools to engage public audiences on political and personal levels. “Juntos Together” is curated by Julio César Morales

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

“Particle and Wave: PaperClay Illuminated” – June 22-September 31, 2019
“Particle and Wave” is a groundbreaking exhibition of 45 works created by international artists who incorporate paper pulp and organic fibers into their clay bodies, with the result of increased strength and lighter weight. The exhibition showcases a wide range of visual forms, which would not be possible with traditional methods, as the artists utilize this technique to express contemporary social and cultural ideas.

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

“WATER: Life *Art* Science” – May 24-August 31, 2019
This exhibition explores water as seen and interpreted through the eyes of artists. The artworks and displays reflect a wide range of water-themed topics including sustainability, mythology, history, science and beauty. The exhibition also includes interactive activities, live artist demonstrations and multiple workshop opportunities for all ages.

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.

“Wild Rising by Cracking Art” – October 10, 2019-May 10, 2020
Traveling straight from Milan to Desert Botanical Garden, “Wild Rising by Cracking Art” is an installation of more than 1,000 animal sculptures made from colorful and recyclable plastic. Visitors of all ages will be drawn to engage these vibrant creatures and to discover that plastic does not have to end up in landfills. But it can be reinvented into something eye catching and thought provoking.

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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