Spring in Phoenix’s art museums

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2018)

I’ll be in Phoenix, Arizona, this spring, so it seems like a good time to do a quick round-up of what will be in the some of the art museums when I arrive.

Phoenix Art Museum - ExplorationVacation.netAt the Phoenix Art Museum, many of the current special exhibits will change during March and April. New exhibits include Andy Warhol: Portraits and Pattern Play: The Contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag. The museum has a broad range of art on display, including works from ancient Asia, early America, and today.


Exhibits at the ASU Art Museum (Tempe) this spring include The Gift: [Print] Selections from the Armstrong-Prior Archive and Architecture for Place: Glenn Murcutt. There are no special exhibits this spring at the Brickyard Ceramics Research Center.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits contemporary art created locally and around the world. This spring’s exhibits include two installations by the transdisciplinary American Indian arts collective Postcommodity and Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia.

The new Museum of the West (Scottsdale) just opened, with celebratory festivities in February and a slate of exhibits that include Courage and Crossroads: A Visual Journey through the Early American West; Will James: Cowboy Artist and Author; Confluence of Cultures in the American West: A Selection of Contemporary Artists; Process and Materiality: The Bronze Artistry of John Coleman with Erik Petersen; Fine Art of the American West: People and Places; and more. It appears the museum is defining Western art pretty broadly and with an eye to more than just pretty images. It will be interesting to see what they have on display now and where they go next.

Heard Museum Phoenix - ExplorationVacation.netThe Heard Museum (Phoenix) displays traditional and contemporary American Indian art. Current special exhibits include Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century and Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and Art. The annual Indian Fair and Market is also on the schedule in early March.


Bashas’ Art Gallery (Chandler), with its impressive collection of cowboy art, kachinas, and American Indian basketry is still open (week days only), but doesn’t seem to have any special exhibits planned.

Bashas' Gallery Chandler Arizona - ExpolrationVacation - DSC_0534

An art museum of a different sort, the innovative Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) collects instruments and musical-themed artifacts from every country in the world. This spring the special exhibit is Beyond the Beat: Drums of the World.

Of course, the art galleries in the Phoenix area always have new shows opening. There are a number of contemporary fine arts galleries in Phoenix and the surrounding cities, with the largest number of galleries located in Scottsdale.

  • In Scottsdale galleries are open late every Thursday night for Art Walk.
  • Galleries in Phoenix celebrate First Fridays with evening hours and special events. Up-to-the minute information on the gallery scene in downtown Phoenix can be found at Artlink Phoenix.

All Phoenix area posts 


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