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The art of storytelling could be the theme for Phoenix’s First Friday art walk in October.

Several exhibitions at metro-Phoenix galleries and museums explore storytelling themes, whether it be stories of a family reunion, abstraction or survival.

The event continues to be a combination of online and in-person experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though First Fridays look different in Downtown Phoenix, there are a few ways you can still celebrate good art and good food on Oct. 2. 

Downtown restaurants like Carly’s Bistro and Paz Cantina are open for takeout. Bliss reBAR and Genuwine are open for dine-in and takeout. 

A First Friday favorite, the Phoenix Art Museum, will reopen to members on Oct. 1 and the general public a bit later on Oct. 14. Other venues such as the Heard Museum have already reopened.

From exhibitions that shine a light on reality, to a show that celebrates a family coming together, here are some ways you can support the artists of First Friday.

Eye Lounge

This Roosevelt Arts District gallery currently has an exhibition you can view in person or online. “Unspoken: Survivor Stories” features of pieces made by artists who have been affected by suicide.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a behavioral health crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “Hopeline” to the National Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

Help is available. Speak with a counselor today.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a behavioral health crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “Hopeline” to the National Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

Help is available. Speak with a counselor today.

The artists in this exhibition have been meeting monthly for more than two years to work on this project. Their goal is that their art celebrates the hope, growth and the strength of survivors.

The artists include Tess Mosko Scherer, David Lloyd Bradley and Kristel Nielsen.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reservations are required to visit the gallery. To reserve your space please contact Tess Mosko Scherer at [email protected] or complete the online form at eyelounge.com.  

Details: Eye Lounge, 419 East Roosevelt St. Phoenix. 602-430-1490, eyelounge.com.

First Studio Gallery

“Riding a Shooting Star” by Kristine Kollasch. (Photo: Courtesy Sheila Kollasch)

A new art show premieres on First Friday at First Studio Gallery. Titled, “Kollasch3” tells the story of two Phoenix artists who found out they were cousins.

The great-grandfathers of Kris and Sheila Kollasch were brothers who landed in the United States from Germany in the 1870’s. Joined by Kris’s father, Keith Kollasch, who is also an established artist, the three Kollasch cousins have come together for the first time for “Kollasch3” at First Studio.

Meet the Kollasch artists at First Studio for First Friday from 6-9 p.m. The show will run Oct. 2 – Dec. 30. 

Details: First Studio Gallery, 631 N. First Ave. Phoenix. 602-957-7760, firststudio.net.

Alwun House

The gallery announced it will reopen on Oct. 2 and with a new exhibit on display.

The “Monsters Menagerie” begins at 7 p.m. and will feature works of art that are chilling and unnerving. The theme of the exhibit, according to the request for submissions, is to “provide artists a cathartic creative moment. Monsters Menagerie encourages light and dark creative works of menacing dark fantasies.”

Masks are required at the gallery. 

Details: Alwun House, 1204 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. 602-253-7967, alwunhouse.org.

{9} The Gallery

While this downtown Phoenix art gallery is temporarily closed for in-person visits, there is a new exhibition launching online on for October’s first Friday. The gallery presents “The Capsule Collection” a virtual exhibition co-curated by artists Michael Beitz and John “MDMN” Moody.

The show highlights five pillars of artistic discipline: pop art, figurative, abstract, realism, and photography/collage/print. There is an open call for art for “The Capsule Collection,” each opening of the series will be released virtually over the next five months. You can submit art at 9thegallery.com/submit-your-art.

“Pop” is the first installment of the series and features the work of Judith Aram, Jared Aubel, Benjam, Phalen Booker, Snack Braff, Reese Brown, Lee Davis and more.

The gallery will also release interviews with the artists and their works across social media accounts at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Details: 480-454-5929, 9thegallery.com.

Roosevelt Row

As the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation considers the future of the Downtown Phoenix First Friday Art Walk, you can still experience it virtually.

The Roosevelt Row CDC has created a 360-degree Google Street View tour of the Second Street A.R.T.S. Market block so fans can support local artists.

The artwork is available for purchase via the digital stores of more than 20 vendors including Flowersong Soap Studio, Imagine Threads, Living en Bermudas Jewelry and artists BeatNick, TwistedFae, Project Whimsy and Sarah Lukacs.

Details: rooseveltrow.org/first-friday-virtual-tour.

Phoenix Art Museum

“Shanty Nucleus After Derrida 2” by Sergio Vega on display at the Phoenix Art Museum for its “Stories of Abstraction: Contemporary Latin American Art in the Global Context” exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of Nicholas Pardon)

The museum will reopen to members on Oct. 1 and the general public on Oct. 14. 

Many of the exhibitions the museum has on display have been extended, including “Teresita Fernandez: Elemental,” “India: Fashion’s Muse” and “Ansel Adams: Performing the Print.”

A new exhibition will be on display once the doors open.

“Stories of Abstraction: Contemporary Latin American Art in the Global Context” features 112 contemporary Latin American paintings, installations, sculptures and works on paper, from Nicholas Pardon, co-founder of the former SPACE Collection, one of the largest collections of post-1990s abstract Latin American art in the United States.

Details: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., 602-257-1880, phxart.org.

Hazel & Violet Letterpress

The owners of the printing company Hazel & Violet Letterpress will be printing free posters for October’s First Friday — with your help. 

Help print your own poster at the shop from 6- 9 p.m. Cards, coasters, calendars, and stationery are available for purchase. 

Details: Hazel & Violet Letterpress, 1301 NW. Grand Ave., Phoenix. 480-544-2162, hazelandviolet.com.

Heard Museum

“This is not a Snake” by Cannupa Hanska Luger featured in the “Larger Than Memory” exhibition at the Heard Museum. (Photo: Courtesy of Jared Platt)

The museum is currently open to the public, with a new exhibition on display.

The “Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America” show features more than 40 works of art by 24 Indigenous artists.

Encompassing nearly 13,000 square feet and spanning four gallery spaces, this show is the Heard’s largest exhibition of contemporary art in its 90-year history.

Artists in the show include Nanobah Becker, Elisa Harkins, Brian Jungen, Brad Kahlmamer, Marie Watt, Steven Yazzie and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.

Details: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave. Phoenix. 602-252-8840, heard.org/larger-than-memory.

Elizabeth Montgomery is Arts and Culture Reporter for The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com. Reach her at [email protected] or 602-444-8764. Follow her on Twitter @emontnews.

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