10 Must-See Photographic Art Exhibits in Metro Phoenix

Even though digital cameras have made us all photographers, a select few continue to excel at the kind of fine art photography that is best appreciated by seeing the depth and breadth of its offerings – which capture, coax and create many worlds in which we live. If you want to enjoy a wider range of visual pleasures, these 10 photography exhibits offer cool places to start.

“One of a kind”
Phoenix Art Museum
Until October 18

The exhibition features unique photographic objects from the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. Together, these works represent the entire history of the photographic medium from the 1840s to the present day. The exhibition includes works by local photographers, including David Emitt Adams, as well as famous photographers on the world stage, such as Andy Warhol. Find more information on the Phoenix Art Museum website.

“Depth of field”
Artistic crossroads
Until October 24

This exhibition features photographs previously shared online via Rfotofolio, which “supports the work of artists who struggle to make a living through photography or who use photography for social good”. It includes works by emerging and established photographers who use a variety of photographic techniques. More information on the Art Intersection website.

“A Thing or Two I Know About the Wild West”
Tilt Gallery
Until October 30

This exhibit features works by Jim Morris that were taken as transparencies and reproduced on traditional archival photochemical papers. The series includes images of what Morris calls “small areas” that he finds intriguing. Morris will be at the Tilt Gallery on October 15 to chat with gallery visitors and share a limited version of his book titled A thing or two I know about the Wild West (each with a small bonus image). Find more information on the Tilt Gallery website.

“Loss and Beauty”
Gallery 4
Until October 31

This exhibit features photographs of significant sites during the Holocaust, taken by photographer Keron Psillas to provoke reflection on the nature of personal travel during this era. Many are accompanied by her words describing the places she photographed or her poetry inspired by the experience of traveling through this landscape. Find more information on the Gallery 4 website.

“Thumbnails”
Lisa Sette Gallery
Until October 31

This exhibition features works by Damion Berger, Binh Danh, Angela Ellsworth, Maximo Gonzalez, Alan Bur Johnson, Yao Lu, Mark Klett, Matthew Moore, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Reynier Leyva Novo, Charlotte Potter, Gregory Scott and James Turrell – which reflect the diversity of contemporary art photography. Many demonstrate the intersection of the deeply personal with the deeply political. Find more information on the Lisa Sette Gallery website.

Exists where your name is
ASU Art Museum
Until January 9, 2016

This exhibition presents more than 50 photographic and video works created over the last decade by 23 artists – who together characterize the current state of contemporary photography in Mexico. The exhibition is curated by Sergio De La Torre from San Francisco and Javier Ramirez Limón from Tijuana; its presentation at the ASU Museum of Art is managed by museum curator Julio Cesar Morales. Find more information on the ASU Art Museum website.

“Over There Peasant”
Mesa Museum of Contemporary Art
Until January 17, 2016

This exhibit features works by Mesa-born Pedro E. Guerrero, whose life and work during the 20th century is featured in a documentary film recently aired on PBS. Guerrero specialized in artist photography and architectural photography – and this exhibition includes his photographs of Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson and Frank Lloyd Wright. Find more information on the Mesa Arts Center website.

“Beyond the Blue”
Desert Botanical Garden
October 16, 2015 to January 10, 2016

This exhibition mainly features cyanotype photographs of animals and objects by Laszlo Layton, which have a characteristic cyan-blue color. Each photograph is hand painted. Layton’s work is in the collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the International Wildlife Museum of Tucson. Find more information on the Desert Botanical Garden website.

“Sweet is the Swamp”
Northlight Gallery
October 30 to November 21

This exhibition features photographs by Betsy Schneider, who engages viewers in a childhood narrative that reflects both playful discovery and darker human traits – while exploring issues such as media culture, family, roles feminine and masculine and the concepts of public and private space. This is the largest solo exhibition of Schneider’s work since she received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. The vernissage takes place on October 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. and the artist will give a talk in the gallery that evening at 7 p.m. ASU School of Art website.

“Frida Kahlo: her photos”
Heard Museum
October 31, 2015 to February 8, 2016

This exhibition presents 241 photographs from a collection of 6,500 that are part of the archives of the Casa Azul (the Blue House), where Kahlo lived in Mexico. Taken by Man Ray, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, Nickolas Muray, Lola Alvarez Bravo and others, the photographs offer insight into the inner and outer worlds of Kahlo. Curated by Mexican photographer and photography historian Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, the exhibition is divided into six areas that help provide historical and cultural context to Kahlo’s work. More information on the Heard Museum website.

Tracey L. Sweeney