Top art exhibitions and shows to see in metro Phoenix in 2022

Last year finished strong for metro Phoenix museums and galleries and that trend looks to continue in 2022.

Several exciting art exhibitions are on the calendar for the new year while some significant exhibitions to see in 2022 are already open. “Treasures” at the Musical Instrument Museum, “Legacy of Ceylon: Art and Photography of Sri Lanka” at the Phoenix Art Museum and some art exhibitions are in full swing.

Others will open as the year goes on like artist Beverly Penn’s “Radical Adaptation” at Lisa Sette Gallery and “Southwest Silverwork” at the Heard. SMoCA and Mesa Arts Center are other galleries that will feature several exhibitions throughout the year.

‘Treasures’ at The Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix opened its newest exhibition, “Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments,” on Nov. 12. The showcase — which is scheduled to remain open until September 2023 — features a curated collection of more than 80 notable, “exceptional” instruments from around the world, said museum curator Rich Walter. Some instruments in the collection go back through 6,000 years of history, including an ancient Chinese ceramic drum.

Details: Through Sept. 2023. Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. Hours are 9 to 5 p.m. daily. $7 with paid museum entry; $10 for special exhibition only; $4 for ages 4-19; free for ages 3 and under. 480-478-6000,

Musical treasures at MIM: See a 6,000-year-old drum, oldest guitar, master-crafted violin and more

Generation Paper: Fast Fashion of the 1960s at Phoenix Art Museum

Paper jewelry, dresses, purses and more will be in the museum’s newest exhibition. For two short years, paper fashion was the style in season — all after Scott Paper Company launched a marketing campaign to promote its newest tableware line. So began the era of paper fashion across the country. With companies like Mars of Asheville hopping onto the trend, more than 80,000 dresses sold a week. This is an exhibition where viewers can see all things paper from bikinis to jumpsuits, beach cover-ups and more.

Details: Through July 17. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. 602-257-1880,

Paper Fashion at Phoenix Art Museum: It was all the rage for 2 years in the ’60s. How to see the best of that trend

Joseph Cavalieri’s ‘Focus’ at Mesa Arts Center

New York artist Joseph Cavalieri mixes painted stained glass with oil on canvas, which culminates in vibrant, refreshing works. The works integrate both American and Asian culture. Funko toys, Star Trek personalities and Soviet architecture are all themes integrated within this collection of glass and oil works. The opening reception is scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Feb. 11.

Details: Through March 27. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Noon to 5 pm. Sunday. Closed Mondays., 480-644-6560.

‘Legacy of Ceylon: Art and Photography of Sri Lanka’ at Phoenix Art Museum

This exhibition features rare Sri Lankan artworks — several have never before been publicly shown. The exhibition, which spans more than 1,000 years, showcases some 50 works from textiles to solid-bronze sculptures and black-and-white photographs that illustrate mid-20th century life on the island nation.

Details: Through April 24. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. 602-257-1880,

Imagine, Design, Build! at the i.d.e.a Museum

This new interactive art exhibition will display the works of 15 artists from across the country and the world. With paintings, sculptures, fiber works, digital videos, LED lighting and digital photography, the exhibition invites viewers into an architectural fiesta of creativity and color. In addition to artwork, the show will feature several interactive experiences where visitors can design forts in the outdoor atrium space and see architects’ work in action in the design studio, among other experiences. The exhibit aims to educate viewers on the art and science behind designing buildings and other structures.

Details: Jan. 6 through Aug. 7. i.d.e.a. museum, 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. 480-644-2468,

Beverly Penn’s ‘Radical Adaptation’ at Lisa Sette Gallery

A gallery exhibition that mirrors artist Beverly Penn’s Texas home, “Radical Adaptation” features botanical sculptures that tell how human life intertwines with plant life. Each botanical work is crafted from the chaparral and hill country ecologies from Penn’s Texas home. Agave, antelope horn milkweed, bulbine, coyote brush and Canada thistles are the forms that Penn re-creates in bronze. Through centrifugal casting, Penn has created botanical artworks that detail vining, stems, thistles and seed pods.

Details: Jan. 8 through Feb 26. Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 E. Catalina Drive, Phoenix. 480-990-7342,

‘FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona’ at Scottsdale Civic Center Library

“FIRST: Native American Artists of Arizona” will highlight the works of artists who originate from the Indigenous people of the United States. Artists include Chelsea Bighorn, David Butler, Ron Carlos, David Haff, Damian Jim, Zachary Justin, Marie Kuunnuaq, Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, Mario Martinez, David Chethlahe Paladin, Roger Perkins, Melanie Sainz and Jessie Yazzie. The show will be a blend of both traditional and contemporary Native American artwork.

Details: Jan. 10 through March 30. Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale.

‘Head in the Clouds’ at Mesa Arts Center

Arizona artists Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty will showcase their narrative-driven glass sculptures that tell stories of each artist’s daily life and travel — as well as the weight of the pandemic. The show will demonstrate a wide range of glass sculpture.

Details: Jan. 14 through April 3. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Mesa. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 5 pm. Sunday. Closed Monday., 480-644-6560.

Linden Eller’s ‘Rhythms of Motherbaby’ at Eric Fischl Gallery

‘”Rhythms of Motherbaby'” is a series exploring “interpersonal neural connectivity” between mothers and infants and how their brains synchronize when they interact. New York-based artist Linden Eller uses mixed media in abstract forms to visually represent this tender mother-baby communication during the first months of life.

Eller is an internationally renowned contemporary collage artist who centers her work around themes of memory and its processes. Through weaving together paper, found fragments, transparencies, sewing thread, paint and pastels, Eller creates vibrant pieces that tell stories of her past and present while inviting viewers to reflect on their own personal experiences.

While there, art-goers can also see the work of Eliza Weber, who will have mirrored collages, sun-stenciled wall flowers and bordering bouquets on display in her exhibition, “Sun Flowers.”

Details: Jan. 18 through Feb. 6. Eric Fischl Gallery at Phoenix College, 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix.

Postwar Japanese photographs at Phoenix Art Museum

This exhibition will feature the works of post-World War II Japanese photographers including Daidō Moriyama, Masahisa Fukase, Miyako Ishiuchi and Eikoh Hosoe. The aesthetic? Gritty, rough and out-of-focus high-caliber photography that’s a total deviation from the photography of the time period. The exhibition will feature 87 works from Japanese projects from 1961 through 1989.

Details: Jan. 19 through June 26. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. 602-257-1880,

‘Meminisse’ at Mesa Arts Center

Arizona artist Troy Moody will display his newest exhibition, “Memnisse,” at the Mesa Arts Center starting Jan. 21. His latest mixed media exhibition combines glass, steel acrylics and found objects into pieces that highlight the human relationship with the material world — and the results of our cultural narratives. Moody, who has been a glass artist for more than 20 years, has several public artworks across Phoenix, including at the Phoenix Convention Center, the Scottsdale Bell Tower and the Glendale Influx.

Details: Jan. 21 through April 10. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 5 pm. Sunday. Closed Monday. 480-644-6560,

43rd annual Contemporary Crafts exhibition at Mesa Arts Center

From basketry to ceramics, fibers, metals and wood, the 43rd annual Contemporary Crafts exhibition showcases 45 artworks made by 36 artists from across the country. Other craft media include jewelry, paper making and book arts and glass — all of which highlight the finest in contemporary crafts from around the United States. The guest juror for the 43rd Annual Contemporary Crafts exhibition was Beth C. McLaughlin, the artistic director and chief curator of the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Details: Feb. 11 through April 24. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 5 pm. Sunday. Closed Monday. 480-644-6560,

‘Beverly McIver: Full Circle’ at SMoCA

“Beverly McIver: Full Circle” features more than 70 works at SMoCA that tell the story of 25 years of painting. McIver, an internationally acclaimed contemporary painter, has works in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, among others. The gallery will showcase portraits of McIver, as well as portraits of others — all of which explore expressions of individuality, stereotypes and intimate moments with loved ones. The exhibition will also highlight McIver’s work from a year in Rome with the American Academy’s Rome Prize.

In addition to “Full Circle,” “In Good Company” will feature artists who have both mentored and studied under McIver, including Faith Ringgold, Richard Mayhew, Melissa Button, Michael Dixon and others.

Details: Feb. 12 through Sept. 4. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale. Hours are 11 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 11 to 7 p.m. Thursday. 480-874-4666

Ana M. Lopez’s ‘Air Currency’ at Mesa Arts Center

Texas artist Ana M. Lopez is the 42nd Annual Contemporary Crafts exhibition Juror’s Choice winner. Her solo exhibition, “Air Currency,” will be on display from Feb. 11 through April 24 and will feature a gallery of enameled metal sculptures. Each one highlights our complex relationship with air conditioning and ventilation, which is more often produced by industrial processes. Merging both decorative and industrial arts, Lopez uses her craft to engage in a conversation of wealth, display, power and privilege as they correlate to the modern use of air conditioning.

Details: Feb. 11 through April 24. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Mesa. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. 480-644-6560,

‘Southwest Silverwork’ at the Heard Museum

“How Old Is It: Southwestern Silverwork, 1850-1940″ will document more than 100 years of Native silverwork from the early 1850s to years prior to World War II. Viewers can peruse through this gallery and trace how silverwork evolved in the Southwest as the years went on. Both Navajo and Pueblo jewelry, among other silver items, will be on view.

Details: Feb. 19 through Oct. 31. Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 602-252-8840,

‘Swap Meet’ at SMoCA

Integrating the works from his Brooklyn and Mesa studios, Native American artist Brad Kahlhamer will display works across all mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance and music. Highlights of the exhibition include Kahlhamer’s central installation, a mobile home trailer studio built out for performances, as well as a new series of Zombie Botanicals, Nomadic Studio Sketchbooks, a large-scale dream catcher kinetic sculpture and several paintings. An Indigenous artist adopted into a German-American family, Kahlhamer still has not discovered his biological parents or his tribe. That uncertainty influences his “nomadic” contemporary art practice and exploration of several mediums.

Details: Feb. 26 through Oct. 9. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale. Hours are 11 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 11 to 7 p.m. Thursday. 480-874-4666

Artlink’s ‘Art Detour’

This year’s 34th annual Art Detour will feature a variety of art forms from visual, performing and culinary arts to fashion design and public art. The 30-day celebration invites artists, venues and businesses to register as an “articipant” for the 2022 event.

The 9th annual Art d’Core Gala will highlight the event, taking place at Park Central in Midtown Phoenix. Artists, collectors, philanthropists and community partners are invited to participate. Other highlights include On Central Fashion + Art, Downtown Chamber Series, Creative City Symposium.

Check the Art Detour website for more details on the upcoming event.

Details: March 1-31. Various locations across the Valley.

‘Wear Your Love Like Heaven’ at Lisa Sette Gallery

Titled after Donovan’s song “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” this new exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery remembers an era of artists who traveled to India seeking spiritual practice while citizens across the United States led protests against global violence and inequality. “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” is echoed across the board for this new exhibition that features the recent works of Merryn Omotayo Alaka, Enrique Chagoya, Binh Danh, Ala Ebtekar, Angela Ellsworth, Sam Fresquez, Carrie Marill, Marie Navarre, Charlotte Potter, Ato Ribeiro, Benjamin Timpson and Julianne Swartz. The exhibition is an invitation for viewers to appreciate individualism through the colorful, expressive pieces of this showing.

Details: March 5 through May 26. Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 E. Catalina Drive, Phoenix. (480) 990-7342,

‘Somos Southwest’ at Mesa Arts Center

Collected by businessman Judson C. Ball and educator Nancy Sue Ball, “Somos Southwest” will highlight 29 artists from the Southwest who are all part of the Chicano art movement. The colorful, bold vibrant works include a variety of subject matters and mediums from oil to acrylic, watercolor, wood, metal and ink drawings.

Details: May 13 through Aug. 7. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. Mesa. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Noon to 5 pm. Sunday. Closed Monday. 480-644-6560,

‘Mirrorworks’ at SMoCA

As part of the SMoCA series “Architecture and Art,” Southern California artist Phillip K. Smith’s “Mirrorworks” will exhibit a series of interior installations that highlight how light, color, time and space change through perception. These large-scale works — from mirror works to programmed color changes throughout the exhibition — will transform the space into one that complements the artwork to provide a sensorial experience for all viewers.

Details: Oct. 29 through Aug. 6, 2023. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale. Hours are 11 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 11 to 7 p.m. Thursday. 480-874-4666

Reach the reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @sofia.krusmark.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: The best 2022 art shows to see in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa

Robert G. Mull

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