[Source: Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic] — Check out this guide to downtown Phoenix’s First Friday art scene:
The Alwun House. This downtown-arts pioneer opened in 1971, 18 years before the first Art Detour (big brother to First Fridays). A mile or so east of Roosevelt Row, it’s an unabashedly hippieish gallery in a historical house, complete with outdoor stages for live entertainment as well as resident pets (doves, rabbits and a sweetheart of a Doberman). Details: The Alwun House, 1204 E. Roosevelt St., 602-253-7887, website.
Bentley Projects. This cavernous brick building once was a linen laundry, and the owners didn’t plaster over that historical character in creating this high-end gallery packed with large-scale works by nationally known artists. This isn’t for bargain shoppers; instead, it’s the kind of gallery that rich collectors fly out to in order to buy pieces priced in the five- to six-figure range. However, it’s a friendly place with enough diverse, quality work to compare favorably with an art museum. Call first to make sure it’s open. Details: Bentley Projects, 215 E. Grant St., 602-340-9200, website.
Garfield Galleria. You can spend an entire evening and not see everything at this single building bursting with more than two dozen galleries and studios. This is real something-for-everyone territory, whether you’re looking for fine art, homey crafts, student work, risque alternative art or flashy jewelry. Details: Garfield Galleria, 316 W. McDowell Road, 602-349-3049, website.
[Editor’s Note: Here’s one more! “Lost Vegas: Color Photography 1985-2007 by Steve Weiss/Candid Landscapes” opens First Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Details: The Lodge, 1231 SW Grand Ave. (corner 13th Ave. and Grand), 602-265-9524, website.]
The city of Phoenix runs free shuttles that stop at gallery areas, including Grand Avenue and Roosevelt Row. If you’re not a good urban parker or just don’t want the hassle of finding a street spot, drop your car off at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., and hop onboard. Once you explore one area, wave down a shuttle to take you back to the library. Then hop on a different shuttle to head to another area. For a shuttle map and more information about First Fridays, call 602-256-7539 or visit their website.