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Find more First Friday galleries, smaller crowds north of downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jennifer McClellan, Arizona Republic] — The off-the-beat locations of the galleries between Thomas and Camelback roads mean not as many people visit as at the Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue areas of the art walk.  But for those looking for a specific type of art, the northern galleries are easily accessed by using the light rail or free First Friday shuttle.

Practical Art, just off the Central/Camelback light-rail stop, deals in “usable and functional” art, owner Jane Reddin said.  Each month, the gallery features a different Arizona artist trying to break into the art scene.  Reddin said she tries to make her gallery accessible to everyone, and never charges a fee to see the operative artwork…

Exposed Studio and Gallery, a stop on the north route of the free shuttles, shows a variety of provocative artwork.  “We show erotic artwork that other galleries are afraid to show,” said owner Gregg Edelman.   “Everything here is one-of-a-kind…”

Cuervo Studio and Gallery, on Thomas Road a few blocks from a north-route shuttle stop, specializes in Latino artwork… Artist-in-residence Martin Moreno creates sculptures and other art inspired by his community while running the studio with his wife, Sylvia Hernandez-Moreno.  Along with exhibiting artwork by local and national artists, Cuervo offers public art classes.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Latino arts groups call for a cultural home in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — When Elizabeth Gauna closed the Museo Chicano in January, it wasn’t just the end of a small Phoenix museum.  It left a city of 1.5 million people, 40 percent of them of Hispanic descent, without a Latino art museum.  While major Latino museums have sprung up in big cities, including Long Beach, Calif.; Albuquerque; and San Antonio, Phoenix has lagged behind.  An alliance of 12 Arizona arts groups has an ambitious plan to change that.

The demise of Museo Chicano has fueled an effort to create a major Latino museum and cultural center in downtown Phoenix, said Martín Moreno, a local resident and nationally known muralist.  Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture plan to begin efforts this month to raise $200,000 to open and operate a small Phoenix cultural center later this year.  Five years down the road, the group envisions a $10 million facility.  “It’s kind of embarrassing,” said Moreno, who sits on the consortium’s board of directors.  He said Phoenix needs a center that preserves and nurtures Latino, Chicano and indigenous contributions to the arts.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]