See the Sights, Come and Visit the Phoenix Art Museum

An image of the front entrance of the Phoenix Art Museum taken by Jessica Zook/DD

An image of the front entrance of the Phoenix Art Museum taken by Jessica Zook/DD

Grace Peserik and Kiana Garcia

An image of the front entrance of the Phoenix Art Museum taken by Jessica Zook/DD

Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Art is ultimately subjective; the interpretation of art is in the eye of the beholder. Art museums are the best places to go in order to take in many brilliant works of art, and Downtown Phoenix happens to house one such museum. “Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art,” according to Melissa Dunmore, one of the media representatives for the Phoenix Art Museum. Located at 1625 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004-1685, the museum draws in over 350,000 people annually, many of their events drawing in a couple hundred people at a time.

The museum houses over 19,000 works of art from numerous ethnical descents. They have everything from modern art to fashion design and photography, they even feature films and live performances! Many of these pieces come from local, Arizona-based artists. The art museum issues artist grants and the Alene and Morton Scult Award to local artists. Ms. Dunmore mentioned that this year the museum is celebrating a milestone regarding its awardees. “This year, the Museum celebrates the first all women cohort of grantees and awardees—Christina Gednalske, Danielle Hacche, Kimberly Lyle, Lena Klett and Nazafarin Lotfi—and 2019 Scult Award Winner Ann Morton.” The exhibit that features the art of these ladies is expected to open later in 2020, but in the meantime, there are plenty of other artists’ works to go and see.

The art museum features many different works of art from infinity room installations like Yayoi Kusama’s “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” and the “Antonio: The Fine Art of Fashion Illustration” exhibition. Currently displayed is what the museum calls “PhxArt60: The Past Decade” that, “showcases select works of art from all departments acquired [by the museum] over the past ten years,” according to Ms. Dunmore. She also mentioned a highly anticipated exhibition, “Legends of Speed,” that opens to the public on November 3rd and features nearly two dozen of the most famous race cars in history.

The Phoenix Art Museum also happens to host many events, the most popular being Pay-what-you-Wish Wednesdays and First Fridays. Ms. Dunmore says that, “These events are designed to be accessible to a variety of ages and abilities.” She also goes on to detail a few upcoming events such as, “a zine making workshop series, the November 1st First Friday, and the ‘College Night’ First Friday on December 6.” First Fridays occur on the first Friday of every month and keeps the Art Museum open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with voluntary donation admission. Another popular event the art museum hosts is Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesdays, a weekly event where the museum extends its hours of operation and allows voluntary- donation admission, usually running from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. This longstanding tradition was designed to reduce economic barriers to the arts.

The Center of Arts Education published a report in 2009 that found out that schools in New York that have the least amount of access to the arts also had the highest dropout rates. Conversely, schools with the highest graduation rates had the greatest access to arts education and resources. Students can gain access to the arts, outside of school, via art museums. The

Phoenix Art Museum is a great way to gain such access for Raymond S. Kellis students, and students of many other schools in Arizona.