Water in the Desert

Terminal 4, level 3, eight display cases
Through July 28, 2019

Water in the Desert: Photography

Terminal 4, level 3, center, west of food court
Through July 7, 2019

River Sky Pan by William LeschAlthough Arizona is known for its dry climate, water has a profound effect on our environment. From scenic landscapes to recreational possibilities to its immense power, water can be abundant in our state.

Many Arizonans spend their summers leisurely tubing down scenic rivers, boating on reservoirs or relaxing by the pool with friends. Monsoon rains and snowmelt from mountain regions turn arid washes into creeks and rejuvenate evaporating lakes. As water moves, it becomes a powerful force. Over time, water has carved canyons and cliffs out of solid rock. Hundreds of miles of canals transport water - making everyday life possible in our urban centers.

Flaherty_SummerBlissWater in the Desert presents a diverse selection of water-themed artworks by 31 Arizona artists from 10 cities around the state.

Water in the Desert: Photography exhibition showcases photographs from 10 Arizona artists, who capture a wide range of images - from snow on saguaros to an urban hydroelectric plant.

From the Colorado River to Glen Canyon Dam, artists consider where Arizona’s water comes from and how we use it. Some artists find inspiration in the calming and reflective quality of water’s surface, while others use water as an art material. From its aesthetic quality to conservation, this exhibition reflects various artistic interpretations of water in the desert.

Image caption:
(Above left) Wendi FlahertySummer Bliss, 2018, fiber quilt
(Above right) William LeschRiver Sky Pan, 2016, photograph on aluminum




30 Years - 30 Artworks: From the Airport's Collection

Terminal 4, Level 3, gallery 
Through June 9, 2019

stylized painting of Navajo figure with blue sky

Art in the airport has been a long-standing tradition at Sky Harbor. The program’s roots began in 1962 when the landmark mural, The Phoenix, was commissioned for the new Terminal 2. Although Terminal 3 opened in 1979 with large-scale artworks, it wasn’t until 1988 that an exhibition (ironically, about dentistry) really gave teeth to the program and paved the way for a full-blown museum.

airbrushed image of woman in a tropical locationDuring the last three decades, the museum has grown an art collection from less than 20 to more than 900 works in varying media, expanded its reach with more than 40 exhibition areas throughout the airport system and assembled an extensive aviation history collection and archive. Today, the Phoenix Airport Museum has become one of the largest airport art programs in the country.

This exhibition pays tribute to the museum’s first 30 years with a display of 30 works that showcase the region’s diverse cultural heritage. Whether it’s the state’s scenic wonders, urban environments or local materials, Arizona’s unique artistic resources will continue to guide the Phoenix Airport Museum for decades to come.

Image Captions: 
(Above right) Bajé WhitethorneFood Yei, 1997, acrylic on canvas
(Above left) Celia Álvarez Muñoz, Sentimental Journey (detail), 1993, mixed-media mural


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