Memory and Mystery
Paintings by James G. Davis
Terminal 4, level 3, eight cases on east and west ends
Through April 5, 2020
James G. Davis (1931-2016) had an affinity for observation. As an artist, he incorporated his personal recollections into paintings, creating narrative art or artwork that tells a story. He integrated reflections from his travels, experiences and everyday scenes along with surreal elements. His visual stories may not be totally clear or complete, allowing the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own imagination.
Growing up in Springfield, Missouri, Davis suffered trauma when his foot was pinned beneath a train. During his recovery, he was mostly immobile, which led him to discover a passion for drawing. He later studied art at Wichita State University in Kansas and eventually arrived at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he taught for 21 years. Davis was a long-time resident of the Rancho Linda Vista artist community in Oracle, Arizona, but exhibited his work around the world.
This exhibition presents thirteen large-scale, colorful and complex paintings in eight display cases. The work offers a glimpse into Davis’ personal view of the world, from a bar scene in Barcelona to everyday scenes like working as a bellhop. Davis’ paintings are layered with rich textures, collaged elements and found objects as well as metaphor, memory and mystery.
Image caption: James G. Davis, Berlin; Man with Electric Hair, 1987, oil paint on canvas, image courtesy of the Tucson Museum of Art
From Press to Print
Xico Arte y Cultura
Terminal 4, level 3, center, west of food court
Through February 9, 2020
During the 1970s, what came to be known as the Chicano Art movement was sweeping across the Southwest. Americans of Mexican decent created vibrant murals and symbolic hand-made prints based on their cultural heritage, establishing a new artistic identity. Here in Phoenix, a group of Chicano and Indigenous artists inspired by the movement collaborated to form an arts group. Today, the organization is known as Xico (pronounced chico) Arte y Cultura (art and culture). As a nonprofit, they are dedicated to preserving and promoting cultural traditions through art. Xico offers an array of programs focused on fine art printmaking, including artist-led workshops, open studios and a mobile art program.
This exhibition features 14 artists who have created fine art prints through the Xico Studio. Working alongside a master printer, artists can experiment and refine their skills in the original artform of printmaking. Both emerging and established artists use printmaking techniques to share personal memories or symbolism connected to their culture. Although various printing processes require different tools and approaches, the result is always a one-of-a-kind artwork, from press to print.
Image caption: Veronica Verdugo-Lomeli, Roots Run Deep, 2018, woodcut print
Art on a Cellular Level
Terminal 4, level 3 gallery
Through Jan. 12, 2020
Science and art have a lot in common. Driven by curiosity, both fields involve exploration and discovery. Relying on observation, scientists and artists both attempt to understand and describe the world around us. They strive to see things in new ways and to communicate that vision.
While science may embody the rational, art expresses the aesthetic. This exhibition presents the work of seven artists that draw inspiration from the natural environment. With an interest in living organisms, these artists create works that celebrate the richness of life on our planet.
Artists, like scientists, utilize processes to make the unseen visible. They imaginatively represent things that we would need a microscope to see. From molecular structures of DNA to patterns of organic forms to the intricacies of human anatomy, these artists draw, paint, sculpt or construct Art on a Cellular Level.
Image caption: Monica Aissa Martinez, Her, 2015, casein, gesso, gouache, graphite, ink, micaceous iron oxide, colored pencil
The Art of Guitar Making
Terminal 4, level 2, near ticketing
Through May 2020
In our fast-paced, technological world of seemingly endless mass production, there are still some who desire to create with their hands. This is especially true for guitar players who design, build and repair their own instruments. The art of guitar-making, or Luthiery, allows skilled craftsman to turn raw materials into unique instruments.
The Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, based in the heart of Phoenix, has supported aspiring guitar builders for over four decades. Students from around the globe come to attend North America’s oldest and only accredited guitar-making school. At Roberto-Venn, people that are passionate about music can learn the old-world craft of creating a guitar by hand.
From selecting wood to finishing techniques, students learn every aspect of guitar construction. They discover how the design and assembly of each element affects how the guitar will play as well as the instruments visual aesthetic and artistry. By merging tradition with innovation and creativity, students at Roberto-Venn are shaping sound.
Image caption: Scott Walker, Santa Cruz Patina, patina-finished guitar on mahogany wood