The last first Friday of the year is just around the corner and you have plenty of choice if you want to get out and explore the local art scene. Here is a selection of shows taking place around Phoenix, from an art hotel to a bilingual bookstore. In most cases, entry is free. Take your Christmas shopping list with you as several of these creative spaces sell gift items like jewelry, ceramics, small-format paintings, and zines by local authors. Also, check out our short list of artist studio weekend sales at the end of this guide in case you want more Christmas shopping with a creative twist. Click to enlarge Check out Jim White’s artwork in the “Lighthouse” exhibit at Alwun House. Alwun House Alwun House The Alwun House shows a diverse selection of light-based and light-inspired works by local creatives who work in media such as neon, fire, LED light, mixed media and more. The opening of the “lighthouse” will take place on the first Friday from 6pm to 10pm. Look for artwork in the gallery and garden, as well as the adjacent Art Park, which also has live entertainment, food, and a Christmas market with local artisans and other vendors. click to enlarge Discover the work of Christy Wittmer (excerpt shown here) in the Eye Lounge. Eye Lounge Eye Lounge For her second solo exhibition as a member of the Eye Lounge collective, the artist Christy Wittmer is showing new ceramic works and drawings that deal with the nature and evolution of minerals, their interaction with human forces and their relationship to the expanse of time. Special opening times on the first Friday are 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. While you’re there, head to the MADE Art Boutique next door, where you can shop for a fun selection of handicrafts. Similar Stories I Support Local Community Journalism Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of the New Times clear. click to enlarge Barbara Kemp Cowlin has seen works (excerpt shown here) in the First Studio. Barbara Kemp Cowlin First Studio The opening reception of the new group exhibition entitled “Abstracted Reality” will take place from 6 to 9 pm in the First Studio, a creative space in which you will also find wall paintings in the outdoor area. Featured artists include Barbara Kemp Cowlin, Johnny Kerr, and Indigo. The exhibition includes photographs as well as works with acrylic, oil and spray paints. click to enlarge Works by Allison Moyers will be featured on Five15 Arts. Allison Moyers Five15 Arts in Chartreuse The Five15 Arts collective presents a solo exhibition with works by member Allison Moyers. The first Friday for “A Mad Girl’s Love Song” is from 6pm to 9pm. While you’re there, check out Hazel and Violet’s book printing store, which shares space with the gallery, where you can find fun paper gifts and do a bit of a handiwork – on time with one of their printing machines. click to enlarge See works by more than 70 artists at FOUND: RE Phoenix. FOUND: RE Contemporary FOUND: RE Contemporary Visit the FOUND: RE Contemporary gallery to celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions exploring minimalism and maximalism. The reception takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibition “FOCAL POINTS: Minimal VS Maximal”, which was created with the support of Artlink, includes works by more than 75 artists living in Arizona and will be on display on the entire ground floor of the FOUND: RE Phoenix. “More is More: A Maximalism Exhibition” will be on display in the gallery. Heard Museum The Heard Museum offers free entry on the first Friday from 4pm to 8pm when you can see exhibits such as Remembering the Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art. The evening features Christmas carols spun by DJ Neon Nativez, as well as a toy ride. Bring an unwrapped, wrapped toy if you want to support the cause. Toys will be donated to American Indian families who live in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The museum’s Coffee Cantina and Books and More Shop are open from 5pm to 7pm. Christmas singers, handicrafts, improvisational theater and other activities can be found on the square of the Herberger Theaterzentrum, where First Friday is open from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. Hive on the 16th The Hive on the 16th takes place on the first Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Winter Desert Wonderland event where you can purchase artwork and handcrafted gifts offered by 20+ small businesses including The Bee’s Knees, Collaged Escape, Howland Studios, and MerMade Jewelry. Irish Cultural Center The Irish Cultural Center has its annual Christmas party at the castle on the first Friday, starting at 6:00 pm. The Christmas market includes cookie decorations, photos with Santa, Christmas carols, and more. Bring a blanket if you’d like to see an outdoor demonstration of The Polar Express at 8:00 p.m. (subject to availability). Japanese Friendship Garden It’s easy to say that nature is its own form of fine arts, and the Japanese Friendship Garden strives to share its own natural wonders on the first Friday from 5pm to 8pm (last admission is 7:30 am). Clock). The garden offers voluntary donation entry during opening hours on the first Friday, and the gift shop is open from 5pm to 7.30pm. Click to enlarge The Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art has an exhibition in the Modified Arts. phICA Modified Arts The Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art exhibition of a dozen prints produced by Santo Press in Scottsdale continues at Modified Arts, which is open from 6pm to 9pm on First Friday. Artists include Darrin Armijo-Wardle, Bill Dambrova, Brian Boner, Rigo Flores, Hector Fernano Garcia, Shachi Kale, Mary Meyer, Ann Morton, Christy Pütz, Papay Solomon, Chris Vena and Vo Vera. Nurture House Head to the Nurture House creative space, home of the Palabras bilingual bookstore and Wasted Ink Zine Distro, to enjoy works by local artists and writers. A three-day celebration for the bookstore’s sixth anniversary begins on the first Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. While you’re there, you can purchase books, zines, artwork, and eclectic gifts from local artisans. Olney Gallery The Olney Gallery in the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral illuminates 100 years of cathedral history with an exhibition of over 36 pictures and documents. The opening of the exhibition “Trinity Cathedral Centennial” takes place on the first Friday from 6 to 9 pm. Phoenix Art Museum The Phoenix Art Museum has paid admission during the opening times on the first Friday from 3 to 7 pm. These include “Fashion’s Subversives” and “Sweet Land of Funk”. During opening hours on the first Friday, tickets for the special exhibitions “Oscar Muñoz: Invisibila” and “Landscapes of Extraction” cost US $ 5. The museum shop is open. Click to enlarge Maggie Keane painted two works for the exhibition at the Sisao Gallery. Maggie Keane Sisao Gallery The Sisao Gallery at the Oasis on Grand is showing small works by dozens of artists for their “Enjoy All the Little Things” exhibition. Featured artists include Amanda Adkins, Jason Hugger, Daniel Shepherd and Tara Sharpe. Each artwork measures 12 Feet x -12 feet or less and is for sale in case you want to give away original artwork this Christmas season. Step Gallery For his MFA theses exhibition, artist Lucas J. Knowles presents an “existential exploration of human ontology, replication, memory”., and decay. “He turns the ASU-operated Step Gallery into a simulated laboratory and test site. On the first Friday from 6 pm to 9 pm Bring your smartphone to access the data logs of the works on display. The evening also includes a live performance with a massive gantry crane and a small brush click to enlarge Work by Randy Zucker (here in Detail shown) in the WHAM Art Gallery ArtTHENA! which offers mutual support and exhibition opportunities for the participating artists. The first Friday hours for their exhibition “New Expressions” and artist reception are from 7 to 9 pm. The presented artists include Cherie Buck-Huchison, Jessica Gentile, Maggie Keane, Kyllan Maney, Joanna Proffitt, Cindy Schnackel, Lucretia Torva and Randy Zucker Xico Arte y Cultura Xico Arte y Cultura will be held on December 3rd from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on December 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event includes an outdoor market, indoor art sale, and live printing by local artists. click to enlarge Sandra Luehrsen will be at the Holiday Art Sale in Dora Hernández’s studio. Sandra Luehrsen Bonus: Weekend artist holiday sale Christmas art sale in Dora Hernández’s studio: December 4th and 5th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.