Contemporary art meets Comicon

Potential by Laura Favela of South Mountain High School

My youngest daughter Lizabeth, who’ll turn 18 next month, will be enjoying one of her holiday gifts next weekend — tickets to Phoenix Comicon, taking place May 26-29 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

I’ve encouraged her to swing by the SMoCA and Scottsdale Public Art table while she’s there, so she can get the scoop on comic book-themed tandem exhibitions conceived by Phoenix artist Jon Haddock — showing at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art May 21-Oct 2.

The comic exhibition is titled “Idios Kosmos: Koinos Kosmos” — meaning “Us Versus Them” and “Masters of Collective Reality.” Seems a fitting exhibit in light of the fact that we’re all still here today despite predictions to the contrary.

If you head to SMoCA before June 5, you can see the work of Brazilian conceptual artist Rivane Neuenschwander in an exhibit titled “A Day Like Any Other” that was organized by the New Museum in New York City.

Trapped by Andrea Kidd of South Mountain High School

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art presents 10-14 exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture and design every year. But my favorite SMoCA exhibit space, the young@art gallery, is actually located at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The young@art gallery houses only works by youth, and exhibits change several times each year. Each summer SMoCA presents works by students at area high schools who’ve participated in an education program for teens titled “Visions.”

The current “Visions” exhibit is titled “Picture I.D.” It features works by students from five Valley high schools — Central, Chaparral, McClintock, Saguaro and South Mountain. Think photography, painting and sculpture. Then think talented. And enjoy the “sneak peeks” throughout this post.

Work by Kalynda Barton of McClintock High School

To learn more about experiencing these works in person, visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art website at

Thursday nights, by the way, are always free — as is admission for museum members and youth 15 and under whenever the museum is open.

My children enjoyed many a SMoCA exhibit when they were younger, but their favorite times took place at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall — where low, gentle hills make for fun play areas. The museum is holding two family-friendly events in June.

The June 24 “Summer Opening Celebration” includes hands-on craft activities for adults and children — thanks to the Scottsdale crafting community and a new family-friendly store called “Splendid” (coming soon to Scottsdale Fashion Square).

The June 30 “Summer Family Night at the Museum” includes a kid-friendly tour of comic-theme exhibitions, an outdoor make-your-own comic book creature activity and a bit of giant bubble play coupled with splash time in outdoor fountains.

Bring your towels and bathing suits…

— Lynn

Note: SMoCA participates in a reciprocal museum program so membership in SMoCA entitles you to free admission to several other museums around the country. Click here to explore a list of reciprocal museums before planning your next vacation. Also check with SMoCA before attending their events to confirm dates/times, costs and other details.

Coming up: Remembering JFK, From Sondheim to South Park

Updated with corrections 4/26/12 LT


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