Menu Navigation Menu Toggle Button

10 Must-See Events During Art Detour Weekend

March 8, 2019 by Fara Illich

Now in its 12th year, the Mutant Piñata Show is an Art Detour mainstay on Grand Avenue in Downtown Phoenix. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Art Detour became the heartbeat of the local arts scene when it started as Phoenix’s original art walk 31 years ago. From exploring artists’ studio spaces to watching live painting, it continues to be a weekend full of incredible things to see, do and experience. Some events have specific dates and times (and admission prices), so be sure to check out the schedule, but many are free and can be explored at your leisure.

There are dozens of art-related things happening Thursday-Sunday, more than you could ever fit into a weekend. So here are 10 suggestions to put or your Art Detour checklist:

Art d’Core Gala / Warehouse 215 @ Bentley Projects / Thursday, March 14

What better way to kick off Art Detour weekend than with a party? Celebrate the arts and culture of Phoenix while enjoying fabulous food and drink, and dancing the night away in a beautiful gallery space in the Warehouse District. In addition to a silent auction featuring work by more than two dozen local artists, this year’s gala will also feature a dance performance by Liliana Gomez and Nicole Olson. Admission is $20; hours are 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Downtown Phoenix Inc. will be hosting a bike-themed exhibition, with original works for sale. (Artist: Adam Zanzucchi)

Pedal to the Metal: Bike Art Show / Downtown Phoenix Inc. / Saturday, March 16

Inspired by downtown’s growing bicycle culture, this is a show celebrating the funnest form of transportation: bikes. Featured artists include Fernando Barajas, Andrew Brown, Clyde, Kenosha Drucker, Lalo Cota, Lauren Lee and many more. As an added bonus, Phoenix Spokes People is hosting a group ride to the show. Admission is free; hours are 5-7 p.m.

On Central Fashion + Art Weekend / CityScape Phoenix / Saturday, March 16

A traffic-stopping showcase of Phoenix’s most talented fashion designers, artists and trendsetters, held in the middle of Central Avenue. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m.; tickets are $25 for general admission.

Water Exhibit / Bob Spot Gallery @ Herberger Theater / March 15-17

An ode to water — a substance required for life, but currently held in a careful balance. This exhibit showcases the beauty of water, while also bringing awareness to the need for conservation, especially in a place like Arizona. Meet the artists on Friday, March 15 from 5:30-7 p.m. or check it out over the weekend. Free admission.

A mural in the Oak Street Alley, painted in 2018 by artist Nyla Lee. (Photo: Nyla Lee)

Oak Steet Alley Mural Festival / 1401 E. Oak Street / Saturday, March 16

A celebration of art, artists, music, alley reclamation and the funkiness of the Coronado neighborhood. Led by friends and neighbors, the event will have live mural painting, music, workshops, food and fun for the whole family. Admission is free; hours are 12-8 p.m.

Guided Studio Tour / Departs from Monorchid / Friday, March 15

A behind-the-scenes look at an artists’s creative process through a tour of four different studios in the downtown area. Meet creatives, check out exhibition spaces, and learn about the neighborhoods where these studios exist. Featured spaces include the Studios @ Bentley Projects with Idakatherine Graver and Craig Randich, Jason Hugger Art, Harold Lohner and the Garfield Galleria. The tour begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $15.

Mutant Piñata Show / Thomson Plumbing and Heating / March 15-17

It’s weird. It’s most certainly wacky. And it’s everything that the world needs right now. Now in its 12th year, the Mutant Piñata Show is an Art Detour mainstay, located in the historic 1948 Thomson Plumbing and Heating building just off Grand Avenue (1008 N. 15th Avenue). It’s sure to make you giggle or raise an eyebrow at least.

Five15 Arts @ Chartreuse is a collective, artist-run space on Grand Avenue, featuring the work of 13 artists over Art Detour weekend. (Graphic: Five15 Arts)

Baker’s Dozen / Five15 Arts @ Chartreuse / March 15-17

Featuring 13 artists from the Five15 Arts collective, this show offers a ton of variety ranging from watercolors to ceramics, with so many different influences. Four new artists from the collective will be featured: Sylvia Frost, David Knorr, Yunie LeNoue and Michael Pierre Price. Art Detour hours: Friday 6-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free.

The Ho Show / Monorchid / March 15-17

For the past five years, the 1928 Westward Ho Hotel could be described as photographer Danny Upshaw’s “muse.” He’s captured the many sides of this beautiful historic building, and through his images, delves into some of the secrets of its past, present and future. Meet the artist Friday, March 15 from 6-9 p.m., or check out the show over the weekend. Free admission.

CabronX3 / Found:re Phoenix / March 15-17

Colorful, figurative and imaginative works by local artists Frank Ybarra, Joe Ray, and Gennaro Garcia will be on display at Found:re Hotel over the weekend. The show kicks off with a opening reception on Friday from 5-9 p.m., with live painting on Saturday from 5-9 p.m. But you can pop in and check out the show anytime over the weekend during normal hotel hours.