Arts & Culture Spotlight Fara Illich July 2, 2009

Native U at Heard Museum
By now, most people know that they can avoid the First Friday crowds by doing Third Friday instead, the alternative day to visit the galleries around Downtown Phoenix. But here’s a Third Friday stop I bet you haven’t hit yet: the Heard Museum. Yep, the same museum you went to in fourth grade. You know, on Central Avenue?
The Heard is more than old pots and baskets. It actually showcases contemporary artwork by young artists too. (I swear!) There’s even a cutting-edge retail art gallery, the Berlin Gallery, which represents 20 contemporary artists.
Most important, the Heard Museum has launched a free Third Friday event series called NU (Native+You). Friday’s NU (on June 19) features a T-shirt fashion show with designs by Un3ek Sy5tem, a Native design team whose affordable fashions are inspired by graffiti art, hip-hop culture and Native influences. In addition, four native jewelry designers from New Mexico will be selling their contemporary designs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., showcasing some of their most affordable items. Navajo DJ Byron Fienx will provide a musical backdrop from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Even more added bonuses: Event and museum admission are free from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the Heard also has its own light rail stop and free onsite parking. Oh, there’s also a cash bar, a lounge area and dining in the museum’s cafe until 8 p.m. Want more info? Visit