December must-see arts events in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler


This winter in Phoenix means looking forward to socially distant outdoor shows, new art on display and virtual performances that will make you feel warm and cozy at home.

While many arts and culture organizations in the Valley are ramping up holiday-themed events like Ballet Arizona’s “The Nutcracker” and Childsplay’s “A Christmas Carol,” there are still several not-so-holiday-themed options, including a new exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum and the Lisa Sette Gallery.

This year has inspired new pieces from Arizona artists and galleries have new exhibitions to showcase some of that artwork online and in-person. And though the First Friday art walk has been postponed until further notice, there will even be a special event happening Friday, Dec. 4.

From paintings to live music to fashion, here is your guide to seven art shows and performances happening in December.

Chip Thomas

The Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix (2301 N. Central Ave.) will host a live mural installation by Chip Thomas aka Jetsonorama, in collaboration with poet Esther Belin. The First Friday event takes place 4-8 p.m. on Dec. 4, admission is free. 

The mural, painted by Thomas, memorializes the impact that COVID-19 has had in Indigenous communities. 

Details: 602-252-8840,

‘Greater Phoenix, Greater Together’

“Front Line Hero in Her Care” by Christina Rosepapa of Gilbert. The painting is on display in a virtual exhibition presented by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. (Photo: Courtesy Greater Phoenix Economic Council)

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council recently launched its first virtual art exhibition, “Greater Phoenix, Greater Together.”

The gallery features the artwork of more than 40 local artists including Oliverio Balcells, Gabby Avalos, Christina Rosepapa, Franck Boistel, Nicole Bonilla and more. Explore the curated selection of art at your own pace or by playing a guided tour video.

Details: 602-256-7700,

‘Collective Inspiration’

Ralph Rucci’s 2009 jacket and skirt made with double-faced wool crepe and netting. Pieces are part of the “Collective Inspiration” exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of Ken Howie)

The Phoenix Art Museum will premiere its next fashion exhibition, “Collective Inspiration, “which seeks to definitively answer the question: Is fashion art? 

The exhibition pairs garments and accessories from the Museum’s renowned fashion collection with paintings, sculptures and prints from other collection areas to shed light on how formal principles of art and design apply to fashion objects just as they do to more traditionally recognized forms of art.              

International artist Teresita Fernández’s exhibition currently on display at the museum. Sit in on a conversation with the artist and cultural critic Amalia Mesa-Bains for the museum’s third annual Lenhardt Lecture. The event takes place virtually at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10.

Details: 602-257-1880,

John Joe

Currently on display at FOUND:RE Contemporary (1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix) is the work of Phoenix-based artist John Joe.

“In my practice, I explore and document objects. I see them as physical spaces that hold information and imagination. I’m interested in disrupting this intersection and inserting a new ‘image,’ which is open to contemporary data and information,” Joe said in a press release. “The ‘image’s’ power is an expansive space.”

The show will remain on exhibit through Sunday, Dec. 13.

Details: 602-875-8000,


The Lisa Sette Gallery exhibition, “Blue,” explores the significance of the color blue, which is a relatively late addition to the artists’ palette. The exhibition explores the cultural, spiritual and political aspects of the hue blue in its various shades.

The exhibition includes works by Merryn Omotayo Alaka & Sam Fresquez, Valerie Hammond, Chris Jagmin, Alan Bur Johnson, Yves Klein, Michael Koerner, Mayme Kratz, Annie Lopez, Matt Magee, Michael Lundgren, Carrie Marill, Ann Morton and Hunt Rettig.

The exhibition will be on display through Jan. 2. The Lisa Sette Gallery is currently open by appointment only.

Details: 480-990-7342,


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Gold Palette ArtWalk

The Scottsdale Gallery Association hosts its final Gold Palette ArtWalk of the year at 6:30-9 p.m Dec. 10 within the Scottsdale Arts District that stretches along Main Street from West Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard and on Marshall Way.

View artwork and events within the arts district at participating galleries including King Galleries, Mainview Gallery, Carstens Fine Art Studio, On the Edge Gallery and more.


Jamison Ross

Grammy-nominated jazz artist Jamison Ross will perform during Chandler Center for the Arts “A Night at the Savoy” virtual show. (Photo: Courtesy Chandler Center for the Arts)

The Chandler Center for the Arts presents “A Night at the Savoy” with Grammy-nominated jazz artist Jamison Ross.

“The Savoy Ballroom was renowned for its glamour and entertainment. The music and dancing at The Savoy brought together people of all backgrounds and walks of life,” Chandler Cultural Foundation board member LaTricia Woods said in a press release.

“I wanted to provide support for an event that will make everyone feel welcome and create connections for our community at a time when we need it more than ever. This is about a night where it is all about the music.”

The show takes place virtually at 7 p.m. Dec. 18. Tickets are $35-$250. Each ticket provides household access to the virtual performance. VIP tickets also include a one-year CCA membership, a Q&A with Ross and a special gift box to enjoy during the event.

Details: 480-782-2680,

‘December 63’

Arizona Broadway Theatre will host several events in December including “ABT Unplugged,” an intimate cabaret-style Tribute to the holidays performed by piano-vocal duo Lexy Romano and Josh Condon. The show runs Dec. 4-6 and 18-19.

Also playing at ABT is “December 63,” a tribute to the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The show runs Dec. 11-12. Tickets for both shows are by the table and cost anywhere from $99.98 to $299.94.

Details: 623-776-8400,

Elizabeth Montgomery is the Arts and Culture Reporter for The Arizona Republic, Reach her at e[email protected] or 602-444-8764. Follow her on Twitter @emontnews.

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Wednesday November 2, 2022