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Exhibition Explores the Impact of Art and Artists in Metro Phoenix's Growth

Daniel Britton, Leaf Blower, 20 x 24”, oil on board. Courtesy of G2 Gallery, Scottsdale and the artist.

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

June 10, 2006

New American City: Artists Look Forward at the ASU Art Museum, 
Sept. 9 – Jan. 27, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. (June 5, 2006) – Works that explore the role of art and visual culture in Phoenix’s development as a city defined by astronomical growth, geographic limitations, desert environment and its active arts community, will be featured in New American City: Artists Look Forward at the Arizona State University (ASU) Art Museum, Sept. 9 – Jan. 27, 2007.

The exhibition will feature works by 23 Maricopa County artists who explore media, processes and styles that comment on the here and now. Works from this select group of artists will range from installations of land art and art with new technologies to painting and photography that reflect personal impressions of living and working in the Phoenix metropolitan area, as well as broader questions and aspirations for the future.

“The works from this exhibition will shed a new light on the growth of Phoenix, and the effects that this growth has and will have on all aspects of our lives,” said Marilyn Zeitlin, ASU Art Museum Director.

In conjunction with New American City: Artists Look Forward, ASU Art Museum will employnon-traditional outreach programs to engage a broader audience in conversations about the possibilities and opportunities to integrate art in the development of Phoenix and support the growth of a vibrant artist community. These will include:

  • Networking and professional programs to benefit artists and design professionals living inArizona’s Maricopa County, including legal clinics and programs on copyright and leasing agreements;
  • Art InterAct, an innovative video project in which local high school students interact with artists and art professionals, create three-minute video pieces of their interpretation of New American City, and showcase their works in an awards night at the ASU Art Museum;
  • City tours that explore a diverse range of urban art spaces with an onboard expert guest lecturer, such as visits to a working farm that doubles as an artist’s canvas, artist-generated developments, and studio/warehouse districts;
  • Lectures by national leaders in urban issues and the arts with local leaders as respondents, funded by the Maurice R. and Meta G. Gross Foundation;
  • Book signings and discussions with local leaders in urban planning, architecture, development and arts issues.

“In New American City, the artists re-imagine the possibilities of art as we re-imagine our city,” said Heather Lineberry, ASU Art Museum senior curator. 
ASU Art Museum curators Heather Lineberry and John Spiak reviewed 150 artist proposals, visited more than 80 artist studios, and met with mayors, civic leaders, urban planners and activists as part of the research for the exhibition. The final 23 artists, whose names were announced on May 6th, each will contribute something uniquely reflective of the rapid growth of the city. Among the artists:

  • Matthew Moore, a fourth generation Arizona farmer, will feature a re-creation on his family farm of an entire subdivision using his crops;
  • Kade Twist, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and director of policy for the Nation Media and Technology Network, will contribute a poetic piece about urban Native American populations;
  • Wellington Reiter, dean of ASU College of Design, known for his role in crafting a vision for development of downtown Phoenix, will contribute drawings; and
  • The collaborative team of Sherrie Medina (artist), Liza Cohen Hita (psychologist), Ernesto Fonseca (architect) and Sherry Ahrentzen (architect), will present an installation that explores “place attachment” in the complex environment of Guadalupe, a neighborhood just south of Tempe.

About New American City: Artists Look Forward
Organized by the Arizona State University Art Museum, New American City: Artists Look Forward is made possible in part through an investment by Najafi Companies. Additional investment support is provided by the Maurice R. and Meta G. Gross Foundation, Hillstone Restaurant Group, Wespac Construction, Inc., Treg Bradley, Libby Decker and T. J. Decker, Cindy Dach and Greg Esser, The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts Dean’s Investment Fund, and Friends of the ASU Art Museum. In kind support is provided by The Lavidge Company, Eddie Shea Design, ASU College of Design, Changing Hands Bookstore, and Interlingua.

About ASU Art Museum 
The ASU Art Museum is recognized as a global force in exploring art in contemporary society. Founded in 1950, the ASU Art Museum is one of the region’s oldest and most respected contemporary art museums. With more than 12,000 objects in the collection and a schedule of 20 exhibitions per year, the museum provides a dynamic arena for the discovery of art, artists and ideas to educate and engage the global community. The ASU Art Museum is part of the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University and is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. During the school year, the Museum stays open until 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. The Museum is closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Admission is free. For more information, call (480) 965-2787 or visit the museum online at

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For a list of artists and more information about the exhibition and its programs, please visit:

Media Contact:
Josie Lee or Maggie Perlich
The Lavidge Company
Tel# 480-998-2600
Denise Tanguay
Media Relations
Herberger College of Fine Arts
Arizona State University
Tel# 480-965-7144