Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum is the exciting visual art exhibition space at Mesa Arts Center. In five stunning galleries, MCAM showcases curated and juried exhibitions of contemporary art by emerging and internationally recognized artists. MCAM also offers lectures by significant artists and arts professionals, art workshops, and a volunteer docent program.
Jazz Stories: Faith Ringgold, Sept. 14 – Nov. 25, 2018
A cultural icon, Faith Ringgold’s exceptional artistic career spans more than six decades. Her expansive body of work includes painting, book illustration and authorship, sculpture, performance art, education and advocacy. She is renowned for her unconventional quilts, which narrate events from her life as well as the Black-American experience. This exhibition showcases five of Ringgold’s Jazz Stories quilts alongside various other works on paper about jazz.
KO MO – Not Knowing: Joe Willie Smith, Sept. 14, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019
Joe Willie Smith is a Phoenix-based visual and performance artist, whose interests span music, art, design and innovation. A trained musician, Smith is known for his playable musical instruments, fabricated from found materials. In this exhibition, Smith explores the uncertainty of life and how we try to plan and control a future that is still unfolding. With his musical score of graphic symbols and sound creations, Smith captures the essence of improvisation, providing a metaphor for the spontaneity of life.
Eras of Jazz: The Visual: Reyes Padilla, Sept. 14, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019
Born with synesthesia, New Mexico artist Reyes Padilla uses his remarkable ability to paint music. He visually experiences sound and paints what he sees. Padilla’s site-specific installation transforms the Project Room into a visual expression of jazz. By painting and embracing what he sees, Padilla captures what seems like a natural dance between two worlds.
Crazy Vibes and Thangs: Frank Morrison, Sept. 14, 2018 – Jan. 13, 2019
An acclaimed illustrator, Atlanta artist Frank Morrison is known for his urban mannerist, graffiti inspired works. His socially relevant subjects reflect on lost human stories from the past while capturing Black-American experiences from today. Through the lens of hip-hop culture and urban iconography, Morrison’s newest jazz focused paintings feature underrepresented people within a cityscape as well as the visual rhythms that choreograph everyday life.
Jazz It Up!: Jazz Inspired Art from Today, Sept. 14, 2018 – Jan. 20, 2019
A uniquely American art form, jazz is the root of many music genres we enjoy today. Its influences reach beyond performance and into the visual arts, inspiring new ideas and styles. Jazz It Up! looks at the enduring impact of this important form of artistic expression on contemporary art as well as the celebrated musicians, who have become significant icons in American popular culture.