The Phoenix Art Museum: a local treasure


Grace Kolbe

Junior Arden Schraff strolls through the art museum galleries.

Grace Kolbe

When most teenagers think about going to an art museum they think of a forced date with their grandparents, the locale for the father-daughter dance or a class field trip they took when they were young. Perhaps it’s time to make some new memories at the Phoenix Art Museum.

I am personally a huge fan of the Phoenix Art Museum and make frequent visits with fellow Xpress staffer, Campus News Editor and junior Arden Schraff. When asked for her opinion on the museum, Schraff said, “The Phoenix Art Museum is full of beauty; that’s what I love about it. The changing exhibits always interest me. I loved the zodiac exhibit that had been showcased for the past few months.”

It is almost impossible to chose a favorite section of the museum’s vast collection that includes American, Asian, contemporary, European, fashion, Latin American, modern and Western American art. Alongside all of the museum’s permanent collections are spectacular visiting exhibitions. Currently the museum is featuring “The White Shirt According to Me” by designer Gianfranco Ferré (Nov. 4-March 6), “Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti” (Jan. 17-March 27), “Flowers, Fruits, Books and Bones: Still Life from the Center for Creative Photography” (Dec. 5-May 15), “Masterworks of Spanish Colonial Art from the Phoenix Art Museum Collection” (Sept. 5-Feb. 28), “The Resonance of Clay” (March 5-April 1) and “Cameos: Sculpture in Miniature” (Nov. 28-April 17). No matter your taste in art, the Phoenix Art Museum undoubtedly has some type of art that will fit your aesthetic.

Walking the quiet halls of the museum one can almost find themselves transported into another world. The soft echo of your steps on the hardwood floors of the galleries, the endless halls lined with masterpieces and the beautiful architecture of the building can make you feel as though you are in another place or time. Grabbing a bite to eat from the café and eating in the sculpture garden is one of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice.

My personal favorite areas of the museum would be the modern art wing, featuring the works of Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe and Joseph Stella or the European art wing featuring the works of Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and Auguste Rodin. The fashion collection has some of my most favorite traveling exhibits that has included “Fashion in America, Hollywood Costumes, The Cape, and Hollywood Red Carpet.” And if you aren’t interested in doing the traditional walk through the museum halls, the Phoenix Art Museum has an interactive art piece that draws in tons of visitors: the firefly room. “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies” by Yayoi Kusama is a mixed media, LED light, art installation that calls the Phoenix Art Museum home. This is enchanting no matter your age as you enter a pitch black room dotted with blue, red and green lights from all around you.

Why not spend an afternoon wandering the halls of the Phoenix Art Museum with friends? Student admission prices are $10 with a valid student ID. It is also free most Wednesday evenings, and the first Friday of every month.