I work in downtown Phoenix, and yet, am more than a bit embarrassed to admit it has been years since I’ve been to most of the museums within walking distance of my desk. More precisely, I haven’t seen the inside of most galleries since those elementary school field trips that hauled my pony-tailed self to their doorsteps, via a yellow Bluebird bus. Some of my favorite artists have had exhibits and I haven’t made the time to go visit; I am still kicking myself for missing the Dale Chihuly show a few years ago.

I’ve decided to go on a bit of an art adventure. I’ve got a new kink in my work schedule that gives me two hours each Tuesday and Thursday to wander downtown. With the summer sun above, indoor activities are a must. After two weeks of wandering bookstores and Target to kill this time, I’ve decided I need a change of pace. There are only so many Isaac tops a girl can try on before boredom sets in. (Especially when you can order these babies online…) As of today, I’m going to spend my bonus hours each week exploring a new museum, gallery, library, cafe, etc.
In part, I want to debunk those who say Phoenix is without culture. I hear this regularly from friends who’ve moved away to “more fashionable” cities, and I think it is a silly argument. Culture, like art, is where you look for it. Each community has its own pace. I’ll admit Phoenix is hot, vast and without great public transportation. Most natives have a Republican shoot-from-the-hip cowboy mentality. Yet, even cowboys have their own distinct style. The Heard Museum is our crown jewel, and there are some stunning Western art galleries in old town Scottsdale. While these out-of-town friends love to whine about Phoenix’s deficiencies in sophistication, they drink their wine with a screw top just like the rest of us twenty-somethings. And they love to come and camp out on my couch in January when it is 80 degrees outside. In my opinion, there is nothing fashionable about an ice scraper.
On today’s schedule — Judith Leiber. The Phoenix Art Museum is showing a collection of her purses and this seems the perfect exhibit to get my feet wet. I’m not worried about missing some secret hidden political message tucked away in a painting, nor does this exhibit require any research prior to purchasing a ticket. Better yet, I don’t even have to purchase a ticket. Admission is free on Thursdays. As my friend Homer J. Simpson would say, “WOO HOO!” (How’s that for culture?)

A review manana, absoloodle.