Hundreds of arts exhibitions and shows are opening in metro Phoenix this autumn, but five stand out from the rest.
With the closing of the Desert Rider exhibition, the Phoenix Art Museum will present “Mr: Can You Hear the Song of This Town,” the first U.S. exhibition by Japanese pop artist Mr. since 2014. Over in Scottsdale, it’s the 10 year anniversary of Canal Convergence. And, at the Heard Museum, a permanent sky dome exhibit will debut.
From international artists to spotlights on the hyperlocal, these are the art shows you shouldn’t miss this fall.
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 Scottsdale Waterfront’s annual Canal Convergence is back for its 10 year anniversary show — “10 years of Water + Art + Light.”
And it’s going to be big. 
The event presents works by artists from around the world in mediums including light, augmented reality, music and dance. It typically attracts a quarter-million visitors each year. 
A few highlights from the event include “Sundrops” suspended above the Arizona Canal to create a light show of desert sunrises and sunsets, flames that shoot more than 30 feet into the air and top-like artworks made from fabric handwoven in Mexico. 
Returning artists include B!G ART, Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, HYBYCOZO, Immerge Interactive, Walter Productions and Jeff Zischke. Joining them are new artists: AlexP, Angela Fraleigh and Josh Miller, Pneuhaus and Bike Powered Events.
The light show is spread across the canal, which makes the event perfect for an evening stroll on the waterfront. 
Details: Nov. 4 to 13. Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. Admission is free.
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Ron English is an international street art icon known for his “popaganda” which uses the likes of Barney and Ronald McDonald as subjects. From Sept. 9 to Jan. 22, he’ll be showing his artwork at the Mesa Arts Center.
His newest exhibition “Living in Delusionville”  blends American iconography with art history themes. More than 37 paintings and sculptures will be on display in this exhibition titled after the latest documentary made about the artist. 
Details: Sept. 9 through Jan. 22. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Admission is free. 480-644-6500,
An exhibition three years in the making, the Heard Museum’s newest installation, “Substance of Stars,” will premiere on Nov. 6. And it’s here to stay.
The multisensory experience will tell the stories of the tribes Haudenosaunee, Yup’ik, Diné and Akimel O’otham through a combination of historic and contemporary works paired with immersive digital technologies that will showcase the languages, cosmological and spiritual practices, sky knowledge and origin stories of each community. 
“Sky Dome,” the exhibition’s centerpiece, will draw visitors into an immersive 360-degree room where viewers will be surrounded by 20-foot high walls projecting seasonal landscape imagery created by four Indigenous videographers under a ceiling-mounted fiber optic map of the cosmos that will rotate four times around the North Star as it demonstrates season changes from an Arizona viewpoint. 
Other art on display will include works by Marie Watt of the Seneca tribe, Jacob Butler of the Akimel O’otham and Steven Yazzie of the Diné, in addition to several contemporary and cultural works from the Heard’s permanent collection.
Details: The new permanent exhibit will open on Nov. 6, 2022. Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Museum admission starts at $20 for adults.
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Artist Benjamin Timpson’s mixed-media style sets butterfly wings against arduino-controlled light boxes and turns them into large-format photographs overlayed with images of women given to him by family members or pulled from databases of missing women. Light boxes operate on 13-minute cycles of increasing illumination as the microscopic wing structures present shifting light on the portraits. 
His work will be on display at Lisa Sette Gallery in Phoenix, from Oct. 1 to Jan. 7. 
Details: Oct. 1 to Jan. 7, 2023. Lisa Sette Gallery, 210 E. Catalina Dr., Phoenix. Admission is free.  480- 990-7342,
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Mr., a famed Japanese contemporary artist, will showcase his first U.S. solo exhibition since 2014 at the Phoenix Art Museum. 
Mr. draws ideas and inspiration from Superflat, a post-modern art movement founded by the artist Takashi Murakami, who he worked with before he paved his individual artistic path. 
His art is a mix of anime, manga and virtual fantasy worlds featuring bright colors and exploring themes from desire to tragedy to psychological anguish through kawaii-style characters with wide eyes and childlike faces with graffiti backdrops that echo the devastation in Japan after World War II.
“Mr.’s neo-pop work, however, descends from an even larger art-historical framework, drawing influence from 19th-century ukiyo-e prints, Pop Art, and abstract expressionism,” the Selig Family Chief Curator Gilbert Vicario said. “He combines these influences with elements of Japanese popular culture and references he has gleaned from the internet, presenting them in fine art to examine the social mores of Japanese society and a global community obsessed with social media.”
The show features his works dating back to 1990 with more than 50 paintings, drawings and sculptures. 
Details: Nov. 6 through March 12, 2023. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Adult museum admission starts at $20.  602-257-1880,
Reach the reporter at Follow her on Instagram @sofia.krusmark 


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