By Andrea Siemon
Published November 13, 2009 4:15 PM PST
A hidden gem that lies in the heart of Tempe, Arizona State University Art Museum offers an impressive collection of art that ranges from classic to contemporary—all of which is free to public.
On the ground floor right when you walk in is an exhibit of incredible ceramic pieces by Kurt Weiser. His pieces take on the theme of a ‘lost paradise’ and showcase different ceramic vessels that have stylized foliage and Adam and Eve figures on them.
On the opposite side of this exhibit is another by Brazilian artist Paulo Nenflidio. His work explores human interaction with art and sound. Nenflido encourages the patrons to play with some of the work, which emits various sounds while they do, and other similar sound machines made by local high school students line the floor. In addition to these exhibits, the museum also has a few permanent pieces that adorn the ground floor as well.
On the second floor of the museum is the Gallery of the Americas, which is a large gallery space containing art from throughout the Western Hemisphere. Here, several prominent artists like Diego Rivera, Georgia O’Keefe and Winslow Homer are shown along with other lesser-known, but equally interesting artists are shown.
In addition to these great features to the museum, is the printmaking room. Available only by appointment, this spectacular area of the museum houses original etchings and engravings by some of art’s most influential draftsmen like Rembrandt and Piranese. I was lucky enough to secure an appointment to see this room and tour it along with the rest of my class and was blown away by what was inside. The curator of this department was extremely informative and not only explained each piece in detail, but also described to us how the printmaking process was accomplished during the 16th and 17th century, though the collection houses prints from art movements that include the Renaissance, Ukiyo-e, post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, American Regionalism, as Pop Art as well.
Arizona State University’s Art Museum offers a great variety of artwork within a beautiful space all for no charge at all! With all of these spectacular amenities, I would highly recommend visiting this beautiful museum so you too can be blown away by all it has to offer.