Scottsdale ’s 100-plus art galleries are among the city’s biggest attractions and an important center of commerce. Only New York and Santa Fe can tout larger art markets. Traditionally, Western and Native American art dominated the scene, but now a host of contemporary galleries showcase some of the art world’s biggest names as well as emerging talent.
Most of the city’s galleries are clustered in the Marshall Way, 5th Avenue, and Main Street arts districts, located just west of Scottsdale Road in Downtown. It’s not too hard to find attractive pieces to take home, though prices aren’t exactly “inexpensive” at the larger, more established galleries. Also, you can expect shorter hours at galleries in the summer, so be sure to call ahead for times.
The best way to become a part of the art scene—at least for an evening—is to join the weekly Thursday night Scottsdale ArtWalk (www.scottsdalegalleries.com ). Socialize with artists, collectors, curators, and Valley residents 7–9 p.m., when almost all downtown galleries open their doors for the popular event.
The beautifully curated paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings at Bentley Gallery (4161 N. Marshall Way, 480/946-6060, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat., www.bentleygallery.com ) make it one of Scottsdale ’s best contemporary art galleries. Bentley’s impressive roster of established artists includes Richard Serra, Dominique Blain, and Dale Chihuly.
The polished concrete floors, high ceilings, and natural light make Calvin Charles Gallery (4201 N. Marshall Way, 480/421-1818, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., www.calvincharles.com ) a terrific spot to view contemporary works by mid-career and emerging artists. Collectors will find modern works from China, Vietnam, and Japan, as well as Europe and the Americas. A smattering of Asian antiques rounds out the gallery, and the rooftop sculpture terrace offers a nice view of Camelback Mountain .
Gebert Contemporary (7160 E. Main St., 480/429-0711, www.gebertartaz.com , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–4:30 p.m. Sun.) specializes in abstract painting and sculpture by contemporary artists. Misha Gordin’s stark black-and-white photography is particularly at home in the minimalist gallery.
Lisa Sette Gallery (4142 N. Marshall Way, 480/990-7342, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Fri., noon–5 p.m. Sat., www.lisasettegallery.com ) always puts on a good show—15 of them a year, in fact. The thoughtful artworks, often with a political or social comment, include painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed-media installation. Be sure to check out Matthew Moore’s photographs of suburban sprawl, James Turrell’s forays into capturing light, and William Wegman’s quirky dog portraits.
If you don’t have the deep pockets to invest in a piece of art, two terrifically low-key galleries highlight the works of emerging talent. Art One (4120 N. Marshall Way #1, 480/946-5076, www.artonegalleryinc.com , 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat.) showcases reasonably priced paintings and sculpture by young and emerging artists, including local students. The regularly changing lineup can be a fun way to dip your toes into the art world.
With more than 100 artists, The Legacy Gallery (7178 Main St., 480/945-1113, www.legacygallery.com , 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.) is one of Scottsdale ’s largest Southwestern art galleries. Survey the Native American portraits, Western landscapes, romantic pastels, and life-size bronze sculptures. You may even be tempted to take one home.
The gallery Legacy Contemporary (7178 Main St., 480/945-1113, www.legacycontemporary.com , 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.) filters Western imagery through a modern lens. You’ll see pop-art colors, Dali-esque surrealism, abstracted images, and screened canvases inspired by Andy Warhol.
Trailside Galleries (7330 Scottsdale Mall, 480/945-7751, www.trailsidegalleries.com , 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) offers classic Western art, with colorful paintings of wildlife, traditional scenes of the Old West, and expansive landscapes, as well as an extensive collection of bronze sculpture.
The small and understated Duley-Jones Gallery (7100 E. Main St., 480/945-8475, www.duleyjones.com , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) brings a fresh eye to its collection of Southwestern art. The gallery’s paintings, ceramics, glassworks, and mixed-media sculpture range from the traditional to the whimsical and modern.
The oldest major fine art gallery in the West, Biltmore Galleries (7113 E. Main St., 480/947-5975, www.biltmoregalleries.com , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American artists. The impressionistic cowboy paintings, blazing sunsets, and barren landscapes are evocative of another era.