One of Valley Metro’s many contributions to the community is the way we connect people to arts and culture, whether it’s through our platform art or the many cultural places we can take you to. A key destination for that goal is the Phoenix Art Museum. The museum has been a cultural hotspot for over 60 years, giving locals and tourists access to a wide variety of art collected over its history. A trip to the museum is easy with Valley Metro.
I used light rail and traveled to McDowell/Central Ave station and walked a block north to find the museum. You can also use bus routes 0 and 17 to travel there. The first art I saw was a bright red T-rex inside a cage on the lawn outside the entrance of the Phoenix Art Museum. I visited the museum on a Wednesday evening when tickets are free for everyone with only a small charge if you want to see special exhibits like the Desert Rider Exhibit currently on display.
The four-floor museum contains art from across the centuries. Walking on the second floor I was transported to Medieval England in one room and then to the old west in the next. Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe are just some of the famous artists whose works I discovered while exploring the museum. I also got a glimpse of art from around the globe with exhibits featuring works from Sri Lanka and Japan among other international art pieces.
The art on display comes in all shapes and sizes. Besides paintings and sculptures, the Phoenix Art Museum also has video art pieces shown off in dark rooms for maximum effects. The museum even includes fashion on display. The biggest gallery features the short-lived trend where women wore “paper dresses” in the 1960’s.
The museum has something for everyone including your little ones. In the lobby, you can find a scavenger hunt to keep kids entertained and at the time I visited the museum, they were performing puppet shows.
If you want to dig deeper into art history, the museum has a large art research library open during the mid-morning and early afternoon. The museum also has a smaller satellite library on the second floor that is open throughout the day. When I popped into that “Big Little Library” I was able to see a selection of books, sit down, relax for a minute, and get a bird’s eye view of the Desert Rider Exhibit, including the giant pinata car.
I found that the Phoenix Art Museum was an amazing trip, and with rotating exhibits, there’s always something new to see. Learn more at phxart.org. But it’s not the only place in the Valley where you can find art. To learn more about Valley Metro’s own public art and other cultural destinations accessible by light rail, bus or streetcar, check out our interactive map here.