The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts sponsored by Northern Trust offers visitors a warm and friendly environment for thoughtful and engaging experiences. Rotating exhibitions include a wide variety of local and regional artists as well as themes of popular and cultural interest.

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Current Exhibition

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nature inspired design

Biomimicry is an exciting field that seeks to emulate nature to create sustainable solutions to human problems. Today, biomimicry is used by professionals such as scientists, engineers, architects, designers and business people to create things like new and/or improved products, manufacturing processes and design standards. Well known examples of biomimicry include Velcro (inspired by plant burr hooks) and solar cells (inspired by photosynthesizing plants). For more information about biomimicry go to:

The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts sponsored by Northern Trust is collaborating with the Biomimicry Center and LeRoy Erying Center for Solid State Science/Science is Fun at Arizona State University to coordinate a summer 2017 exhibition that explores biomimicry solutions and nature-inspired contemporary art.

· Art displays by local artists

· Hands-on maker center

· Interactive science displays

· Live artists working in the Gallery

· Free art workshops on Saturdays

Three Valley artists (Jose Benavides, Alexandra Bowers and Nissa Kubly) were chosen in a jury selection process to undertake a 10-week biomimicry-themed artist residency. From May 19-July 28, these artists will be mentored by  experts from ASU and challenged to create new ideas, artworks and/or concept sketches inside temporary studio spaces at the Biomimicry exhibition at the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts. Join us at TCA this summer to watch the process.

Artists: Matt Baral, Jose Benavides, Alexandra Bowers, Alan Burr Johnson, Christine Cassano, Halldor Hjalmarson, Nissa Kubly, Christine Lee, Emily Longbrake and Damon McIntyre.

Thank you: Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts , the Velcro Companies and  Arizona State University’s’  Biomimicry Center, LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Natural History Collections at the School of Life Sciences.

 Free Public Reception: May 19 | 6-9 pm | Gallery

Gallery Hours & Location

FREE admission

10 am-5 pm Tuesday - Thursday
10 am-7:30 pm Friday
11 am-7:30 pm Saturday
*Open extended hours for some special events.

The Gallery at TCA is located within Tempe Center for the Arts 
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway | Tempe, AZ  85281 | (480) 350-2867


Family Arts & Sciences Workshops 

Saturdays | Noon- 2pm | Gallery | Free

6/17:   Dandelion Wishes Coloring Book with Alexandra Bowers
This artist in residence has always been fascinated with nature and enjoys making art about plants and animals. This summer, Bowers is researching dandelions which are plants that have a unique way of dispersing their seeds with the wind. Create your own coloring book about plants and be sure to make a wish while you draw.

6/24: Biomimicry Trading Cards – New Inventions with TCA staff
Trading cards are a tradition usually associated with sports, bubblegum and cartoon characters. If you love the arts and sciences, then this STEM/STEAM activity is just right for you. Join the TCA team to learn about famous examples of Biomimicry while creating trading card art about your own nature-inspired inventions!

Sonoran Wildlife

7/8:    Sonoran Wildlife- Clay Creatures with Halldor Hjalmarson

The Sonoran desert is home to thousands of plants and animals who have adapted to the local dry and hot climate. Hjalmarson is a Phoenix native and well known ceramics artist with a long-time interest in local wildlife. Come see original works of art, meet the artist and try using his hand-made molds with a   traditional “sprigging technique” to create your own clay creature.

Sustainability 7/15:   Sustainability with ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Can you create a sustainable future city? Join ASU’s Teacher’s Academy in an interactive game that introduces the three pillars of sustainability: society, economy and environment. Participants of all ages are challenged to consider the tradeoffs associated with building different things, especially the high cost and relative scarcity of environmental resources. 

Beyond the Collection7/22:   Beyond the Collection Box with ASU Natural History Collections
Over time, natural history museums and collections have been associated with dark and hidden cabinets of curiosities. Today, museums around the globe are involved in a massive digitization effort that will make collections more accessible and they are asking the general public to help! Come join specialists from the ASU Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC) in capturing digital images of     moths and butterflies with the “LepSnap” app, interact with 3D specimens and engage in nature inspired art making activities. Bring your smartphones! 

Friday Night Maker Night

With Cyndi Coon of Laboratory 5 Inc.
6-8 pm | Gallery | Free


coon_death stalker8/18 Date Night
Follow the Glow, learning from the Israeli Deathstalker Scorpion
This hands-on maker project uses Biomimicry to bring together the arts and sciences. Learn that the Israeli Deathstalker Scorpion’s sting can be deadly, but its venom is leading to medical a break-through and is being used as “glowing tumor paint.” Join the TCA in a glow-in-the dark map-making workshop.  


Additional Programming

Biomimicry Challenge: May 19-July 21 | Gallery
Artists Jose Benavides, Alexandra Bowers and Nissa Kubly were chosen during a jury selection process to undertake a 9-week artist residency program inside temporary studios at the Gallery.

Free Lecture with Dayna Baumeister, co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute
Aug. 24 | 7-8:30pm | Theater | Free tickets at the door

Bee Hive Café for Teens:  Fridays June 16 & 23 | 4-7pm | Free
Local teens, art groups, science clubs and robotics teams are invited to meet up for informal brainstorming sessions in the exhibition’s Bee Hive-themed meeting space in the Gallery. Space is limited. Coffee and water provided.

Satellite Workshops at Edna Vihel Center | $10 registration | lunch included
6/24: Biomimicry DESIGN Challenge for Teens with artist Christine Cassano & Biomimicry specialist Kyra Galani. Register here.

7/15: Biomimicry CHAIR Design Challenge for Teens and Adults with artist Damon McIntyre & Biomimicry specialist Kyra Galani. Register here.

*These workshops are made possible with a grant from the Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.


Gallery open during Lobby Carpet Installation: July 24-Aug.11
Please excuse us while the lobby carpet is replaced with a new one of the same design by artist Ramona Sakeistewa. During the installation, Gallery entrance will be available from the TCA’s East Breezeway doors.



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Tempe Galleries

Local artists, local themes and local interest. 


Tempe Galleries provide art encounters that are fun, eye catching and relate to a local audience. Exhibitions are meant to inspire thought, enjoyment and discussion for all ages. Tempe’s satellite galleries include three art spaces at the Tempe Public Library (Youth Library, Connections Café and 2nd floor lobby) and the four storefront windows at the Tempe Post office on Mill Avenue. Visit the Tempe Galleries page for more information. 



Tempe Galleries (formerly Tempe Community Galleries) is a satellite program of the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts. This year, Tempe is seeking Arizona visual artists to participate in unique exhibitions in high traffic public spaces such as the Tempe Public Library and the Post Office on Mill Avenue. 
*Photo credit Miachelle DePiano
*Photo credit Miachelle DePiano

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