Ron English

Ron English became well known in the 1980s for his illegal billboards and later for his visual satires of mainstream icons. (Courtesy of MAC)

Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum will celebrate the opening of five new exhibitions with a free reception.

The reception, 6-9 p.m. Sept. 9 will include a Ron English pop-up store, musical entertainment by DJ Pickster and a cash bar.

Headlining MCA Museum’s fall season is cultural provocateur Ron English, who became notorious for his illegal billboards in the 1980s and was later known for his visual satires of mainstream icons.

His works also appeared in films like Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Super Size Me.”

Other highlights included a collective exhibition of 150 sketchbooks by emerging and established artists from across the globe in the Moleskine Project, the street art of local creatives Such and Champ Styles, as well as the childlike wonder of Giorgiko’s dreamscapes and Reen Bareera’s toy-inspired sculptures.

As part of Mesa Arts Center, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum says it “showcases the best in Contemporary Art by emerging, nationally and internationally recognized artists and provides support and advancement to artists through solo, group and juried exhibitions. 

MCA Museum’s added that its free admission and “strong engagement programs provide visitors with free school and public tours, a robust docent program and free artist talks.”

Here’s a list of upcoming exhibits: 

The Moleskine Project

Sept. 9-Dec. 4

The Moleskine Project is a collective exhibition of customized sketchbooks by hundreds of emerging and established artists from across the globe. 

The exhibition spans various artistic styles and mediums, delving into how artist’s sketch and develop creative ideas. The exhibition, which made its initial debut at Spoke Art San Francisco in 2011, is a continuation of that project where artists are provided with a blank Moleskine book and invited to create an original work of art within its pages.

It is Curated by Harman Projects of New York City.

Living in Delusionville - Ron English 

Sept.9-Jan. 22

Known as the Godfather of Street Art, Ron English has emerged as one of the most influential and controversial artists of our time. Taking direct inspiration from the legendary Andy Warhol, English merges American iconography with art history to create social and political statements about contemporary American society. 

From Ronald McDonald to Mickey Mouse, no cultural icon is sacred. Living in Delusionville, which is also the title of the latest documentary on the artist, features 37 paintings and sculptures by English from the last decade.

Dark Matter - Giorgiko

Sept.9-Jan. 29

Giorgiko (pronounced jee-OR-jee-koh) is a collaborative experiment by husband-and-wife California artist team Darren and Trisha Inouye. 

Conceived in 2012, the Giorgiko universe is home to lost boys and wayfaring girls and explores the stories of their wanderings and dreams of being found again. 

Through minimal, expressive character illustrations, Giorgiko’s classically designed large-scale paintings playfully capture urban and classical youth in city and nature scenes as part of their journeys through the world.

Organized by Thinkspace Projects  of Los Angeles. 

Children of Divorce - Reen Barrera

Sept.9-Jan. 15

Inspired by his “toy deprived” childhood, Filipino artist Reen Barrera repurposes found materials into mixed media figurative sculptures and paintings. 

The facial expressions, symbols and patterns in the artist’s ohlala characters are drawn from the idiom “it’s written all over your face” and represent the power individuals have in designing their own fate. 

Barrera’s work provides a provocative conversation on the challenges of socioeconomic circumstances and classism. Organized by Thinkspace Projects. 

Like Father, Like Son - Such and Champ Styles

Sept. 9-Jan. 1

This exhibition features the latest individual and collaborative paintings by Phoenix father and son duo Such and Champ Styles. 

Dedicated to the historical foundation and spirit of aerosol, this family graffiti team often incorporates popular culture icons, like Howard the Duck and

Hello Kitty, into their graphic lettering and motifs.

Museum hours are 10- a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

Information: mesaartscenter.com/mcam or 480-644-6560.

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