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Willo North Gallery was located in Uptown Phoenix owned by Kristin Shears. I was honored to curate for its final year of operation from 2014-2015. Showcasing both local and national artists, focusing on offering diverse artwork that pushed boundaries and exemplified contemporary art.

Willo North: About


July 2014

Willo North Gallery proudly presents the solo exhibition “Back In The Daze: An Exploration of Afrocentric Music of the 90’s” of local artist Noelle Martinez. This show is a tribute to legendary musicians including the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Wu Tang Clan, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, et al. Martinez current artwork seeks to illustrate the vibrant shift that occurred in Afrocentric music in the 90’s. This exciting exhibition will highlight her diverse and fasinating artwork including both vibrant paintings and installations created specially for this show. Martinez stated “I am very excited to have the opportunity to share my artwork with the community hoping to express visually how much Afrocentric music of the 90’s had influenced not only me, but other people in the world.”

Martinez is a young and talented artist working in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Her artwork has been featured in numerous local publications including the Phoenix New Times, Phoenix Taco, and most recently Valley Hype.

Willo North: Exhibitions


August 2014

Escape the heat and head to Willo North Gallery! August brings “an idea of why” a captivating exhibition of collage work by Daniel Shepherd. Shepherd is a Phoenix based artist with no formal training who creates both fascinating abstract paintings and collages. Shepherd relies on his extensive collection of old books, magazines, and photographs for the inspiration of his work. His collages are simple yet complicated with a brilliant blending of humor, isolation, and mystery. Shepherd said the exhibition name simply refers to “how everyone has their own idea of why, everyone thinks their idea of why is the right reason, but in the end it’s a question, but then again it’s not a question.” This exhibition will highlight Shepherd’s current body of work, which he has been creating for over a year now.

Recently the artist collaborated with filmmaker Sebastian Kleihs, creating an intriguing new video in anticipation for his upcoming show

Willo North: Exhibitions


September 2014

September welcomes back CALACA with “Hecho a Mano” presenting the works of Mexican traditional and Contemporary local artists. Historically, Mexican artesania (folk art) has traditionally been made for utilitarian purposes, influenced by both Indigenous and European techniques and designs. Artesania gained popularity at the beginning of the 20th century but today they have encountered several challenges due to manufactured products domestically and internationally flooding the market. Continuing to create artesanos original pieces is now influencing new artists with their ideas and techniques. This exhibition will be on view from September 5th through September 23rd, 2014.

This exhibition is a partnership between Willo North Gallery and CALACA. For additional information about this exhibition, images, or CALACA please visit or by email at

Hecho a Mano CALACA
Willo North: Exhibitions


September 2014

“Pop, Prints & More” features the artwork of three talented local artists Jon Arvizu, Scott Wolf, and Jeremy Yocum. These artists work in a variety of mediums and favor a pop esthetic, utilizing bold lines and vibrant color palettes. There is an obvious influence of animation and pop culture, although these artists offer diverse bodies of work, they are connected by their skill, love of graphic art, humor, and wit! This exhibition offers a fresh perspective on printmaking, design, and painting while engaging senses through dynamic and bold works and humorous lens. Jon Arvizu is a Scottsdale Native who runs a successful design business Trapdoor Studio. He creates silkscreens, coasters, posters, letterpress, patches, and fine art that are inspired by his love of midcentury advertising and iconic pop culture images. He was recently included on the Phoenix New Times 100 Creatives List and exhibited his work at Modified Arts in the group exhibition “Independents’ Week” this past July. Jeremy Yocum is a painter, printer, jewelry maker, and teacher. He creates whimsical prints that are painterly and subtly abstracted that are laden with satire. His work explores a variety of subjects highlighting his love of animation, humor, and pop culture. He recently exhibited his work at Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral this past September. Explore the fascinating worlds of this talented trio of artists in "Pop, Prints & More!" which showcases the unique, witty, and sometimes strange while highlighting a variety of artworks.

Willo North: Exhibitions


February 2015

Willo North Gallery is proud to present Inside Outside, the much anticipated solo exhibition of Phoenix native Andy Brown. Brown who typically works outside painting massive murals brings his artwork inside, exhibiting never before seen paintings and drawings in a traditional gallery setting. Inside Outside marks the debut of his latest series of artwork that focuses on the idea of bringing the internal to the external world. “All in all it’s about the process of creating. It’s about creating out of self and enjoying the ride”, says Brown.

The artist has such a passion for life and creating , says Curator, Nicole Royse who goes on to say that his desire to share his artwork with the community through is murals is simply amazing and that one can’t help but enjoy Brown’s playful depictions of large faces, aerial views of men riding bikes, and even his depictions of a tree’s annual rings, with his use of vivid colors, organic lines and shapes in a style that is simply his own. Many know Brown as a brilliant artist, an entrepreneur, has a Business Degree from ASU, is a seasoned global trotter, a successful mural artist, and the founder of the street fashion company SoldierLeisure.

Brown has painted murals throughout the valley and many can be seen right here in downtown Phoenix. Be sure to check out some of Brown’s excellent murals around town starting in the Roosevelt Arts District!

Willo North: Exhibitions


November 2014

Willo North Gallery is proud to present “Nonexistent Night” the solo exhibition of local artist Averian Chee.“Nonexistent Night” showcases Chee’s captivating portraits, unique landscapes, and mesmerizing abstract paintings. Striking artworks that evoke the senses with bold lines, beautiful color palette and painterly brush strokes lead the eye through a fascinating story. Utilizing several mediums including spray paint, acrylic, stencils, and more, all inspired by city and its people. Although not formally trained Chee has an incredible eye, a great technique, and is a vivid storyteller.

This young and talented artist took up painting simply as a hobby and over the years he has honed his skills. Averian Chee is a Native American contemporary artist from a rural small valley in Northern Arizona called Nazlini, currently living and painting in Phoenix. He says “his interest in art grew after he had moved to Phoenix with his family and began to miss home”. Inspiration comes from his desire “To narrate my own stories and to be a part of other peoples’ stories”.

Exhibiting across the valley Averian has participated in several group exhibitions and often collaborates with other local artists including Jeff Slim. He has been featured in various publications and was most recently Chee was included on the “100 Creatives (” Phoenix New Times list.

Willo North: Exhibitions


January 2015

This exhibition features the photography by the late Edward Herman and various artworks from Brian Brooks. It explores how a high-school friendship's influences helped shape each other's divergent styles.

Edward Hermanson was an artist, punk rocker, bicycle messenger, bartender and cantankerous intellectual who grew up in Phoenix, but called Washington DC home. Edward attended the University of South Dakota, Phoenix College, The Corcoran College of Art and the Maine Photo Workshop. Edward died at the age of 42 on May 31, 2013.

Brian Brooks is an artist living in Oakland, California. Brian is most widely known for co-developing the character Emily the Strange® and creating the character Oopsy Daisy™. Other notable projects include a cartoon mini-series Boyz on da Run and viral web comic Morrissey Gets A Job. Since 2009, Brian has worked from his storefront studio/gallery Smokey’s Tangle in Oakland’s Temescal district; he is currently documenting the gentrifying neighborhood though a series of plein air paintings. Brian was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and earned a BFA in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996.

Willo North: Exhibitions


March 2015

Willo North Gallery is proud to present For The Birds, the solo exhibition of Fred Tieken for March 2015. This exhibition will showcase Tieken’s latest artwork highlighting “Uno” Tieken’s iconic bird that he debuted last year! Fresh off his solo exhibition at the monOrchid, this exhibition will showcase the artist’s love of color, bold lines, wry social commentary and smart symbolism, for interest in mixed media and reflects upon his busy year in 2014.

He has exhibited his artwork throughout the valley with his debut at Aqua Art Miami with Perihelion Arts this past December. Tieken has had his artwork featured in several local publications including Java Magazine, Arizona Foothills Magazine and LocalRevibe. He was also included in the Phoenix New Times “100 Creative Forces in Phoenix” list. Fred Tieken currently divides his time between his two studios in Venice, California and Phoenix, Arizona.

Willo North: Exhibitions


December 2014

December welcomes CALACA and their latest group exhibition “Print & Ink: Expressing Through Images” works of Traditional and Contemporary Artists as part of CALACA Community Gallery Initiatives. This is an exhibition of contemporary artworks, which highlight elements associated with the exciting tradition of printmaking (lithographs, linocuts, etchings, monoprints, and other techniques), and works of ink/tattoo art. Featuring a great group of artists including Cristina Cardenas, Damian Charette, Jesus Cruz, Angel Diaz, David Manje, Joe Ray, Marco Albarran, Mary Ann Rodriguez-Veatch, Celeste de Luna, Monica Gisel, Ruben Galicia, El Vaquero Muerto, Manny Burruel, George Conchola.

The opening reception will be held at Willo North Gallery on First Friday, December 5th from 6-9pm, come and enjoy great art, music, and hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. The closing reception will take place on Third Friday, December 19th from 6-9pm. This exhibition will be on view from December 5th through December 28th.

Willo North: Exhibitions


May 1, 2015

Willo North is proud to present their final exhibition Just Like That, The Art of Douglas Miles. This exhibition showcases Miles provocative and raw mixed media artwork where he blends together fine art, pop-culture and his heritage together. He is a versatile artist working in a variety of media: painting, printmaking, photography, and street art. Curator, Nicole Royse is thrilled to bring this exhibition to Willo North Gallery stating, Douglas Miles has been creating powerful artwork for over 25 years giving the contemporary Native American artist a powerful voice while providing a platform to bring awareness to his community.

Miles is a Native American contemporary artist that lives and works on the San Carlos Apache-Akimel O’odham reservation. Many recognize Miles as the founder of Apache skateboards, Apache Skate Team and WhatTribe. The exhibition aims to examine the work and progress that Miles has achieved over his 25 years of creating, exhibiting, celebrating his heritage, and reflecting on the realities of life on the reservation. He has has exhibited his artwork extensively throughout the country most recently at the University of New Mexico and the monOrchid. Miles has also had his artwork featured in several local publications including AZ Foothills Magazine, LocalRevibe, Phoenix New Times and YabYum Music & Art.
This was the final exhibition for Willo North Gallery

Willo North: Exhibitions


April 2015

Willo North Gallery is proud to present The City: Interiors and Exteriors, the solo exhibition of Turner G. Davis for April 2015. This exhibition showcases Davis's latest artwork centered around the idea of the "city" it's complexity both internally and externally. Davis will be showcasing a collection of incredible drawings on paper, paintings, and small sculptures. "Davis is a skilled draftsman channeling his unique voice to create mesmerizing and intricate drawings", says Willo North Curator, Nicole Royse. When asked about his work the artist said, "my pictures skate along a crumbly edge between autobiography and the fantastic as I try to gently examine those places where the pleasure and burden of the body intersect with the lightness of dreams and nightmares."

Currently Davis is a member of the Eye Lounge Artist collective in Downtown Phoenix. He has has exhibited his artwork extensively in both solo and group exhibitions throughout Arizona. Davis has also had his artwork featured in several local publications including most recently in Phoenix New Times and YabYum Music & Art. Davis was traditionally trained and holds his MFA in Painting from the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art. Also Davis's book "Josephine- The Girl Who Lives On the Moon" was published and can be found on Amazon!

Willo North: Exhibitions
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