Press Release

August 15, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | [email protected] | 480-874-4626

SMoCA to open fall exhibitions with special performances

Nicole L Olson will perform in the “Phillip K. Smith III: Three Parallels” installation at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on Sept. 22 for the museum’s Fall Opening Celebration. Photo: Rembrandt Quiballo.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), a department of Scottsdale Arts, will note both the past and the future during its Fall Opening on Sept. 22.

“This fall, we look back and ahead simultaneously through a special event for our opening with SMoCA architect Will Bruder in conversation with exhibiting artist Phillip K. Smith III,” said Jennifer McCabe, SMoCA director and chief curator. “The event is a soft launch toward our 25th anniversary, which we will celebrate on Valentine’s Day 2024.

As the site of a James Turrell Skyspace, SMoCA is an ideal location for Bruder and Smith to consider the histories of the Light and Space Movement while looking toward the future.

And in turn, Smith’s ongoing exhibition, the “Three Parallels” installation, provides an ideal location for a different kind of movement: “Four Shades,” a site-specific performance of four dances by Nicole L Olson, set to an original score by intermedia artist Shomit Barua.

Inspired by the subtle shifting of colors in “Three Parallels,” the parts of “Four Shades” refer to discrete moments — the distinct relationships — that exist in the continuum of human emotion. Barua’s score is augmented by custom software that enables the mobile devices of audience members to become individual channels for spatialization and live manipulation of sonic texture.

“Four Shades” and the artist talk with Bruder and Smith are part of a ticketed event from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 22. The cost for this portion of the evening is $30 for Scottsdale Arts ONE Members and $40 for non-members. Availability is limited. There will be light bites, and each guest will receive two drink tickets.

Following the ticketed event, the party will continue with a non-ticketed portion of the evening from 7 to 9 p.m. with music, cash bar and another special performance by Olson in the new exhibition “Roelof Knol: the space in between,” which will visually respond to the dancer’s movement.

“This fall opening will be a special one!” said Julie Ganas, curator of engagement and digital initiatives at SMoCA. “The additional programming complements the exhibitions and brings together local, national and international artists for engaging collaborations. It will truly be a celebration!

The opening of three new exhibitions will also be part of the evening’s festivities.

Knol, an emerging Dutch artist, has created “the space in between,” a playful, interactive, audiovisual experience that invites viewers to explore their relationship between digital and physical spaces. “Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures” will present a survey of the crucially important Los Angeles-based artist’s work — more than 30 years of exploring gender, labor, migration and her Mexican American identity through photographic storytelling. And “Earth and Sky” will highlight artworks primarily from SMoCA’s Collection that touch on how humans inhabit, construct or perceive various environments.

“You won’t want to miss the Fall Opening Celebration, where we celebrate the incredible place SMoCA holds in our community’s heart — for almost 25 years,” McCabe said.

Other upcoming events at SMoCA include the following:

  • Indigenous Sovereignty Matters: A Conversation with Anna Tsouhlarakis, 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 24.
  • Glow Up @SMoCA: Sound Bath, 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 12.
  • Mystery in the Museum, 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27.
  • Succulent Skulls with Dig It Gardens, noon, Saturday, Oct. 28.
  • Glow Up @SMoCA: Mindful Movement, 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16.
  • Glow Up @SMoCA: Sound Bath at Sunrise, 6:30 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 21.

SMoCA — named “Best Museum” by the Phoenix New Times in the 2022 Best of Phoenix awards — is operated by Scottsdale Arts and located at 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85251. It is open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit for information.

Admission is $10–$12 for non-members; $7–$9 for students, seniors (65+) and veterans; and free for Scottsdale Arts ONE Members, healthcare workers, first responders, and patrons 18 and younger. Admission to the museum is pay-what-you-wish every Thursday and every second Saturday of the month. Timed-entry tickets are required. Save time and money by booking online at

Scottsdale Arts would like to thank the following SMoCA sponsors and partners: City of Scottsdale, Billie Jo Herberger, Adam and Iris Singer, Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, Mark J. and Elizabeth L. Kogan Family Trust, Joan Prior and John Armstrong, Airpark Signs & Graphics, Nancy and Robert Kravetz Philanthropic Fund, Louise Roman and Will Bruder, Christy and Charles Jerz, Peggy Sharp, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, Hotel Adeline, Hotel Valley Ho, and Mountain Shadows Resort.